Broken Phones and Terrible Techies


I recently went a week without my phone. It wasn’t because I wanted to take a tech vacation or anything like that. One day I simply forgot my phone was in my bathing suit pocket and the two of us went swimming. Only one survived. But the death of this phone ushered in a second life for my previous phone, one with a smashed screen but otherwise, fully functional. Yet, this is a cautionary tale, not of pools, but of the cottage industry of people who “fix” broken tech things.

If you are local and find yourself in need of service for a computer or phone, and you find yourself on Route 9 at a place that proclaims to have Computer Answers, back out of the parking lot. You will find no answers there. For those of you who are not local, make sure that wherever you go, parts are in stock for your device, or just buy the insurance. Simply put, don’t be me.

I went to the aforementioned store over a week ago with both phones, the waterlogged and the cracked screen. My instructions were simple: if you can dry out the one, great, if not, please put a new screen on the other. Call me and let me know how things go.

I waited three days and then went back to the store, where much confusion ensued, as in the gentleman working there couldn’t find my phones, and then when he did, proclaimed that he had never handled an iPhone. Which I believe, because he literally did not know how to turn it on. I instructed from behind the counter and wondered what kind of training one must have to proclaim that they are the fixer of tech things. Soon, it was obvious that the answer was none. Truly, none.

The gentleman deduced that since the phone had been packed in silica gel packs for three days and was still not turning on, then it was dead. I understood this. We exchanged glances. Then I asked about the broken screen. “Right! Yes, I have to order that part.”

It took a lot of willpower not to yell. You see, my instructions were simple and a screen isn’t expensive, and if you are thinking, “So what, it was just a phone,” I understand, but I use my phone for medical purposes for myself and for my daughter, so truly it was more than “I can’t use the facebook.”

I asked how long it would take to get the screen and was promised two days at most and that the screen would be replaced the same day as when the part arrived. I waited three days and when I called to ask about picking up was told that my phone wasn’t ready, that the screen might not be in for another five days. I hung up the phone and went to the store, where I calmly lost it, and by virtue of a sit in at the store, waited for an hour and a half for the screen to be fixed by a “technician” who watched a YouTube tutorial on how to complete the service.

At least I got a discount.

But, truth be told, aside from the medical issue, which I did work around, being without a phone was a bit liberating. I was unreachable, like it used to be when I was younger. People had to call my house to find me (or text my wife, which, for her, became annoying quickly). I had nothing to distract me from my day, and so I read more, completed more yard work than I would have, had less busyness in my life because my phone wasn’t constantly chirping at me. It was nice, but in the way a vacation is nice. At some point you feel the need to return home.

And so I’m back, and distracted and able to watch the medical information I need, and hopefully a bit wiser form my disconnected days. At least I know where I won’t go should I hop into my pool with this phone.


Complete and Total Side Note: Look Past comes out 10/4. Pre-order now and make my publisher think I’m someone whose work people are highly anticipating 🙂 Or, so that I have money to replace my next phone. Thanks!

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