Thursday, July 16, 2009

One Ringy-Dingy (Part I)

I got a call from my friend, M.E. a little while ago. She launched into the latest chapter in the continuing saga that is her life. But, first, a little background. She is even more technologically challenged than I am, so that should tell you something right off the bat.

When she flatly refused to purchase a cell phone, her son and daughter-in-law gave her one for Christmas and told her to take it with her every time she got in the car to drive to Little Rock or Dallas. A very caring gesture, I thought, but M.E. was incensed. So, I have had to listen to her complaints about it ever since. And, because I choose not to suffer in silence, Jay has had to listen to me talking about her complaints, and has even been drawn in further by having to talk to her himself, because he is her technology guru, and she consults with him every time something goes wrong.

So, one day she called me and said, "My cell phone is broken." Just getting the thing activated in the first place completely defeated her, so I had a mental image of this old lady pounding the phone into little pieces with a meat tenderizer. After a lengthy conversation with Jay, he assured her that he couldn't fix it. But, did she throw it out and tell her son, "Alas, the lovely cell phone you gave me is broken. But, don't replace it, I'll buy myself one?" No, she did not. Because, then, she could have gone back to living without a cell phone, giving him one excuse after another for not purchasing another one, until he threw up his hands and surrendered, like he always did after going head to head with mama.

Instead, she considered this broken Nokia that she hadn't wanted and wasn't actually planning on using, a challenge. First, she went to Walmart, because that's where she thought her DIL had bought it. They disavowed any knowledge of the phones at the local Super Store. This is probably where everything started to go south, because they had encountered M.E. many, many times before with complaints about their products. They may very well have taken the easy way out.

Thus began a journey of epic proportions, in which Jay and I were swept along by her daily reports. Then, she went to the local Alltel store. Of course, they couldn't help her there. The people manning that place can barely find their way to work in the morning. And, this problem was way over their collective head. Subsequently, I heard all about that visit, at length, that afternoon. And, I would personally like to thank the good folks at Alltel for causing me to lose an hour-and-a-half of my life that I will never get back.

She decided that if Alltel didn't have any knowledge of Nokia's pay as you go phone, she would have to deal directly with Nokia. Try as she might, she couldn't manage to speak to a human, although she called every single phone number on the package her phone came in, successfully navigating the extensive menus.

At long last, she found a human who may or may not have been the janitor at Nokia's home offices. He suggested that the battery in her phone might be dead, to which she replied that she had had the battery tested, and it was fine. It was the phone that was defective, and when he couldn't offer a further suggestion, she hung up and called me (why, Lord?).

As a last resort, she decided to send the phone back with a lengthy letter explaining the problem she was having. After that, I figured I would have a respite of at least a week, during which I could pack up and move away, not leaving a return address. But, of course, that is the coward's way out. So, I just enjoyed the peace and quiet for as long as it lasted, which wasn't long enough.

To be continued.

Stay tuned.


Looking to the Stars said...

I love it, you put a chuckle into my day :) I can't wait to read part two. Have a great day!

Margie's Musings said...

I'll bet they send her a new one!

Grayquill said...

Are you sure this is a friend?...You are more patient then I am by far. I got weary of M.E just reading your post...

dc said...

We bought my husbands sister one, she is 84, thought we could talk her into carrying it. She hids it in the back bedroom under a pillow because when it beeps (low battery) her little dog gets scared.

Betty said...

Looking To The Stars: There's never a dull moment with M.E.

Margie: I don't know. It might depend on how mad she was and what she finally said to them.

Grayquill: Jay feels the way you do.

dc: There you Are! Somehow, I lost track of you. And, in the meantime, I take it you've moved? I'll read your past posts to be brought up to date. Thanks for commenting.

Arkansas Patti said...

Better thee than me. Fortunately I am not swift enough to be sought out for solutions. Ignorance IS bliss. Wishing you both luck.

NitWit1 said...

I have had two of those Nokia Alltel phones, pay as you go technology, and the only problem I've had with them is losing them!

They both came from WM. Wait until she forgets to roll over the minutes within 60 days and loses 400 minutes. Wonder whose fault that will be...I've done that twice! <:(

That's after having it programed in to two electronic calendars with alarms and written on the calendar! Duh!

Am I a NitWit1 or not?!!

Gianetta said...

Can't wait to read part 2!

Nancy said...


My poor Mother used to put the remote for the TV in a drawer because she was afraid it would start a fire!

Don't ask why it wouldn't go on fire in a drawer..I don't know and hesitated to ask because that would lead to more complications.

Anonymous said...

Well...I carry a cell phone and I am Soooooooooooo glad that I do! It certainly has kept me "in the loop" so to speak many times! Oh,I am not the swiftest with techno, but I always wanna' learn. Maybe M.E. would love her phone should she have a flat tire someplace remote...I shall look forward to Part 2...LOL
Good post, I ALWAYS laugh at your site...thanks for that, I needed it...

Chancy said...

I cannot wait until the next chapter of this interesting cell phone saga.

Betty said...

Arkansas Patti: She should know better than to ask my advice by now.

NitWit1: The worst part is when they gave her that phone, they also gave her a year's worth of minutes.

MA Fat Woman: I'm working on it.

Nancy: M.E. is suspicious of everything technological. She thinks the computer is the devil's spawn.

Margarethall and Chancy: Thanks.