Techno Dependent

I am struggling this week, swimming in a sea of uncertainness and floundering in life’s flotsam without a float.   You may well wonder what could leave a normally together, organised and some might say, efficient person in such a state of disarray.   It was just a little accident; Mini Son did not mean to do it but as he rummaged for some now unknown item he knocked my Iphone into the tumbler of tea I was making my way through.

Mortified by what he had done, he stood transfixed waiting for the whole of Hade’s underworld to engulf his young being.  There is not a malicious bone in his body so how could I be cross.  I did react; not with anger, flames or any other kind of explosive exhibition of emotion.  Instead in a swift cool, calm and collected show of control I fished it out of the cup and began wiping it dry.   One thing I felt were in my favour at the time; the tea was half empty so the phone had only gone in part way.

It took me some time longer to register that I should take the protective cover off and check no liquid may be lurking underneath.  Realising too late, when I did check, tea had seeped in and the phone itself was wet.

The phone deteriorated as tea meandered through the mechanism until I was no longer able to turn it on; well strictly speaking it was already on and I could not turn the device off.   The screen was blank and there was no response to my touch or voice control.

I googled, ‘what to do with a wet iphone’.  The replies are bleak, but putting it in bag of rice was one of the consenting ideas.   For the remainder of this week the phone has lived in a bag of rice, not in my pocket.

All week I have been leaving messages of how to contact me in an emergency with the children and their schools.  I have been ringing people to check that I have not missed appointments.   I did have a dental check-up this week; thankfully they send a SMS reminder to my home number.

You cannot imagine how dependent I have become on that tiny rectangular appliance.

My diary with warning alarms, contact details, notes of what I must bring is on there.  All my phone contacts, many with email addresses I don’t need all the time but when I do they are all stored safely away.    I didn’t realise how often I check the weather, my facebook, my twitters from school.   It was just a gimmick when I downloaded “my weight” and I only weigh in when I am feeling strong enough to cope with it telling the truth: “no weight lost” yet again!  How many times have I weighed myself this week?

I have sample books in my bookstore to see if I want to buy the hard copy later and my weekly menu is stored on notes with a shopping list that is updated as I amend my menus. What of my cycle-ometer?  I can download it again but I will have lost the accumulated trips that I so courageously struggled to complete.  My alarm that gently summons me from slumbers doesn’t go off anymore and I am waking so early in case I oversleep.

I actually feel like the storage part of my brain, where I offload all my baggage to be remembered later, has been cut off from my very being and I am struggling to cope.

Fortuitously, I happened to be on a course in the town where Sexy Sporty Dad bought me the phone as a present last year.    Taking the opportunity to call in at the very shop I asked them to take a look at it.

“Is it still under warranty?”

I couldn’t quite remember the exact date.  It wasn’t an anniversary present as Sexy Sporty Dad is not that romantically inclined but it was certainly around that time as I, in my rose tinted world,  treated it as such.  Our anniversary is on Saturday.

“Whose name is on the account?”

That will be Sexy Sporty Dad as he paid for the handset outright and continues to pay the contract for me.

“I am sorry we can’t do anything without him here”.

But it is my phone and my number.

“Without him we can do nothing; I can’t get past the first page without his authorisation.”

She was unable to tell me when the phone was bought, how long I had left on the contract, if it was possible even to send away without Sexy Sporty Dad giving permission.  I suggested ringing him and dragging him out of his important meeting I knew he was in that afternoon to give permission for them to deal with me.

“He needs to speak to customer services and go through the forms and then they would update his status which would show within 24 hours hopefully.”

Twenty four hours was no good I had parked for 1 hour; that in itself was a problem, having used all my change to park for the course, normally I ring Ringos: the nationwide parking company who run some of the machines.  They have my account details triggered by my calling on my phone and car details.  I just park, call them, it is all automated and I don’t worry about small change. My phone was broken; I couldn’t ring.

Desperate and teary, not sure what I was going to do.  I stumbled over a thank you and left hesitating long enough to ask the name of the manager of the store.  Unsure what I would do with this information as I hadn’t even demanded to see him, and they had not been rude just unhelpful.

The next thing I knew the manager was there; how could he help, obviously he could not divulge any information as it was not my account but let’s have a look.

“Ahh the phone is just out of warranty, by 10 days.  The warranty did not cover water damage, however we could send it away for me and it would cost £150; we would have to discuss any repairs with your partner.”

He is my husband and £150 sounds a lot, couldn’t I get a new phone for less?

“Well yes, surprisingly you are entitled to upgrade the phone, it would cost £59.  Just let me check,  oh yes the faulty handset we will pay you £49 despite it being faulty.”

What were we waiting for?

“We can’t do that, we need your partner here to authorise it; it is his account.”

My husband!

The manager did kindly write everything down as I was not confident at remembering all the details I needed to quote to customer services.

We rang the number, queued forever, while waiting to be answered.  Finally we gave up;   Sexy Sporty Dad promised faithfully he would phone again tomorrow.

Disappointed, I, who does everything online these days, went in to check his account for which I have the access.  I could upgrade the phone and account online.  It took moments to decide which phone to order and to shorten my contract to 18 months for only £5 extra a month. I did inform Sexy Sporty Dad he would be paying.

My new phone has arrived, my baggage store is filling up and I am already feeling back in control.   Will I limit my dependence on this new one, I doubt it. Will I keep it away from tea and any kind of hazard in the future, yes, if for no other reason but for the sake of my marriage! (Says Sexy Sporty Dad.)


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