All I wanted to do was buy a new cell phone during a pandemic
today at 6:00 am
I’m a procrastinator! When I need to make a sorta big money purchase, it takes me months to pull the trigger. When I bought my last laptop, I had it down to two models. Then the procrastination began. I did the online research. I went to my local Best Buy. I went to my not so local Best Buy. I lost track of the amount of stores I visited trying to make a decision. It was ridiculous. It wasn’t as if the stores had different items. Same thing, different location. The salespeople at one store knew me well enough that we were having conversations about other life events besides computers.
One day, I finally decided it was go-time. I was going to buy a Mac. I went to Best Buy, but by the time I arrived the store was closed. I took it as a sign. A sign of what, no one really knows. The procrastination went on for another couple of months. Finally, one day while I was in the store for what seemed like the thousandth time, I saw an open box model of one of my choices. I talked them down another fifty bucks and bought the laptop.
This process started in March and ended in October. Seven months! Finally! I told you I was a procrastinator!
With that as a backdrop as to how I make decisions, I’m now in the market for a new cell phone. Let me rephrase that…..I’ve been in the market for a new cell phone. OY!!!
My current phone is more than three years old. It’s an original Apple SE. Rose Gold! It was my first Apple phone and I loved it. But after three years, it’s slowed down, the battery runs down faster and takes longer to charge. They’re all signs that it’s time is coming to an end. Out with the old, in with the new.
I’ve been wanting to do this since April, but as you can tell from the story at the top, I don’t make doing this kind of decision easy. Plus, when you add in a pandemic where everything was shut down, it became tougher, if not impossible…at least for me.
Like the laptop, I had it down to two different models, both made by Apple. This should be easy, right…just go to an Apple store. BUZZ!! Those stores were closed. Apparently they weren’t classified as an essential business. Damn! But, apparently cell phones companies are essential, so I could check them out there. SCORE….sort of. OY!
I head to the store, play with both models and kind of make a decision….kind of. But there are a couple of problems:
Problem #1: This store doesn’t sell phones outright. You can only put them on their payment plan and pay them off monthly along with your phone bill. SIGH!
Problem #2: Because of the plan I’m on (which is really great), you can’t buy a phone through their payment plan. SIGH!
Naturally, I took this as a sign. BTW, I take almost everything as a sign….just sayin’.
A normal person would have ordered the phone through the Apple website, had it delivered, activated it and been done with it. Because of the pandemic, procrastination and that ridiculous sign thing, I’m not your normal person. Go figure, right.
I decided to wait until the Apple stores opened for business. That happened in the last couple of weeks. YEAH!!! I decided to wait until the novelty wore off a little before going there. Yesterday was the day. Look out world, Howie is getting a new phone!
The store opens at eleven. I get to the mall at noon. Ehhh…one little hour. Should be no biggie, right? It was a biggie!!
I find the Apple store, take a look inside and it’s packed with people. There’s also a line to get in the store. Plus, they want to take your temperature before letting you inside. Sheesh. We start with the temperature taking. I’m good to go. I ask the guy what it showed since I’m kind of neurotic about feeling my head fifty to one hundred times a day. He shows me the thermometer. It says 90 degrees. Seriously…NINETY!! I’m pretty sure it was wrong or I’d be dead. He said it was only a couple of degrees one way or the other. Ehhh….what’s a few degrees among friends in a pandemic that has killed 130,000 people? Pffft!
Next step is to talk to one of their sales folks while I’m still outside the store. I tell her about the two models I’m looking for. They have both. Cool, but that doesn’t help. I asked if they would do the activation and transfer my apps to the new phone. “Sorry. Not during the pandemic. You can go to our YouTube site and they’ll walk you through it, or go to your carrier and they’ll do it for you.”
So….I can walk into an overcrowded store, buy a phone and still have to make another trip or two to get it to work? Uh uh!! Nope. Not today (yesterday actually by the time this publishes)!
But, here’s what she told me…..if I get to the store when it opens….that’s eleven (shaking my head), it’s fairly empty. I can walk in and out of the store safely in a few minutes with a brand new phone. So kids….that’s the plan…at least as of time that I write this.
The Apple store opens in just a few hours. This event that started in April should end today. It took only three months…way less time than my laptop. The procrastination should be over….unless out of nowhere comes a sign. Oh please God, no more signs!