He turned my cellphone lemon into lemonade

Hello. You’ve reached Lynda. She doesn’t know how to use her new cellphone so please call her landline.

You may find this shocking and impossible to believe, but I rarely use my cell phone. I have no burning desire to be in constant contact with the people in my life every minute of the day, nor am I interested in posting pictures on FaceBook or Instagram of what I had for lunch or the colour of my latest pedicure. Therefore, it came as a shock to me one day when I picked up my handy dandy flip-phone to call my honey and discovered it was dead—not resting, not asleep, and definitely not on a time-out. When I called my phone provider, I was informed that my equipment was so old and outdated, they no longer supported it.

My former phone plan that I paid a mere $18.31 per month for, including tax, suited my requirements just fine, so I made a call to Zoomer Wireless to see what kind of a deal we could do for a new phone. We came to a mutually agreeable arrangement that resulted in them sending me a new phone to catapult me into the twenty-first century. A couple of days later, my shiny new Samsung phone arrived with some pamphlets and basic instructions.

That’s when my problems started. You see, tech suppliers probably assume everyone is as savvy about this stuff as they are and they take for granted we old-timers know the basics about their equipment. After sitting down and looking at all the scary bits and pieces sitting on my coffee table for a few days, I decided to dive in and see if I could set it up, according to the instructions provided. I’m not very good at linear thinking and following instructions, but one simple but critical instruction was missing. And that critical bit of information left me with a useless phone and a serious case of embarrassment.

Does anyone know how to turn this thing on?

I have never once in my life changed a SIM card. Zoomer Wireless naturally assumed I probably had (hasn’t everybody?) but they were wrong. If there’s a chance it can be done incorrectly, I’ll do it—and, naturally, I did. I managed to extract the little tray on the side of the phone where the SIM card should go but I swear to God I did not know that the little SIM card I punched out of the credit-card-sized thingie that came in the package was supposed to fit onto that tray before being inserted back into the phone, together.

After I inserted just the tiny piece of plain white cardboard I separated from the larger card into the slot on the side of the phone, I thought I was done. Then, I thought “It seems odd that I still have this little black bracket left over.” And my phone didn’t turn on. I tried to jam it into the slot too but it wouldn’t go.

You see, it seems the SIM card fits into the little black tray; it does not function independently. You probably already knew that but I didn’t. The nice guy at Zoomer Wireless suggested I wrap a piece of tape, sticky side out, around the corner of something thin and see if I could fish the piece out of the slot that way. It didn’t work.  I’ve tried a safety pin, tweezers, even tiny forceps. The little card is buried so deep in that slot it’s never going to come out.

All of this happened pre-COVID-19 when we could still go out to stores. The next step was to visit the young-uns who work at one of the cell phone kiosks in the mall and see if they had any suggestions. They told me my phone was ruined and I needed to buy a new one because the new phones are all sealed and they couldn’t open it. Naturally. Further calls to my provider had the same message.

Then, my husband, who knows even less than I do about technical thingies (he doesn’t even know how to use the PVR on the TV and I have to show him every single time he wants to watch something), suggested I try going to the Telus Mobility store since they carry Samsung. Lo and behold, when I went there, they referred me to a tiny little independent storefront place that is licensed for Samsung, Google, and other brand names. It has a funny name like “You Break It, We Fix It”, or something obvious like that for people just like me.

Maybe she could show me how to use it.

The young guy there glanced at my phone while I told him my long, pitiful story. He took it into the back room and returned a couple of minutes later with my problem solved and my phone set up and ready to. And the best part is . . . he said, “No charge”. Can you friggin’ believe it? After I left I felt I should have given him something as he’d just saved me the cost of a new phone. Greatly relieved, I took my new phone home, set it back on the coffee table, marveled at its untapped capabilities, and there it sits to this day. I’m afraid to use it. I guess you could say I’m afraid to drink the Kool-Aid a.k.a. lemonade. Can you blame me?

The moral of this story is . . . well, actually, there is no moral, but I do know for sure my phone’s smarter than its owner. I need to get with the times and keep up with technology or I’ll be unable to call for help when I get a flat tire or need to share a picture of what I had for lunch. I suppose I should upgrade from dialup and Eudora while I’m at it (just kidding!!). While the world is racing toward disaster, I’m in the slow lane. But at my age, that’s not a bad place to be.

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2 years ago

I feel your pain….I dearly miss my flip phone😞. Now we have Alexa waking us up and putting us to bed. If my teckie husband goes before me, I’m getting rid of all the technical stuff, getting my land line back and buying a dog♥️.

Gail from Oakville

Lynda Davis
2 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

I hear ‘ya girlfriend! There are advantages to a non-techie husband. We changed our programmable thermostat back to the old-fashioned kind that we could operate without a degree from M.I.T. Sigh!

2 years ago

Good tale Lynda. I’ve has one for a few years and am still just scratching the surface – I’m sure. Hang in there!

Lynda Davis
2 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

I can now use the Uber Eats app and deposit cheques in the bank with an app but I still don’t really know when my phone is on or off. Thanks for your comments.