The Reliance on Technology and the Nice T-Mobile Staff

Posted on November 2, 2011

Yesterday, about 4.00pm, I went to make a phone call on my super dooper Blackberry Bold phone/computer gadget when suddenly, for no apparent reason, the screen turned white with a little black message in the middle that was only possible to see with a magnifying glass.The message read 5527 Error. Marvellous, absolutely spiffing stuff, how stupid I am to have got to the the point that I now rely on such gadgets to function in my daily life, everything is on the bloody thing, times of appointments, cricket lessons and hundreds of numbers and notes. What a pain in the arse this was, the only way to sort it out was to visit the numerous open forums on the Internet to discover a cure to allow me to reboot the whole bloody thing without losing all the information. Fat Chance.

I love Internet forums, some are really helpful, but most descend in to abusive anarchy pretty rapidly, such is the anger and frustration of those helplessly trying to solve problems themselves or to help others solve theirs.

“Hi, I have a Blackberry 6700 and it appears to be jammed given an error of 5527”

“Hey dude, I had this happen to me man, I held down the escape key and rebooted in safe mode and upgraded the OS.  Works fine now, good luck dude.”

“Thanks, tried the escape key, nothing, by the way what’s an OS?

“OS means Operating System…duh!…..It sounds like you may have a JAVA problem dude, one way to solve it maybe to wipe the system of any new APPS. Go to C drive/programme files/ResearchInMotion/Blackberry Click on drop down, quickly remove the battery, then reinstall and click unknown pin, this will confuse the programme and allow you to wipe the programme, then you will be up and running again.”

“Nope, didn’t work either.”

“Ok dude, now disconnect the Blackberry, stamp on it ten times and throw it as hard as you can at a wall (breeze block is preferable). Either that or fuck off and leave me alone.

“That didn’t work either thanks anyway…….Dude!!”

So that was that then, I borrowed a Nokia 6230i  (which, in fact is a phone from 2002, not a car) and spent a further half an hour of my life trying to remove predictive text before the battery went dead. However, unlike the spiteful little bastard Blackberry Bold, at least it worked. You can do phone calls and all sorts on it, it is a great bit of technology, it really is, go and get one for yourself. Now, when I think about about it, I only use a mobile phone for calling and texting, a Blackberry is wasted totally wasted on me, I can barely see the keyboard, so sending a two line email would take me approximately a week, so I don’t bother, I would be better off with a carrier pigeon. I send emails from my computer, that’s what I bought it for.

Nokia 6230i : Great for phoning people with

So, next up was a visit to the T-Mobile store in the Basingstoke town centre, a place (Basingstoke not T-Mobile) that saps your soul of any happiness that remains in you from the very second you emerge from the grey concrete multi storey car park, in to a place that is a home to a section of the human race suffering from a combination misfortune and abject misery. Festival Place is just about the most ironic name that you could give it, it was a quite brilliant marketing strategy that must have had the execs weeping with laughter as they came up with it in a brainstorming session. It is safe for you all to assume that I don’t like the Basingstoke town centre, but in reality, it is no worse than Reading, Southampton, Woking and many other provincial towns, and, it is actually nicer than Poole (horrendous) Dorchester (in a coma) Andover (Mobility Scooter City) Portsmouth (where do I start on Portsmouth?) and Bracknell.

I was desperate for a dose of personified ineptitude in T-Mobile, I needed some more rant material to keep in line with the general negativity of this post and it has to be said, the early signs looked encouraging. The young lady, who appeared to be the manager, was at first, pretty abrupt, asking me if I had reloaded the software or taken the battery out and re-started it. When I told her I had wasted four hours of my life trying all of these things, she became more sympathetic and immediately offered to send it away for repair under contract, but first I had to show her my company ID for security purposes. Guess what?….Yeah you guessed it baby, I didn’t have any ID with me, not even a credit card and despite pleading with her better nature she was having none of it as rules are rules you see, so I had to go home and get some headed paper or a utility bill.

I skipped joyfully through the shoppers back to the car park, whistling a happy tune along the way, why wouldn’t I be happy? I was going to visit Festival Place twice in one day, perhaps I could even treat myself to a sandwich from Greggs, there is three of them to choose from in the space of about 800 yards in Basingstoke after all. I returned within the hour, my blood pressure now approaching record breaking levels and by now I was looking for a fight, this poor girl was about to become the subject to a rant she had never experienced before, the fact that my phone had crashed and that I had no ID was her fault after all, and I was going to let her know it, she was going to earn the pittance T-Mobile paid her by pacifying me.

Then something happened. She was absolutely annoyingly wonderful. She greeted me with an “I’m sorry I sent you home” smile and explained everything that I had to do in detail, just to try make the whole experience of losing my phone contacts less painful. She assisted her young colleague dutifully with the paperwork involved, helping him patiently with stuff he was clearly doing for the first time and allowed him to proceed with the bits he could do on his own. She was very young (20 maybe) but she was an adept tutor and had a refreshingly honest and knowledgeable attitude towards the pro’s and cons of Blackberry’s. I really warmed to her ability to stay calm and in control and this came to the fore when an unsavoury looking trio of girls about her age came in and starting screeching about a bill or something, they reminded me of the type who seemed to be perpetually in Basingstoke  accident and emergency or stood outside Asda with devil dogs. They scared me, they looked brutal, however, the T-Mobile girl dealt with them firmly and calmly, she deserves great credit for that.

The next time you are in one of these phone stores, check out the custom, it appears that everyone is there either to complain or try to get something for nothing, it can’t be great to have to put up with that all day. So if anyone (Nick?) knows any of the top bods at T-Mobile, could you please make sure the girl at the Basingstoke branch gets a bit of credit, or perhaps even a small share of the fat profits? she desrves it.

Now, how do I get that fucking predictive text off this thing?

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