That time I waited 2 hrs for a phone on Black Friday

I've now owned 2 iPhones in my lifetime/ 7 days.

I’ve now owned 2 iPhones in my lifetime/ 7 days.

I had one of those, “Why am I doing this?” moments yesterday.

I was at an electronics store (Best Buy to be specific) on Black Friday.

And, the absurd thing of it all is I wasn’t even there at the crack of dawn to get the 50 percent off iPhone 5c or super-great-door-buster-deal on an HD flat-screen TV or whatever the promotions were. I was there to exchange my iPhone 5 at 8 p.m.

I made the mistake of thinking the store would be “normal” a few hours before its closing time. And, since my dad and I had originally gone to the store and purchased our new smartphones together, he was with me for the exchange. (An hour into waiting he was like, “See, Kristin, we should have just left and come back early in the morning!)

We ended up waiting longer to see a customer service representative than I did for any ride at Disneyland earlier this month. We waited for just a little over two hours. (Yes, I could have watched a full-length feature film in that time or raced a half-marathon with time to spare in that time!)

Why was I needing to exchange my phone when it was only six days old? It was acting “glitchy” all day Friday. It was “pressing buttons” when I wasn’t even holding the phone. (Examples: While talking on speaker phone, multiple buttons “were pushed” and the beep sound kept going off every time this happened! The phone called one of my contacts when I didn’t touch the screen at all. When I was in the middle of texting, random letters would appear and I couldn’t delete them!) It was basically acting possessed. I wasn’t going to deal with it. I was going to get a new phone.

I just did it on the wrong day.

I waited in line and my dad periodically went off to go look at other products around the store. Every time someone knew came to the line and asked me how long I had been waiting, they couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it either. (“Why am I here again?”)

On top of it all, I wasn’t even sure if the store had the iPhone 5 (regular one) in stock! The phone lines were backed up and I couldn’t get to a real person when I tried calling Best Buy before we went to the store. I guess the employees were just busy assisting all these people who were waiting in the super-long line!

When it was finally our turn, it felt like we had won the lottery. (I know, dramatic, right?) When we told the guy what we were here for he quickly responded and walked over to the cabinet to get a new phone. He was rummaging moving boxes around, checking each shelf for an iPhone 5.

My palms were starting to perspire. Did I just wait in that line — and make my dad wait in that line — for more than 2 hours for nothing? They can’t be sold out of the phone! This one is not a Black Friday deal!

The man seemed to have found the right phone and came back to the counter. It was the last iPhone 5 in stock. It was in white (the same color as my original) but had the last one been black I wouldn’t have cared. I was tired. I was exhausted. I had not gotten “real sleep” since the night of the 27th, which was the night before Thanksgiving. Besides a few car ride naps, my cousin and I hadn’t slept! We had been out shopping — but not really buying much since the deals were not that great — from midnight to 10 that morning! That’s insane, right?? Next year I am sleeping! (You can quote me!) I was even dozing in and out while watching the Apple Cup later in the day! That’s how tired I was!

So, after all of that, I was here at Best Buy.

Because I had backed up everything on my iPhone to the cloud, we didn’t have to stay longer than necessary at the store. I could just transfer my apps, contacts, photos, etc. when I got home, the employee said.

But, we did have to wait for the phone to turn on. He wanted to make sure that it was a working new phone. That took what felt like an eternity.

“I’ve been working the past seven Black Fridays and this has been the worst Black Friday,” the man said as he waited for my phone to charge up even a little bit to turn it on. At this point, it was 10:30 p.m. and the store had closed at 10 p.m. There were two other guys helping other customers with three more customers waiting in the phone line.

When the guy helping us added that he worked until 1:30 in the morning that day and had to be at work at 7 a.m. to closing (which was now past but he was obviously still there) and then had to be at work again at 7 a.m. the next day, all I could think was “Dear, god, why???? Why do have a day of shopping that just makes everyone tired???”

Finally the “eternity” passed and the phone turned on! My dad quickly called my number and the phone rang. (His name did not appear since nothing new was loaded but at least we knew it was working!) 

This morning when I was syncing my new phone to my computer to restore the “old phone” settings (everything that was on my first iPhone,) I had feelings of “Ahhhh, technology!” combined with “Ughhh, technology! (I hate you, if this was my flip-phone, I would be having no problems!)”

But, if this was my flip-phone, I wouldn’t be able to FaceTime, Snapchat and tell Siri what to do.

Anyway, the take-home message here is that Black Friday is called Black Friday for a reason. And, if you can avoid an electronics store on this one day of the year, I would advise you to do so.

Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.

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From flip-phone to iPhone — A whole new world

For 10 years 5 months, I’ve owned a cellphone. And, for 10 years 5 months, I owned a flip-phone. (Yes, it’s in the past now).

I used to be one of those “stuck-up” people who would get annoyed when others constantly checked their phones. You’re at a restaurant and they want to check the score of the game. They want to see if they have a new text message, tweet, voicemail and/or Snapchat. They want to “check-in” on Facebook. They want to immediately verify with the Internet that some trivial fact that came up in conversation is true or not.

I didn’t want to be “those people.” I wanted to be in the present. I wanted to give the people I’m with my full, undivided attention.

I hope to still do that. But, now I also have a smartphone — an iPhone.

When my dad and I walked out of Best Buy —each with our spanking brand new phones — he had his in his pocket and I had mine back in its original box and in my purse.

“Ummm … how are you going to hear if someone calls or texts you?” he asked as we got into the car.

“It doesn’t matter. I need to protect it,” I replied. I figured I’d buy a case on Amazon rather than forking over $30 at the store for one.

It’s so sleek. And new. And — awesome.

Hammin' it up with the new phone

Hammin’ it up with the new phone

With Bryce’s help, I was able to connect my phone to “the cloud” (iCloud) and then immediately see the photos I had taken on our Sunday hike on my laptop! (I have a MacBook Pro).

It’s so easy! It’s so convenient! I can’t believe all that I have been missing out on. I could get used to this. Good-bye USB cords …

Hike photo taken with the phone!

Hike photo taken with the phone!

It’s still so new and a bit overwhelming. I feel like it takes me twice as long to compose a text now that I have to press each letter out rather than quickly type messages using T9 with the flip-phone. (Is there a T9 app out there??) I added a few Apps like Instagram and Snapchat but I had to ask Leah via a text how to add the banner of text in Snapchat because I couldn’t figure it out. (She told me how in none other than a Snapchat, of course!)

I was very hesitant in turning in my flip-phone for a smartphone because of what happened in winter of 2011. I went from this to this.

But, I think I will stick with the iPhone and not return it after a week like I did the Android. And, I’m going to try my darn hardest to not become one of those plugged-in-all-the-time people. I have three email accounts and only one is logged in on my phone. I’m not planning on doing online shopping with the phone. And, blogging? I haven’t even downloaded the WordPress app. (I’m just assuming that there is an app for it). I prefer writing on a computer, anyway.

There’s only so much a phone can to. And, it seems as though this iPhone of mine can do a lot.

If I don’t answer your calls, it’s probably because I have yet to figure out how turn up the volume on my ringer. Or, I may be preoccupied with Instagramin’ my latest masterpiece.

Hashtaggin’, retweetin’ and followin’

Today, I learned how to “effectively” use a hashtag.

Yes, I am guilty of being one of those annoying Facebook-types who sometimes uses a hashtag on Facebook posts for no reason at all …

I actually had to do a little Internet search to figure out how hashtags are actually used. (And, yes, this made me feel like I am a 65-year-old trapped in a 25-year-old’s body. Whatever, no big deal). I wasn’t even embarrassed to tell Alex about this incident (which was soon tweeted about on none other than Twitter. Evidence below).

Clearly, I have no shame. And, Alex is not ashamed to have me as a friend ...

Clearly, I have no shame. And, Alex is not ashamed to have me as a friend …

So, there you have it. I’m on Twitter. Follow me! (Or, not. I’m not the boss of you).

The real challenge will be figuring out strategic times to tweet. (I don’t own a smartphone if you don’t recall). And, I don’t really see myself carrying around my 2006 MacBook Pro — gosh, I do sound old, don’t I? — everywhere with me in order to take photos and tweet them.

For now, I will go tweet about this Twitter-induced blog post.

@KristinOkinaka

 

Yes, I know, I have a StupidPhone

I arrived at Bryce’s apartment a little annoyed. My salutation included a “So, how come you didn’t answer my call?”

“Which one? You called like three times in a row,” was the response I received.

After a quick back and forth of “no, I didn’ts” and “yes, you dids” I checked my phone’s history.

7:43 p.m.

7:43 p.m.

7:43 p.m.

7:43 p.m

7:43 p.m.

7:44 p.m.

The flip-phone had failed me. Even a stupid flip-phone can butt dial. And, six times at that!

“I stopped answering because I just kept hearing you talking to Alex or someone,” he said.

I was still slightly in disbelief that my trusty little (stupid) flip-phone could butt dial someone. All the buttons are protected from this happening by being covered!

The culprit? The side volume button. I hit that button to make my alarm go into snooze when I use my phone to get up in the morning. I had no idea that other than that (and controlling the volume) it had any other power. Apparently, if you press it, and keep pressing it, it will call the last person you talked to.

Stupid, stupid, phone. (But no, I am still not convinced in getting a Smart phone).

A shout out to the birthday duo: Happy birthdays mom and dad!

The story, is that my mom is an avid Solitaire player. I actually do not know if she is any good, though I have walked by her playing on the computer and have seen all the cards shuffling (flying?) on the screen, signifying a successful game.

For a while, she had been saying she wanted “a Facebook” so she could have “little friends” of her own. My brother and I ignored these comments. Finally about a month ago, she created a Gmail account, which led to her being able to make a Facebook account. The next week she even got an iPad. These are all really big steps for this woman — I mean, look, she was calling Facebook, “a Facebook!”

She mainly uses her iPad to play Solitaire — now whenever and wherever she feels like. She hardly has any Facebook activity.

The friend request she had sent my brother had been pending for a long time. He never accepted it. But, one day he logged onto his Facebook on her iPad and forgot to log out — rookie mistake! — and she therefore accepted her own friend request herself through his account. Like any mother, she perused his friends. Later asking him, why he is friends with so-and-so and so-and-so. I had to explain that Facebook friends are not all real friends.

She went on to play her Solitaire, bored with our Facebook musings.

My brother and I discussed getting her an iPad case for her birthday, but then we decided there would be no point since it never leaves the house. She’s probably at home playing Solitaire right now — even if it is my dad’s birthday today.

Happy birthday to my dad, and happy birthday tomorrow to my mom!

[If you are wondering why this was such a mom-focused post, take a look at last year’s parental birthday post! The story was that my dad almost drowned one of his sisters …]

The kids are all right

The kids here use iPod Touches in the classroom! I mean, I’m sure their savvy parents use iPhones so they are used to the hi-tech-ness of it all anyway. They are learning to read (with the iPods). They record themselves reading aloud, and then they playback the recording later where they listen intently on the words that they mess-up/slip-up on. If there’s a word they don’t know, they can look up the definition on one of the many APPS loaded on said iPod. And then they will record a second perfect version. Yay, education. So what if we have to cut teachers’ pay (or full teaching positions!) These kids have iPods! And that is cool!

Little first-grader Aiden uses his iPod to take a picture of himself and inserted a talking bubble that reads “I’m looking smart.” Don’t worry. The kids are all right. And the future for them (and us) is bright — because they have iPods in the classroom that help them with reading comprehension!

A Lenten Failure

I’ve run a marathon without walking. How’s that for not failing? I have a job in the dying field of journalism graduating with the class of 2009, where our president directed words to us along the lines of being the closest to his heart because we were graduating in a horrible economic climate. How’s that for not giving up? — You don’t even want to know the number of cover letters I sent out.

When I set my mind to do something, I do it.

However, I cannot get myself to stop using Facebook. (And why do I always capitalize the “f”? Their logo is lowercase!)

I gave up Facebook for lent.

Less than a week into lent, I checked into my account to do some “housekeeping.” I needed to read a message from a friend who is working abroad to figure out what time we would be Skyping. I needed to check information on the Nike Women’s Marathon — apparently the company likes to keep 2011 info on Facebook and old 2010 race details on the website. I “needed” to accept a friend request so that the person did not think I was just sitting on the decision for 40 days. After spending less than 10 minutes using Facebook solely for the three mentioned tasks, I quickly logged off. No checking friends’ latest status updates. No looking at recently uploaded photos from various getaways.

But, as the days passed on, I was itching to go back. As sad as it is, people update others on their lives by posting on Facebook just as equally (if not more) as they do in real life. And yes, they are things that I would find out eventually, or my (close) friends will tell me in person either when I see them or over the phone. I still felt out of the loop.

They assume I should already know! They expect that if it is on Facebook, word will somehow get back to me, or that I will see what they post!

At least my cousin took the time to text me that she got into one of the local university’s here. But other than that, “No, sorry, I did not know you were planning to go to grad school, I haven’t been on Facebook.” “You got a cat? I hadn’t seen the photo, I haven’t been on Facebook.” “Happy early birthday! Oh wait, your birthday is today?! Sorry, I forgot, Happy Birthday!” (I haven’t been on Facebook to check the exact date, I am bad with remembering birthdays other than the month.)

It now just seems best to break my Lenten promise. Afterall, being a reporter, I need my “news” timely. Hopefully I won’t go to hell.