A faithful flip phone user investigates a new alternative

Friends’ nagging prompts a trip to the phone store

Harriet Cuthbert. Contributed photo

I tried to do the right thing. Honestly, I had all good intentions of finally pleasing my children and various friends who had constantly berated and mocked me for using (and liking) my ancient flip phone — only eight years old but prehistoric in Steve Jobs terms.

“Why do you refuse to update your phone?!” they screamed. The smart phones do everything, including making phone calls. They take photos, shoot videos, provide services through endless apps, and let you listen to music and watch movies — while my dumb phone allows me to make calls and take very blurry photos.

I prepared myself for my initial visit to the phone store. I wrote a list of at least 10 questions and gave myself a $100 limit on purchasing a phone. I needed for the sales person to answer all my questions, thereby convincing me that an upgrade would be vital if I wanted a successful future.

Just about everything in the store looked somewhat alien to me. I was a stranger in a strange land. I knew the words were in English, but I could not define any of them. I figuratively glued my feet to my spot in line because, unfortunately, the shop did not provide numbered slips of paper or a sign-in sheet. It was only 10 a.m., but a long line was quickly forming — OMG, it was Comcast all over again.

Quietly convincing myself to stay put and not have a panic attack, I waited it out.

After about half an hour, I was called over to the counter by a male in a company T-shirt. When I showed him my phone, I think he guffawed. And then when I showed him my list of questions, he basically laughed hysterically, especially when he saw my monthly rate, which, he said, is not even available to employees.

After we conducted a most informative and honest conversation, the sales person reassured me that my phone was in excellent shape and despite all the nagging of “helpful” friends, I would manage very well with my very old flip phone, even though I would not make it with the cool crowd.

And, who knows? Maybe in a few more years, when it is declared a classic, I can sell it on eBay and make enough money to buy a smart phone.