I was informed, sometime ago, by my son, that I would need to change the fruit with which I use to telegraphically connect, from the wild bramble, to the orchard grown variety. It would, apparently, be much easier to use the face to face function, than to resort to other methods of visual communication. My current device, although state of the art two and a half years ago, is now considered an artifact that is of museum quality.
My conversion from the basic call maker, to the more sophisticated smart variety, took time. The original primocane was provided with our office telephone system, and as I was the only one using archaic equipment for verbal messaging over the airwaves, it seemed appropriate that I should be the one to receive the new toy! Had I not, a year later, been a randomly selected competition winner, receiving the latest upgrade, I daresay that I would still be making calls on the ancient, hands-free, cellular appliance that was originally bequeathed. I chose not to follow in the footsteps of those on our family plan and revert to the other variety of android, because not only was I familiar with my phone, but my main objective in said item, was to make calls, and send messages. If I had wanted a device that was of the highest intellectual grade, (e.g. smarter than the others,) I would have opted for the one that shares its name with that of a star system, complete with interstellar mediums! (You can't get much smarter than that!) My needs are few, and I have not yet had an occasion where it has been imperative that I open an email, or access social media, before arriving at a stop where I can sit down and open my laptop! The terms 'convenience' and 'essential' are still considered by me to be mutually exclusive!
However, my soon to be born grandchild will be the product of an orchard fruit user, and if I wish to have regular any time, any place, anywhere visual contact, my options have become limited. It became time to swap the 'old faithful', for a newer model!
In a very short space of time, I was once again, the victim of 'agism', and possibly 'sexism'. I was full aware of the different price options. I would never have entered such an establishment without doing my homework! The most economical choice was to extend our current contact. This particular choice was not recommended by the salesman, who was already bored with the middle aged woman who wanted to become part of the 21st century scene. He babbled on for some considerable time about the lifetime of the battery. I would be 'recharging' at least twice a day. I believe he concluded this would be enough for my tiny, female, aging brain to comprehend. I told him that I used my phone primarilly for calls, and messaging, but this information seemed to hit the ring in his ear, rotate a couple of times, and then fly off into nano-space! After I was told that a new model was probably going to hit the market in the next couple of months, it was firmly diagnosed that it would be in my best interests to wait. Thinking that he had perhaps had a change of heart, or mind, as to my apptitude, I foolishly asked, 'Why?' Apparently, the suggestion was not so as I could enjoy the latest technology, but because the older version would then be sold off for a much cheaper price and I would not have to be tied into any sort of agreement. Quite astounded at the lack of professionalism, let alone sales technique, I asked why I could not purchase the phone, and extend my contract? The verbal garbage that was used to answer me was in no way relevant to my question. I could only conclude that I had eaten in to his break time, and that he obviously had far better things to do, than to actually do his job! I left the shop both dissatisfied and disappointed.
Dana and I returned to the store the following evening. After explaining my expectations to someone who was far less patronising, my choice was considered appropriate, but it was relayed that the battery was not as good as it could be, and I could possibly find myself having to 'recharge' every evening. I concurred that I understood, and the purchase was imminent. However, there appeared to be a slight discrepancy with Dana's account. The lady who had promised him the universe, when transferring from one account to another, when we moved from our downtown office to our current location, which would incorporate all phones, had in fact only given him a galaxy (and not the smart variety!) We sat for a further 30 minutes while the salesman attempted to make contact with the base, to correct the intergalatic disaster, and had an opportunity to discuss my impending telephonic doom! He was visibly amazed at my knowledge of the extended android community, and their components. I advised him that on my numerous visits to trade shows, I had been privy to the most current information. My exuding confidence in my passing remarks was not intimidating, but caused him to take me a lot more seriously than his counterpart! Considering that my knowledge was, indeed, obtained from a reputable source, he suggested that if I wanted the most up to date equipment that the market could offer, I would be more aptly suited with the smarter phone, and an orchard tablet, thus affording me the opportunity to face to face communication, on one component, whilst enjoying a far superior plane with my hand-held device. Understanding the advanced aspects of technology, did not mean that I wanted to enjoy the fruits (albeit this being a contradiction in terms, as it was the fruit that was the less sophisticated option!) I explained that I was very attached to my bramble. I would resist, for as long as I could, the temptation to use my phone for everything!
We left the store, having purchased a tablet, and returned home. The regret did not permeate until the morning. After I had attempted to fit the square peg into the round hole, I concluded that the tablet would not fit into my 'weekend' handbag. I then looked at my electronic items I take on my travels, and deduced that I did not need yet another tablet! What I needed was my first choice; a new phone! Samantha sent a message to 'cousin' Charlotte, who had the item I was wanting, and she said that it was a good choice. She did reiterate the lack of battery life, but agreed that her use of the phone was prolific. Taking the matter back into my own hands, I called the main fruit shop, located in the mall, and spoke to a representative. He confirmed that I would be satisfied with the phone, and although the tablet is an excellent product, I would be suited to either. I had to decide whether I wanted an additional item in my bag, or just a singular item. By the end of the call I had made up my mind, and Dana returned the tablet to the store, accompanied by Samantha, who decided that she needed to be present in order to make sure that there was no deviation from the plan.
My new yellow phone was received with delight. The screen had already been decorated with a picture of my daughter with her stepfather, both with outrageous expressions on their faces, and several applications had been 'downloaded'. I was given instructions, both verbal by Samantha, and in written form via email, from Dana. Pages were flipped, flopped and dismissed, in a blink of an eye, and before we left the office, I was as au fait with the new device as I would be at a computer controlling the International Space Station! However, I am not a total novice when it comes to electronic communication, and left to my own devices, I can work out how to use most pieces of equipment (including, perhaps, the computer controlling the International Space Station) in a fairly short space of time.
By Friday evening, I had changed my ringtones, sent a couple of messages, set a weekday only timer (which tells me it is the latest time that I can take post to the box, at the office), used the stopwatch, and found out what the weather is like in Cupertino, California (okay, so I didn't reset all the factory applications, only the Matnee variety), as well as Austin, and Hertfordshire! I even managed to take a picture of the screen to show my daughter how very advanced was I! (Although I did have to ask her, via message, how to 'print the screen'.) The battery did eventually run down, and when the screen went black, I plugged in the cord to 'recharge'.
I removed the device from the charger on Saturday morning, and placed it quite easily into my handbag. I did charge Samantha with the task of finding a suitable cover and screen protector, a mission which was accomplished perfectly, and at a very reasonable cost! I discarded the temporary protective covering, which was a bright yellow coozie. Needs must and all!!
The current time is midday on Sunday, and although I have made several calls, used the face to face application, sent many messages and taken a few pictures, my battery shows that I have 68 percent of life remaining, from the Friday night charge. Obviously, my explanation of 'low usage' is much lower than anticipated by the sales people. I do not anticipate having to recharge until at least tomorrow evening. If the only disadvantage to this new bright piece of fruit is the battery life, I see no disadvantage at all. It is more user friendly than my bramble, and the applications are all quite self-explanatory. It even has pictures instead of words, should I ever become illiterate! Whilst having to transport the tablet wherever I went, would have proved a bitter pill to swallow, (couldn't resist!) I am sure it is a most proficient device. I love advanced technology, despite the frightening speed with which it is advancing, and will continue to 'listen and learn'. However, as I said, I will continue to use my phone as a phone, and resist all further usage for as long as possible, and had it not been for my impending grandmotherhood, I know that I would have been content to continue using my bramble.
Apart from a catastrophe of gigantic proportions, (depending on one's opinion,) fruit will not be confined to the bowl, tablets will not just be taken on medical grounds, and I will remain in the minority. However, if the catastophe of gigantic proportions should ever occur, I will not be able to continue sharing the stories of my life, electronically, in ............ another story.