I Had Lots to Learn - Monica Rosier
20" x 16" x .5"
No Mobile Network
Joan H. Carter
The message popped up on my cell phone screen as I was about to send a text message. I’d never lost that my mobile connection before. I’d lost Internet before—sometimes it took several hours, or even a day or two to get it back. Must be a temporary outage, I thought. I’ll just wait a few hours.
The next day, still no phone! I felt lost. I’m an old lady, living alone. What if I have an emergency? Email worked, but that wasn’t the same. On my computer, I researched possible fixes. I saw instructions and a video on checking the “sim” card, whatever that was, but no info on how to get at it.
I drove to the Verizon store where I’d bought the phone six years earlier. An agent there last year had magically restored my phone. No such luck. A different agent examined my phone and told me, “We don’t have technicians. You need to go to the fix-it store by Verizon on Archer Road.”
I’d seen that Verizon store on Archer at 34th Street, perhaps the busiest, largest, most dangerous intersection in Gainesville. Where can I park? As I approached the corner in heavy traffic, I spied a parking lot and pulled in. Kitty-corner across the street was a fix-it shop. Waiting for the walk signals—it felt like forever—I watched apprehensively as the cars whipped by in every lane,. Then I worried about the fast countdown of seconds as I hobbled stiffly across each broad street,.
At the fix-it place, the young attendant examined my phone, tried to pry it apart, and informed me he had no idea how to fix it.
The Verizon store where I could buy a new phone was just across the street. I tackled another street-crossing and hunted for the door, hidden in back. Agent Austin thought maybe he could fix my phone and opened it to check the sim card. No. My phone needed the discontinued 3G network. Its operating system couldn’t be updated to use a new sim card.
So, new phone. Same make—should mean easy transition, shouldn’t it? Austin got it running and told me I could easily personalize it with its good instructions. After a scary walk in the dark across Archer Road to reach my car, I drove home.
Using the new phone began. Little Buddy, my old phone, could still connect to the Internet. But I needed the new phone for calling and text. I disconnected an incoming call by tapping the announcing icon. No, I must swipe, Austin had told me, not tap. To place a call, I tapped the phone icon, but I got a list of contacts, not a dial pad. A friend said she’d sent a text message, so I tapped the messages icon, saw a screen demanding I prioritize SMS. But when I agreed, nothing happened, no message.
I had lots to learn.