When I came back an hour later, I suspected something was amiss when the technician said, “Um, it’s a little trickier than I thought. Give me another 20 minutes, OK?”
I said sure, and went back out to my car to wait, knowing I could pass the time by checking emails or watching baseball highlight videos on my phone. Oops, I didn’t have the phone. I had to pass the time with only my thoughts. It was a painfully long 20 minutes.
Then I went back inside and the technician looked like he was about to cry. “I hate to say this,” he blurted out, “but your phone is, um, it’s dead. I’m so sorry! I accidently cut a wire when removing the old battery, and it just, well, it just won’t work anymore.”
He was so sincerely upset, it occurred to me that he possessed more compassion than many surgeons. “That’s all right. You did everything you could,” I said, while patting him gently on the shoulder.
I immediately grabbed him by the throat and screamed, “You idiot! Why didn’t you remind me to do that BEFORE you murdered my loved one?!”
To his credit, the electronic store technician replaced the dead phone the next day with a new one, the exact same make and model. And it was free.
So, I have three observations about this ordeal. First, I depend on my smartphone way more than I thought; probably a lot more than is healthy. Besides work-related phone calls, emails, and text messages, I use my phone to watch videos and listen to music. It also functions as my GPS, address book, camera, photo album, alarm clock, book library, flashlight, calculator, weather forecaster, and sports scoreboard. Being without it for more than a day (32 hours and 12 minutes, but who’s counting?) caused severe withdrawal symptoms.
Finally, it turns out the replacement phone, although “brand new” in the sense that it had never been used before, was manufactured the same time as my old phone, about four years ago. It’s been sitting in a warehouse somewhere all this time. It does everything my old phone did, but just like the old one, it has a weak battery! Isn’t that ironic? I’m right back where I started.
I’m pretty sure I won’t be asking that same technician to install a new battery. At this point, we’ve both been through enough trauma. Also, I probably shouldn’t violate the restraining order.