I spent 54 hours without a phone this weekend.
54 hours marked from when I arrived in Virginia for a wedding (shout-out Phelps & Gabby) when I set down my Galaxy S7 for the last time, to 8pm Sunday night when I activated my dear sweet mother’s iPhone 6.
54 hours without use a cell phone.
The craziest part is that time was EASILY the least frustrating experience of my trying to get a new phone, but in order to best articulate this pain, I need to re-wind a few weeks.
Let’s call it July 1st… It was around then that I decided my trusty Samsung Galaxy S7 of three years (three years has gotta be a record for me btw – my phones usually go swimming or are lost playing smashies) was on its last legs. It was starting to not charge well and it was running out of battery insanely quick… it was just clearly time to replace it, and before it died, I decided to act.
I decided to do so because, honestly, I knew there is nothing shittier than not having a phone whatsoever in 2019 – AS EVERYTHING IN YOUR LIFE RUNS OFF YOUR PHONE WHETHER YOU KNOW IT OR NOT…
👏 I 👏 WAS 👏 SELF-AWARE 👏 ENOUGH 👏 TO 👏 REPLACE 👏 MY 👏 PHONE 👏 BEFORE 👏 IT 👏 DIED. 👏 I 👏 SWEAR 👏 TO 👏 CHRIST. 👏
Okay. Deep breaths. I’m getting mad, because it’s taking me back to a dark place, but that’s what this blog is for – to rant and let it all out.
I started poking around for deals and such, and a $299 Google Pixel 3a at Best Buy had my attention.
“$299 for a brand new smart phone!?” I thought to myself, “That seems almost too good to be true! Let’s check it out!”
Off to BestBuy.com for the first of many, many, MANY fuck-up’s.
I try to type in all my information to buy this phone (my number, account, etc) so I can pick it up in a store – or ship it to my house, shit, I didn’t care – and I kept getting an error message that read: “We have received an error trying to process your order. Please try again later.”
PLEASE TRY AGAIN LATER.
Okay! No big deal – I’m in no rush! My current phone is still working – albeit on its last legs – but I can try again tomorrow.
Well, I tried again tomorrow.
And the next day.
Aaaaaand every “next day” until last Sunday when I said, “Tayls, bro, buddy, let’s just go to a fucking store like a grown-up and do this already. Clearly their online store is screwed up and this deal is too good to miss out on.”
So there I am, Sunday, July 14th at about 4pm in a Best Buy… And whattya know – they don’t have one in stock! They told me they get shipments on Monday nights though (worth noting they said they couldn’t take orders to reserve it for some reason) and I had taken that Tuesday off to do shit around the WCS HQ, so I was like, “eh, whatever, I’ll come back Tuesday!”
I arrive and the same manager WITH THE WORST TEETH IN THE FUCKING WORLD goes and gets a Google Pixel 3a from the back.
“Okay, that’ll be $399.”
“No… The signs you have up all over the place say it’s $299.” – me, already tired of this shit. I’m here to get the deal, not pay full price.
“That’s actually for the Sprint Google Pixel 3a, and this is the unlocked Google Pixel 3a. We don’t have the Sprint one unfortunately.”
Right now I’m seething.
I basically VERY CALMLY tell her this is bullshit, that I was here two days ago when they had said they’d get it in stock, so I came back today and you’re still jerking me around.
I asked if she could just get me the Unlocked one for the Sprint price, but of course she couldn’t… or wouldn’t. Whatever the case, fuck that bitch.
I leave the Route 10 Best Buy for what was now the second time.
At this point, I know I’d rather kill myself than give that Best Buy my hard(ish) earned money… At work the next day, I call Best Buy’s customer service number (CALL!! LIKE ON THE ACTUAL PHONE!! AS IF IT’S 1999!!) and they tell me the Best Buy in Paterson has the phone I want.
The following day was Wednesday, two days before my trip to Virginia, I’m like, “this will be cool, I’ll have a nice new phone to take pics at the wedding! Heard the camera is pretty dope on these things! NIGHT SIGHT?! That’ll be LITTTT!!!”
I get to the Best Buy in Paterson after work Wednesday.
I walk in, I tell the guy what I want. They get the phone. He goes to enter all my shit to upgrade my phone.
🚨 ERROR 🚨 ERROR 🚨 ERROR 🚨
Apparently, because my phone is on a business plan account, not a WHATEVER ELSE KINDA FUCKING ACCOUNTS THERE ARE, I couldn’t get the deal.
(NOT SO FUN TECH FUN FACT: Sprint Business plans don’t get to take advantage of sales/promotions that Best Buy advertises… But no one really tells you that ever. But if you have a Sprint Business plan, you have to go to a SPRINT store, not a 3rd party store – like Best Buy… Those fuckers hide that in the fine print.)
“Someone shoot me. SOMEONE TAKE OUT A GUN AND PUT IT TO MY HEAD!!!!” – me in the Paterson Best Buy (to myself).
Honestly, the small victory was finally being told “no.” At least I now knew for a fact my dream of getting a Google Pixel 3a at $299 was dead. Ahh, that sweet release!
Time to nut up and pay full price at a Sprint.
Thursday, after working all day in the city, it’s my last day to try to get this phone before the wedding, I make a trip to Sprint… tail between my legs, ready to pay full price.
I get to the Sprint – I walk right in, no customers before me – I go right up to the guy, “Hey – nice and easy – I’m looking to get the Google Pixel 3a.”
“Cool, what’s your phone number? I just need to confirm you’re eligible for an upgrade.”
I give it to him, knowing damn well I was eligible. I was eligible for like a year, after all my last phone was ancient.
“Ohhhh, is this a business account?” he asks.
“Yeah, why? What’s up?”
“We can’t do upgrades to Sprint business accounts – you need to go to a Corporate Sprint.”
“This isn’t a Corporate Sprint?”
“No, this is a retail Sprint.”
“How would anyone ever know the difference?” I asked knowing damn well whatever answer I received would be unsatisfactory.
“If you go on the website, you’ll see the retail stores and corporate stores are marked differently when you go to store locator.”
BUT HOW WOULD I HAVE KNOWN I NEEDED TO KNOW THE FUCKING DIFFERENCE PAL?!
So I again ask, “so, no matter what – there’s no workarounds… You can’t sell me a phone right now, that I can walk out of here with that’ll work?”
“Nah, sorry man.”
I felt like how Scott Stapp probably felt before he shot up his garage.
I walk out of my, now, what? FOURTH?! This was my fourth store (FIFTH attempt if you’re counting) where I was unsuccessful in trying to buy a new fucking phone… A purchase you’d figure would be easy, given I knew exactly what I wanted and (now) had no problem with the price.
Oh well!! None of this really matters, right? I still have a working phone and I’ll deal with this all after Virginia.
…or so I thought!
I get down to Virginia, used my phone for GPS the whole way down, so admittedly it was worked to the fucking bone, and it was at about 5% battery when we pulled up. I plug her in (nice) and head to the pool at what essentially was The Bachelor mansion.
Life was good.
I come back in at some point to check my phone – black screen.
“Huh, maybe it’s just not charging,” I thought. “Maybe I just need to switch outlets.”
A couple failed charges later, I realize my phone screen light is dead, but it still functions… rendering it LITERALLY FUCKED AND USELESS.
“Okay, well, this sucks but let’s not have it ruin your weekend Tayls! You’re at a wedding! Get blasted, forget your problems (of which there are many) and deal with them Sunday!!”
Well, Sunday came VERY FAST (it was a fun as shit weekend) and with it came a solid hangover, exhaustion that only comes from a 48 hour binge-fest in 100 degree heat and the reminder that my phone is still dead AF.
A quick 6-hour drive back home and now it’s about 4pm Sunday… I walk into my house, which was about 98 degrees (shoutout Nick Lachey), say hi to my dog quick, lookup the nearest Sprint using my laptop (there was one at a mall nearby) and immediately get back into my car.
I need to solve this “lack of phone” thing. I have to do it. I HAVE TO.
I get to the Sprint in the mall which was a FUCKING nightmare because there are ZERO maps in malls (presumably people look at their phones to see where they’re going but, REMEMBER, that’s why I was there in the first place… BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE A WORKING FUCKING PHONE!!). After wandering around the mall that was packed WALL-TO-FUCKING-WALL because it was presumably the only place around with free air conditioning, I finally find this Sprint kiosk.
Three people working there, all of which are busy with someone.
I walk around to see what they have, prices, etc.
Finally an employee frees up, she types in my info to see if I’m eligible for an upgrade – which I was, but the phone bill was overdue!! So I had to pay that in full in order to upgrade my phone.
Fine. WHATEVER. If that’s what needed to be done (and I knew my dad would pay me back), I figured let’s just do it, pay the thing, get a phone and leave.
By the way, I had noticed earlier that they didn’t have the Google Pixel 3a on display, but they did have the Google Pixel 3a XL for $80 more and at this point, $80 seemed like a drop in the bucket – just get me a phone before I blow a fucking gasket.
First, I ask the lady – no Google Pixel 3a.
I say, “Fine, whatever – I’ll take the XL.”
“We actually don’t carry ANY Google products.”
“What products that you guys display DO you actually carry?” – actual words out of my mouth.
Basically only phones that were around $1,000: Samsungs or iPhones.
Now, I’m not going to sit here and cry poor, but also, I’m not going to sit here and act like I can drop a cool grand on a phone… I’m just not that guy.
Especially not when I know they’re selling Google Pixel 3a’s for $299 at Best Buy – AM I RIGHT?!
The lady says she’ll check the store in nearby Totowa which she said is “5 minutes away.”
I said, “I hear you that it’s 5 minutes away, and if I had a phone with Maps, I’d believe you, but I don’t have a phone, and searching for another Sprint sounds like a nightmare.”
To her credit, and despite me not believing this would work as easily as it did, she nailed her directions – “across the street from Red Lobster, in the same plaza as Applebee’s.”
Boom. 5 minutes later, I was there. I pull up, get out of the car as a family was walking out of the store… There was a guy holding the door open as a mother pushed her kid outta the store in a stroller.
So I, being the consummate gentleman that I am, go to hold the door open for this family on their way out.
The guy turns to me and asks if I was here to get a phone – I realize he’s an employee.
“The store is closed, we closed at 6.”
“6?? Well… What time is it now?”
**The guy checks his phone**
SIX OH FIVE?! Bro, I haven’t looked at what time it was since it was like 2pm Friday. Time had no meaning to me the last few days and I just needed a fucking phone, WHICH, I was recommended I could get AT THIS GODDAMN LOCATION 5 minutes ago from someone who apparently called you telling you I was coming!!!
There was a silence where I just looked at the guy, hoping he’d sense I was desperate.
I knew this was my last hope – I either get this phone now, or start the work week without a phone.
**Another long pause**
“Dude… I just… My phone is dead. I was at the Sprint in Willowbrook and they told me to come here. The lady, I forget her name, called and said she spoke to someone here and that you have a Google Pixel 3a! I’m THAT guy.”
I was hoping maybe he’d be like, “Alright, well this poor kid doesn’t have a phone at all and needs my help… PLUS, I already started working with him in a way, he called in advance (kinda, more like the lady at Sprint called for me).”
Instead, I got this:
“We don’t have the Google Pixel 3a – we only have the XL…” he continued but my brain had already exploded at this point…
My innermost thoughts: “WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FUCK!! THE LADY SPECIFICALLY SAID THEY HAD THE PHONE HERE – THAT’S WHY I CAME HERE!! SHE CALLED AND WAS ON THE PHONE FOR SEVERAL MINUTES – MINUTES THAT RIGHT NOW I’M REALIZING WERE QUITE FUCKING VALUABLE TO ME AS NOW I’M OUTSIDE THIS STORE JUST MINUTES AFTER CLOSING TIME. MOTHER. FUCKER!!!!!”
Exasperated, I decided to calmly go with, “I literally called and asked. But at this point, I just need any working phone. I’ll take the XL.”
“No, literally, even if we had the phone you wanted, I can’t sell you it… The registers lock at 6.”
At this point it was like the dude just kicked me in the nuts…
Outside of this store, I leaned back, looked at the sky and thought about death and how sweet it will be to not have to deal with shit like this.
The guy says, “can you come by tomorrow?”
“No…” I said it like I was just so defeated. I said it like his effort of trying to offer a solution was completely pointless.
It was the saddest most defeated “no…” in the history of no’s.
I got back in my car, and found my way home – no GPS (credit to me).
The drive was reminiscent of driving home after a heartbreaking loss… You’re sad, but there was nothing more you could do. You put it all out there and it just came up short.
I actually remember thinking, “I’ll go home, see Reagan (my dog for those of you who don’t know) and things will be better.”
I get home to an empty house (no dogs) and my roommates cars were gone… Oh, and it’s still 100 degrees inside the house!
I decide, “Fuck it – maybe they took the dogs to the brook or something nearby… In the meantime, I’ll check if my parents have an old phone I can use. I’ll use a flip phone at this point, I just need a phone!”
I get to my parents and discover my mom had an old, cracked iPhone 6 laying around.
I do what you gotta do to activate the phone… HOORAY!! I’m out of the woods!! I can make calls again! I can text people!!!
Life is good.
I come to find out that because Apple’s are the worst phones ever, my mom’s Apple account was never signed out of – so SHE was getting all the messages that people were sending to me on this new phone.
Luckily, the worst I got was Matty O hilariously using “cum” instead of “come” (always a good one) and Ketch sending a “Holy Shit” message…
Thank God, no one sent nudes, no gay shit, no porn messages (I was VERY concerned someone was gonna send a bukkake pic and my mother would receive it and disown me because my friends are complete animals).
Eventually I figure out the solution and by Monday night, my mother had stopped receiving my texts… Hallelujah!!
And today, my phone troubles ought to be over – I ordered one online and it was shipped overnight*.
All in all, just a horrible, HORRIBLE piss poor phone/life experience.
I thought buying a house sucked absolute ass, but at least a mortgage is a fuck ton of money… Buying a phone should be easy peasy! It’s a few hundred bucks in exchange for
your life a tiny little electronic device. It should be a purchase I can make anywhere – at any electronic store, WalMart, Amazon, A-NY-WHERE!!
But instead, it was a huge pain in the ass.
Shoutout to Producer Tim’s phone who got me back from Virginia – had I gone alone and NOT had a GPS on the way back, I literally wouldn’t know what to do.
Shoutout to Momma Tayls for her iPhone 6… As much as I hate iPhones, even this is better than nothing.
And shoutout to God, for through him all things are possible (like me finding the strength NOT to kill myself throughout this).
PHONE HELL, USA… Population:
* = an option I did NOT have all along because in order to order things online, I needed my Sprint account info – which OF COURSE I did not have and needed to get.