Friday, June 22, 2012

Stale Blackberry sandwich

“I don’t like it.”

This helpdesk visit was off to a poor start.

“You don’t like it?”

“No. the keyboard’s too small. I like my old Blackberry.”


“And this one doesn’t have the slidey-outy screen.”

“No, but…”

“And what’s this thing here? This…hole in it?”

“That’s the camera lens.”

“A camera? What’s that for?”

A range of answers presented themselves. I chose none of them. “It’s for taking pictures.”

Facial expression. “I KNOW what a camera’s for. Why does it have one?”

“So you can take pictures. With it.” Deadpan.

Distracted fiddling. Expression like she’s dissecting a cockroach. “I don’t like it.”

Customer service smile. “I am genuinely sympathetic to your concerns. But…”

“Can’t I keep my old one?”

Ice formed on the smile. “Well, yes. But….”

“I like my old one.”

“Yeah, well I liked my old girlfriend, but she was sleeping with our accountant.”

Oops. Backpedal. “By which I mean ‘sometimes we need to move on’. This is one of those times.”

Still staring. I keep quiet, not sure I can make things any better. Or worse. Now I’m the dissected cockroach.

“She slept with an accountant?”

Ah. “Well, no. That was a metaphor.”

“A metaphor.”


“In which…let’s see, I am you?”


“My old Blackberry is your girlfriend.”

“It’s more of a parable than…”

“Which only leaves you. Are you the accountant who slept with my Blackberry?”

“It’s a bad metaphor.”

“Yes. It is.”

She thrust the new Blackberry into the box, stared as if expecting it to take on other forms. “Here’s another metaphor. This new…thing is a stale salami sandwich.”

Now I was curious. “Uh huh.”

“I am a person who doesn’t like stale salami sandwiches.”

“I see where you’re going …”

“And you are like a person who isn’t letting me keep my old stale salami sandwich.”

“Technically that’s a simile, but…”

“I don’t like it.”

Familiar ground. Time for the crunch. “Yes, but your old one will stop working soon.”


“We’re changing providers. Your account will disappear.”


Crestfallen. She seemed to shrink two inches. I briefly contemplate a comforting hug. Given she’d just called me an accountant who slept with stale sandwiches or something, I decide against it.

“So I won’t be able to play poker on it?”

“Poker? Well, yes.  You don’t need…”

Brighter. “I will? What about Sudoku?”


“Do I really need this account thing?”

“Well, you can’t connect to anything without it.”

“Yes I can. You told me I can when I got it. You said I get hi-fi network in the office.”

“you mean WiFi?”

“Well, some sort of fi anyway. So I can keep my old one?”

“Not really. Without an account you won’t get NextG. You need that to…”

“NextG? What’s wrong with my current G?”

“No, NextG is…it came after 3G. You need it to…”

“How many Gs is NextG? More than three?”

“No, these are just names. NextG came after 3G, which came after GPRS.”

“I don’t need that. I never get lost.”

“You’re thinking of GPS. That’s…”

“You’re making this up.” Accusing.

“No, really. It’s…”

Something snaps. I grab the handbrake and pull. “You know what? You’re right. Keep the old one. I’ll delete all the Gs off it, connect you to the office hi-fi and, uh, refill the Sudoku cache.” Too far? No response; apparently not. “But when we change providers, you won’t be able to make phone calls anymore.”

Big eyes. “Phone calls?”

“You mean you…wait, can I see your old one real quick?”

She hands it over. Wallpaper image is the vampire guy from Twilight. Nice. I trot out Critically Inspecting face, move on quickly to Look Of Understanding.

“Ah, now I see. Your account is on the ‘Poker and Sudoku’ plan. We were going to move you to a ‘Phone calls and camera’ plan, but we’d have to add at least five Gs to do that.” I hand it back. “Good luck. And never draw to an inside straight.”
“A what?”

“Never mind.”

New Blackberry anyone?