Monday, August 27, 2012

Cell Phone Tech GO!

In my ever-arching quest to find gainful employment before my unemployment runs out, I have done something I have put off, rationalized not doing for as long as I have been unemployed. I have flirted with it, looked hesitantly into the eyes of what I felt was surely the most evil of evils. But the night before last, I did it. I put in an application in the telecommunications field. After 6 years of working with cell phones, I really didn't want to go back. I don't have problems with the phones themselves-- they're innocent pieces of machinery left to the brutal hands of their owners. No, it was the customers, the numbers, the sheer amount of soul-sucking that happened that turned me off from ever working in telecommunications ever again. But here we are, and I have applied to be a service tech. Technician, blissfully not billing, not sales.

I was so excited I took a picture with the old Blackberry of the new Blackberry
Now, I love cell phones. I love the technology, and the fact that, in the 6 years that I worked for the pink company I watched the Motorola RAZR go from the most high-tech phone out there to the advent and evolution of Android. I used to know Blackberry inside and out (8xxx series though. We won't discuss those bricks with the clickwheel). In fact, I was so avidly in love with Blackberry that at one point I vowed that nothing could sway me from them, ever. My 8900 was my constant companion, the best Blackberry RIM had to offer at the time and I felt awesome with it in my hand. If someone had a Blackberry I could confidently answer their questions with ease. If a friend had one that wasn't working, I'd snick it from their hand and with a few clicks have it working again. Now, my vow to be faithful to Blackberry didn't hold true:  they consistently kept releasing low-end devices for the casual user that didn't hold a candle to my more advanced device, and by the time the Bold came out, I had already spied and fallen madly in lust with the Samsung Vibrant, the flagship of the Galaxy S series (I currently carry the Galaxy S II).

It always baffled me though, that, when people found out where I worked that they would come up to me with any old phone from anywhere and ask me to fix it for them. First off, I wasn't working, and I didn't see them paying me $13 an hour to fix their phone. Second, and most important, not all phones are the same, even when they look it cosmetically. When mobile carriers work with the phone manufacturers, they have their own software installed. Sometimes even menus are different.  And don't even get me started on European and Asian phones. Although I have to say it go to the point that I could almost program a Chinese iPhone clone in my sleep... Anyway, there were times that I simply couldn't figure out a person's phone and would have to tell them (sometimes repeatedly) "you need to call your carrier."

If this job comes through, it will be a whole new ballgame for me. I'll be troubleshooting phones in person, no longer safe behind the anonymity of a headset and computer. I won't be able to spin in a chair boredly or put on my makeup or file my nails or clean my desk while I wait for my customer to find the power button (hint: it's the red one). The good of it is I will have the phone in my hand, that satisfying "gimme that!" (note: I won't say this) to freely key or touch through the phone to fix the problem expediently, something I never had in a call center. Time to start practicing my poker face.

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