I am a firm believer in the idea that every person we meet either knows something we don’t or has a perspective we haven’t considered, and that if we pay attention, we might just learn something.
I understand this may come as a shock, but I do have working knowledge of several subjects beyond just stalking, fucking, crazy people, and fucking crazy people. So, in order to fill the literary void created by the departure of Sleeves’ beautiful cock, I’ve decided to write something useful. In the first installment of How Shit Works, we’re taking a look at cellular telephones.
Cellular telephones are the lifeblood of our digitally connected world, yet they’re still a mystery to an overwhelmingly large segment of society, many of whom happen to know me.
After having sold my soul to the Death Star several years ago, I have inadvertently evolved into a personal Wireless Jesus of sorts, and, like Jesus, I am always willing and available to ease their frustrations and share my knowledge. Unlike Jesus, I am not fucking magic. I cannot make your Android cool or transfer your contacts with my mind. Furthermore, I’m pretty sure Jesus said something about teaching a man to fish. Maybe not, but none of that shit really happened anyway.
In an effort to make your next trip to the mall a little less stabby, I have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions and common misconceptions surrounding the computer in your pocket.
Let’s get started.
1) “Why should I have to pay for this high speed data processor/high resolution camera/video recorder/communication device?”
Join me on a stroll down Memory Lane…
Back in the olden days before swiping and Snapping, we had no idea that we needed to be connected and available at all times. If our friends called while we were away, they would leave a voice recording on a gadget called an answering machine. If we liked the person, we returned their call. If they too had ventured off into the world, we left a voice recording of our own. This could go on for days, possibly months, and is the origin of the now defunct game Telephone Tag. We were happy with the arrangement and unable to fathom the need for constant communication.
In an effort to sway consumer opinion and create a multi-billion dollar industry, wireless carriers decided to subsidize the cost of the communication device in exchange for a 24 month commitment and in some cases, firstborn child.
For example, the carrier would purchase the device from the manufacturer for $300. Carrier then provided the device at no charge to the customer.Customer paid $100 per month for 24 months. Carrier grossed $2,100 per customer before operating expenses.
This went on for nearly a decade.
We still weren’t happy. Before we were bitching about having to pay for things, we we’re bitching about the 24 month agreement. A few years ago, the big, greedy corporations put their heads together and decided to give us what we so desperately wanted.
Today, carriers no longer require a two year commitment. You may leave at any time, provided you’ve paid for your device. This leaves zero incentive to purchase an iPhone for your whiny, entitled, second-grader. Sorry. Freedom isn’t free.
See above. It’s just like the time you ‘upgraded’ your wedding set. The fact that you rocked a .25 carat CZ solitaire for 10 years has absolutely zero bearing on the price of the new ring. The upgrade is the thing, it costs the same for everyone.
3) “Do you know my AppleID/screen lock password/mother’s maiden name/email address?”
Now how the fuck would I know any of those things? No, I don’t. Write that shit down. There’s no magic button or spaceship in the back room. That’s kind of the point. Pretend it’s your social security number and act like an adult. Seriously, if you can’t remember your own email address, you have no business operating the motor vehicle used to transport your ignorant pile of flesh around town.
4) “Why won’t my AT&T Samsung work with Verizon?”
It will, as long as you own it. Once you own the device, the carrier will supply you with an unlock code. Now before you run out to Costco and replenish your aluminum fedora supplies, ask yourself why? You are likely financing the device and paying monthly. If you switch carriers, they will have no way to collect the debt. This is not an example of ‘the man’, it’s simply a sound business decision.
5) “I don’t have my wallet. Why do you need ID?”
See, here’s the thing, the same ‘man’ you’re trying to escape is trying to protect your dumb ass from criminals. The government restricts access to personal information. They’ve created consumer protection regulations that, when violated, create a massive fucking shit storm for the corporation responsible for giving your shit away and since that barely-over-minimum-wage-salesperson is just a tiny cog in the great big wheel of litigation, their job is on the line. So yeah, they’re going to need to see your ID.
6) “I don’t have time for this.”
No fucking shit, no one does. Yes, I understand time is money. Use yours better. While you’re banging your hot assistant, maybe back up your fucking phone on your Fortune 500 company’s free wifi so that it doesn’t take 6 hours to download your dick pics and 3 year-old’s Half-Birthday party photos. I understand you’re used to snapping your manicured fingers and getting shit done, but your assistant doesn’t work here. You’re a grown-up. You live in a world where you have to have at least a basic understanding of how shit works in order to survive and I think we can both agree that’s a reasonable ‘ask’.
7) If you get a new phone, just swap your SIM card.
We don’t need to know and you don’t need to wait in line to switch phones. If you own it and the SIM card (little plastic squarish thing by the battery or stuck in the side of your iPhone) fits, just jam that bitch in there and carry on with your day. The NSA will upload that shit to the Darkweb all by themselves. Don’t you worry. Also, yes, the insurance companies can see that shit too. If you file a claim stating your phone fell off your boat, that shit better be at the bottom of the ocean.
8) They will ALWAYS try and sell stuff.
It’s their fucking job. If you don’t want a bill review or you’re one of those assholes who “got rid of your TV seven years ago and haven’t looked back”, cool. Just know that when you woke up this morning, put pants on (hopefully), drove your shit box to a retail store, and walked inside, you consented to be sold whatever ‘area of opportunity’ their boss was bitching about this morning. If you’d prefer to never speak to another salesperson again for as long as you live, order your shit online.
9) If they ask you where you work, think of the last thing you did and invent a corresponding small business.
Helped a friend move? “I own a moving company.”
Mowed your lawn? “I’m a landscaper.”
You will be immediately elevated to royalty status and might even get a free screen protector.
IT DOES NOT MATTER IF YOU OWN A LEGITIMATE BUSINESS. You’ll qualify for monthly discounts, waived fees, and accessory discounts. CRU or Corporate Responsibility Users are like gold to wireless carriers. Not only do business accounts generate higher revenue with lower churn rates, but CRU has been a key initiative across the board for years. Think back to the Wells Fargo fiasco from a couple years ago. They don’t know it, but the Cogs are there to appease Wall Street and shareholders. They have been coached and incentivized and will do just about anything to activate a business account. Why not give them what they want and take advantage of the savings?
10) You are not required to provide your social security number.
You just aren’t. You may be required to place a deposit if they are unable to verify identity, but there’s nothing in the terms of service requiring you to divulge that information to some dude in the middle of the mall. If they get salty, tell them to look it up on their company intranet. Better yet, refer them to me, they might just learn something.
ALSO, stop paying for satellite television! It’s fucking air! It’s a SIM card that’s been programmed to intercept and transmit a signal. Ever wonder why there aren’t any taxes assessed on your bill? We haven’t yet figured out a way to tax air. We will, but until then, get your GoT fix online and spend your money on important shit like grain alcohol and strippers.