I literally spent two whole afternoons in the Sprint store. The first afternoon, I went with the intention of getting my Berry fixed, or maybe getting another phone, although admittedly I wasn't emotionally prepared for another phone. The Berry had been with me for two years, and even though people are always telling me that BlackBerries are "on the way out" and that iPhones and Androids are enormously superior devices, I treasured my phone.
So, I guess that emotional attachment is the reason I behaved so ridiculously at the Sprint store. I say ridiculously because, well, I'm positive that by the time I left with my new iPhone 4 on Thursday afternoon, the employees were ready to smack their foreheads in exasperation. The assistant manager, Jimmy, had spent many patient minutes explaining to me why I should buy an iPhone and not another BlackBerry or another unpopular, underdog phone.
"It's an investment," he said. "When the software updates happen for iPhones, you'll be included."
I sauntered over to the Android choices, unconvinced, and played with one Android that had both a keyboard and a touch screen. "Maybe I like this one...it still has a real keyboard," I mused.
"No," Jimmy insisted. "I mean, if you want to get an Android, get the [insert name of fancy, brand new Android whose name I forgot]."
I said that maybe I should forget the whole damn thing and just have the BlackBerry repaired or replaced or whatever the hell. The salespeople all shook their heads. "That's throwing money away!"
So when I left Sprint on Wednesday, the first day, I was thoroughly puzzled. I knew I would have to do something, though, so I went back on Thursday with the mission of leaving with either a working new phone or a work order for my old trusty.
Still, I couldn't make up my mind. "I'll be back in twenty minutes," I said to Jimmy. "I need to see if the universe will give me a sign."
"You're putting a lot of thought into this," he sighed. "Most people just grab something and go!"
I walked around Town Centre, soliciting the advice of perfect strangers in Bed Bath & Beyond, American Eagle, and Banana Republic. I asked folks of all ages, genders, and technological levels.
"I need your advice," I'd begin, with the salesperson of each shop thinking that I'd be asking about the fit of my jeans or a new, fall-friendly scent. But I will say that once people realized I was just asking for advice on my life, they were still friendly and helpful.
In the end I went with the iPhone and I'm pretty happy with it. I'm still not used to typing on a touch screen but everyone says I'll get used to it. Plus, downloading apps for everything from Nietzsche quotes to closet organization tips takes the sting out of not having a keyboard.
I'd have to say that the most rewarding part of the whole experience was not exiting the Sprint shop with my new phone. It was talking with perfect strangers and getting their input. It reminded me that when I feel frustrated, icky, or flat-out alone, I can seek out the perspective of people around me. And maybe have my perspective changed a little.