I have been having trouble with my phone lately and after missing 6 calls from my wife last night I finally felt the need to get a new one. I was anyhow about to take this decision and was just not able to make up my mind for last 4 months but today morning’s tea and discussion about my attitude towards life and responsibilities helped me realize the immediacy of the problem.
Now normally this process only involves three steps, go into the shop, ask for a list of cheapest phones and find something which doesn’t look cheap. However this time was different, as soon as I reached office my boss called me and informed me that I should buy a nice phone and get the amount reimbursed. This definitely was a pleasant shock because I don’t recall any planned or unplanned action in recent times which may have resulted in something good for Boss or for my organization.
Instead of going ahead with my newfound luck I decided to investigate the reason of this nice gesture. “Boss, is this a recognition of my recent efforts and hard work?” I asked. “No, that requires efforts and hard work. It’s just that I do not want to hear you talk to your friends about office thinking you have disconnected my call.” This time I got the hint and just decided to move on with this sudden prize.
I think it was my dormant honesty which prompted me to do thorough research before I buy a phone however it could also be my desire to show off to friends that I am buying a smart phone; I decided to do thorough research and even pretended to ask people what they like about their phones in the actual and virtual social gatherings. Don’t take me wrong; I had no intention of taking any of the inputs interfere with my superior reasoning skills but I did want to let some specific individuals know that I am buying a smart phone before compiling a list of qualities and skills that my new gadget must have and this appeared as good an approach as any. This process also had the benefit of being able to classify my friends into different buckets based on the class of phone they owned which I thought might come handy someday although for the life of me I can’t imagine when.
Since I pride myself of capable of logical reasoning and deduction(Disclaimer - Possession of this quality is currently under dispute by my wife, mother and Boss) I decided to go to one of those big shops where the crowd of customers dwarfs the crowd of attendants and check out the qualities and skills that were desired of my smart phone in person before I make up my mind on the final winner. Below you will find the list of areas where I checked the prospective candidates.
• Aiding my memory – I checked the phones if they could help me remember the things\action to do forgetting which always lands me in detention with food punishment at home. For example’ wishing my family and in laws and their friends, pets and neighbors happy birthday, new year, friendship day, hot dog day etc. Now I had some good news initially that almost all phones seemed capable of this act provided I told them at least once when to remind me of what. However when I delved deeper into their ability to aid me in my more usual memory lapses they failed. Let me list them out for everyone so I am not accused of bias.
a) Forgetting to remove silent after meetings – I genuinely believe there should be some sort of sensor in every phone taking it out of silent profile once it realizes that no one around it is making simple statements seem well thought out or convoluted just by using words like “Strategic, plan of action, alignment” etc preferred by the senior brass.
b) Forgetting to carry phone charger while travelling. – Shouldn’t the phone have some kind of proximity sensor built in with charger and should recognize the growing distance between themselves and start shouting something familiar like “you idiot, you are again leaving the charger” or something to this effect.
c) Forgetting to carry the phone itself – Same as above just the second sensor should work with us. I am not sure which technology can be used for this but implants are a definite NO.
• Simple installation – I remember a time when all I had to do after getting a phone was to charge it for some time and I was ready to face the world. Now a typical smart phone comes with a manual thicker than my Car’s with setting up instructions taking anywhere between 30 to 200 pages. If I could read so much then I wouldn’t need a smart phone, would I? Therefore the phone should have the ability to do the setup by itself leaving me to wonder about larger issues of life such as why do dogs chase cars.
• Actually Intelligent voice command recognition system – On my wish list is a phone which can differentiate between me giving it a command and me having an argument with my building’s watchman on my intellectual right to park my car wherever I desire and not below the space which has a 1/2X2 feet tag spelling my name as well my flat number incorrectly. While this might seem impossible to you but trust me I have seen people’s phone calling up someone from their contact list while all they were trying to do was to hurl abuses at the urchin on the traffic signal or answering a call when the owner was just singing to himself and continued to sing oblivious to my presence on the other end.
• Simple Error messages – The least I expect from a smart phone is not to show off their smartness using cryptic error messages. It’s as if they are trying to test if the owner is worth the ownership or not. Don’t believe me? Try deciphering “8002ee347 – Reset” (Samsung Bada OS). It’s just phone speak for WiFi internet connection not available. Now I am sure some of you might say that
• Future proof – Following from my previous point, imagine doing all the setup and by the time you are done someone tells you there is a new version of OS released and you again get into the nasty cycle of reading, learning doing. I am tired of learning.
• Toughness – I was quite fond of being able to throw the phone at anyone and hurting the person and not the phone. An act that gave me the satisfaction of having avenged my childhood insults of my school teacher throwing dusters at me and asking it back. Most of the smart phones seemed incapable at this criterion. I couldn’t test many of them also since the security of the shopping mall threw me out before I could test some more phones.
Once out of the shop I realized that I haven’t yet come up with a clear winner. As my Boss was the ultimate sponsor and beneficiary of this gadget, I decided to pass on the burden of decision making to him confident with the knowledge that if something goes wrong I can always point my finger back at him.
While this gave him another opportunity to laugh at my intellect however It didn’t trouble me since I had long learned the benefits of being perceived an idiot. He went ahead and got me one of those ugly smart phones preferred by corporate across the world. Till now I have used it only to make and receive calls and haven’t tried out any of the other features which make it smart. Having said that I must accept that don’t miss a single chance to whip it out in middle of all types of social and official interactions regardless of topic and people around me. At least now everyone knows that I own a smart phone.