Hold The Phone

So, I’ve been intermittently anxious and miserable about phone-related difficulties pretty much since leaving WisCon, when my rapidly declining phone began to crash. I got a replacement, I got a case for the replacement, I dropped the replacement while putting it into the case, the screen shattered, and that’s what you missed on Glee. (GLEE!)

I wrote about how I felt about that yesterday, and also said that I’d looked at the options and concluded that an insurance claim was my best bet. Deciding that didn’t make me feel any better, and today I thought about why.

It basically comes down to: I don’t want to pay a deductible of $50 or more for a phone that might well be a refurb, won’t necessarily even be the model I picked (and will be paying for), and certainly won’t be the same color. I had just started getting this phone trained to work the way I like (minimal notifications, no autocorrect or spelling suggestions, no auditory or haptic feedback on most things), and it was starting to feel like it was mine. Transferring stuff of my dying phone to this one was an ordeal, and while transferring from this one to an insurance replacement would likely be a lot easier (because it’s brand new and fully functional), but, you know, at this point I’m invested in this one.

My manufacturer has a standing offer right now that I think of as “I Can’t Believe It’s Not A Recall!”, whereby in exchange for believing them when they say that the screens on this phone are totally made of impact-resistant space-age materials, they will replace any shattered or cracked screen on any unit purchased within a time frame of now-ish, no questions asked. I found out about this while looking at my options yesterday, but I rejected it because it requires me to ship my phone to them, and thus be without it for “4-7 business days” (or a week to a week and a half), whereas the insurance claim can be processed within a day and they’ll overnight a replacement without waiting for the old one to be returned first.

But that’s instant gratification. I could have a phone tomorrow, but it won’t be my phone. Not the one I picked, not the one I’m paying for, not the one I’ve been getting used to and customizing. I mean, there’s probably a good chance it would be the same model. Probably. But if it’s not, then I’m stuck with a case I can’t use, and have to wrap my replacement phone in bubble wrap until I can get a new one.

And as much as the thought of being phoneless for up to the better part of two weeks is not a fun one… I do it, and I’m done. I have my phone back. It fits my case. I can use it, theoretically, for years to come.

I can theoretically reactivate my old dying phone for the time being, but I’m not sure I honestly need to? I’ve gone more than two weeks without using my phone as a phone, even for texting. I can also send and receive texts through my carrier’s website. Most people who have my phone number don’t necessarily expect me to be easy to reach by phone anyway. I can use my tablet for a lot of the things I would use my phone for, and to the extent that it works, I can use my deactivated old phone for most of those things, too.

I keep thinking, “Well, this isn’t an ideal solution.” But I’m not sure why we always look for ideal solutions, when the fact that we’re looking for a solution is a strong indication that we’re not in an ideal situation to begin with. The ideal solution is that I didn’t drop my phone, or it didn’t break the screen when I did, or that I developed the ability to telepathically communicate with wireless networks and/or repair objects by thinking hard at them. (It is my birthday, universe, so if you’re feeling generous, you could help me cross a couple items off my superpower wishlist. No? Okay. Worth a try.)

Of the solutions that actually apply to the situation, this is the one that works the best. I mean, I can’t promise that the lack of a phone and background anxiety about it won’t weigh on me in the coming weeks. It can and probably will. But right now I’m kind of in the “soft launch” phase of pushing my career to the next level, and while I keep thinking how inconvenient the timing is that I’m dealing with this now… it’s really not a bad time.

And even though this means my phone problems are stretched out another few weeks (I’m not going to mess with this until Monday), honestly, just making this decision and having it be my decision, just claiming ownership of this phone I picked out and bought… it makes a huge difference in how I feel. The loss of my old phone’s functionality and the damage to this one were things beyond my control. This is a choice, though. It’s me taking ownership of the situation. And that right away makes me feel better about it.