Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Day at T-Mobile

What an adventure. Today I went to the T-mobile cell phone store to get an upgrade for my oldest son's phone for Christmas. Quite the good scam they've got going... you get a "free" phone every couple of years, but they really give you a $100 credit towards a $200 phone and a coupon for a $50 rebate. And in exchange you extend your contract a couple more years (during which you can't quit without paying them a couple hundred bucks per line).

But that's not the weird part. I went at 1 PM on a Thursday, after my school finished exams. I figured there would be little or no waiting, as anybody who could afford a cell phone would be at work. HA! We were there for over an hour, and the line was wrapped around the building. Well, suffice it to say that the folks there were not well-dressed professionals on their lunch break. Apparently, there are MANY people in may area with lots of workday free time who can afford to have extremely expensive cell phones. Of course, they all could have been on the night shift, but that wasn't the impression I got.

I guess it's a matter of priorities. When I was first married, I lived in the second-worst apartment complex in West Columbia (the worst was across the street). My next-door neighbor was a stylish young man, always dressed to the nines. I remember thinking that his shoes must have cost as much as I was paying in tuition. He also drove an immaculate black BMW coupe with gold rims. He was always out washing it. I used to laugh to myself that he was living in such a dive to afford the nice ride. But it was worse than that--one day I caught a glimpse of his living room as we came out at the same time. He had NO FURNITURE. We're talking an old TV on a milk carton and a beanbag. That's it. I could just imagine him out on the town, impressing some young lady, but unable to bring her home to sit on the sofa and snuggle, as he had no sofa.

Fast-forward almost 20 years. Same story, I guess. Only now that young lady would be impressed when he whipped out his everything-on-it Blackberry. I wonder who sends you emails when you have no workplace?


Philip Murphy said...

It's all about the bling ring. The cell phone is the new status symbol.

Maybe your neighbor was just searching for a sugar mamma.

bekster said...

I wonder about some of the people who live in my apartment complex. There is one guy who I know does work the night shift (and he is very nice), but there are others of the same, uh, "demographic" who hang around during the day and during the night out in the parking lot. I don't want to pass judgment on anyone based solely on externals, but I am starting to become just a little freaked out. It is hard to imagine scenarios that would make this constant presence in the parking log make sense.

bekster said...

Oops... should be "parking lot."