The tale of Catherine and the new phone

Once upon a time I got a new phone (once upon a time being yesterday).

I arranged it all over the phone with Bell on the weekend and my new phone was picked up at the post office last night (thanks mom!). On the one hand this is great because it meant I didn’t have to go into the store and stand around while they set everything up, and while my brain became increasingly deprived of an adequate blood and oxygen supply. On the other hand it meant that I had to set everything up myself. Oh boy.

It really shouldn’t be a big deal, I know, and I am actually more tech-savvy than I give myself credit for. That said, something about new technology just stresses me out. It’s almost as if I see technology as this force that happens to be very fickle and moody, switching from superhero to villain at will. And if you think I sound crazy you should know that for the last few days my phone was refusing to send text messages…as if it knew it was about to be made obsolete…what do you make of that, huh? Still Think I’m crazy?

Yes, you probably do, and that’s okay because I probably am.

Anyway, yesterday happened to be an over-tired and extra symptomatic day for me. It’s not really a bad thing, though, it’s just because I’ve been busier than normal lately. In amongst the usual appointments I’ve been spending more time with friends and family which has been a welcome change. But of course, I also have to pay some extra dues for this and be a hermit for a little while.

Now, over-tired Catherine plus new technology equals a recipe for disaster. Always. After many such disasters I proudly decided last night that I would wait until today to deal with the new phone and save myself unnecessary frustration. How self-aware and mature of me!

But the box was so pretty so then I wanted to look at the pretty phone inside. Just look at it, though. I opened the pretty box and took out the pretty phone and then I got all caught up in the prettiness and decided that setting it up really wouldn’t be that hard so I might as well just do it.

The first problem was that I didn’t know where to start. Just after I sent a “help I don’t know what I’m doing” message to a tech-savvy friend I found a set of instructions. I love instructions! Any technological feat is possible with a good set of instructions! The instructions informed me that I was first supposed to insert the new sim card using the instructions that came with the phone.

And now we arrive at problem number two: I couldn’t find any instructions for inserting the sim card. Oh, I should also point out that the smaller a piece of technology is the scarier I find it. And sim cards are very small.

Cue next message to said tech-savvy friend: THERE ARE NO SIM CARD INSTRUCTIONS.

I’ll spare you the harrowing details and jump to the denouement: I successfully inserted the new sim card. Every night I go through the detailed process of setting up my TPN and if I make a mistake the consequences include possible life-threatening infection…no sweat…yet setting up a new phone I find overwhelming. Logical, I know.

Okay, so now I’m ready for step two: go to bell.ca/upgrade and login. Easy! I can do that.

That’s when the universe intervened. I logged in and got this message:

“Hardware device upgrade is currently unavailable.”

And then I genuinely laughed out loud. I was smart enough to know that I was too tired to deal with setting up my new phone but I wasn’t wise enough to just wait. Thanks to the universe, though, I was forced to wait and thus avoided unnecessary confusion and exasperation. I suppose it’s possible that the system was actually down because the fickle and moody force that is technology was just out to get me, but I’m more of a glass half full kind of person so I’m going to stick with the idea that the universe was looking out for me.

So after all that (all that really only being a few minutes) I put the pretty phone back in the pretty box and left it for the next day. The best part? The sim card was already in so I wouldn’t have to go through that again!

You’re all probably on the edge of your seats now wondering how the tale of Catherine setting up her new phone ends and I can proudly tell you that this story has a happily ever after. Here is proof:

Technology and I in a mutual state of distrustHooray the new phone works!

My old phone and I making skeptical eyes at each other, followed by excited thumbs up. Both pictures taken with my new phone, being sure to include the old phone as proof that the new one is working!

Since I apparently have a habit of reflecting on my problems with technology and turning them into life lessons (case in point this other post) let me add a moral to this fable. Life is not a race. Obviously I’m not suggesting we all start ignoring work and school deadlines or showing up late everywhere, but we shouldn’t be afraid to do things at our own speed. It’s okay to wait when we’re tired and it’s okay if our own timeline differs from someone else’s. We don’t have to jump to newer and faster right away, but instead do what feels right for us.

And it’s probably a good idea to listen to that voice in our heads when it tells us to take a break. We need to look out for ourselves because the universe won’t always do it for us.

The end.

Until, of course, the next time I ignore my own advice and duke it out with technology only to learn some life lesson from it and then come share that lesson with you…

4 thoughts on “The tale of Catherine and the new phone

  1. I have a lot of experience with technology, but the MS fatigue gets in the way more and more often now. That and cog fog.

    I called Telus for help and explained that I have MS and what my symptoms are that are relevant to the difficulties I was having when I was setting up my new iPhone. The person who helped me was very understanding and patient.

    You’re right. Better to take your time when facing these tasks. And I admire your sense of humour and positive attitude!

    • Hi Allan – I’m very sorry to hear about your MS diagnosis. I know how limiting, not to mention frustrating, brain fog can be! I am happy to hear, though, that Telus gave you the help you needed! My favourite thing about my new phone is that it has that fingerprint technology for unlocking it – I’m not sure that will ever get old!

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