Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Christmas Came Late

You might remember that my last Casablanca Authors post was titled, Christmas Came Early. Now I'm saying it came late? What's up with that?

So maybe I lied a little in my last post. Oh, not intentionally. I'd never do that. But, see, what I really wanted for Christmas (besides snow, which I did have Christmas morning) was an iPhone. I am convinced that my life will not be complete without this gadget. The problem was, AT&T said I wasn't due for an upgrade until April 27. 2010.

whole months away.

That was the only thing I told Hubs to get me for Christmas. "Honestly, honey, don't spend money on anything else, because I WILL get the iPhone; it'll just be a few months later." (4!) But, the iPhone and snow? Life would be perfect.

But there was that upgrade date, glaring like a huge, ugly neon-green sign. "YOU ARE NOT WORTHY," it said.

I reconciled myself to the fact that I'd have to be envious of my Kid who was eligible for an upgrade the day after Thanksgiving. I would watch from afar as said Kid accessed email, surfed the web, read books, took reeeeeeeeally nice pictures, had music at the touch of the fingertips... I'm a big girl; I could handle it.

Yeah, that didn't work so well. I became covetous. Jealous even. Of my own Kid. The Kid did take pity on poor mom and allow her to play her backgammon. Access her email occasionally. Fly over Google Earth a few times. Watch some YouTube. A very generous Kid.

But, still, I plotted ways to get my hands on that iPhone. Anything for the sheer pleasure of having the internet at my fingertips. Find out how old Sigourney Weaver is at the NY Eve party? Sure! "Kid, hand over that iPhone!"

Kid did so, albeit not so willingly.

Name of the one-hit-wonder of Stephen Bishop who sang "I Gave My Love a Cherry" in Animal House? Certainly! "Kid, hand over that iPhone."

Grumbling ensued, but eventually the device made it to my hot little hands (the heat could have had something to do with the copious amounts of champagne consumed, but that's neither here nor there).

I HAD to get my iPhone. Remember the Red Ryder BB Gun in A Christmas Story and Ralphie's undying quest for said gun? Yes, my desire for the iPhone reached those proportions.

I called AT&T. Twice. I begged and pleaded, saying I've been a loyal customer for years. Showing them the error of their ways in not letting me upgrade early - I would be paying them the $30 monthly fee for 6 whole months longer! Surely that was incentive for them to give me the upgrade price?

Each time, I was turned down. Politely, and with the most heartfelt customer service, but, really, there was "nothing they could do."

I sighed. I was bummed out. I moped even.

I wanted my iPhone. But I was reconciled to waiting.

Then we went to a NY Day party and someone said, "Judi, that's just wrong. How many years have you been a customer? Didn't your father work for them for decades? Didn't you? And how many phones/lines do you have with them?"

Dang it - that someone was right! I have been a loyal customer. I did work in "the mines" of that office in Wayne, PA. Even got one of my best friends a job there, every summer during college. Dad did work for them, climbing through the ranks to management. My grandfather worked for them back when they were Ma Bell. I was family, for pete's sake!

Armed with this argument - and a good deal of honey, because, really, you DO catch more flies with honey than vinegar - I made another phone call this morning. Spoke to a really nice guy who tried. He did. But he could do nothing. But then, that's to be expected. He was, after all, merely a peon who answered the phone.

I kindly told him it wasn't his fault, but if he could please bump me up to his supervisor, I'd really appreciate it.

Lo and behold, the angel, Jennifer, got on the phone. She was kind. She was understanding. And when I laid it on thick, er, told her about not getting ANYTHING for Christmas because this was all I wanted and they wouldn't let me have it, she said she'd see what she could do. She'd have to write it up and send it to Corporate because they were the only ones who could do the override, but, yes, she understood! She commiserated.

Adding that my birthday is next month, the day before Valentine's Day and you KNOW I get shortchanged on gifts because of that, well, that could only help my case.

So Angel Jennifer dutifully recorded our conversation and told me someone would get back to me, probably within 72 hours, but maybe sooner. She wished me a happy birthday and hoped I'd get the answer I wanted. So did I!

Another lo-and-behold, an hour later I get a phone call (on the Blackberry that just wasn't an iPhone) from Charles who told me - ta da! They were granting my request! They were allowing me to have my iPhone at the upgrade price five months early!!!

Oh, the joy! Oh, the glee! Oh, the adjectives that flowed from my mouth like milk and honey (see that correlation?). The praise I heaped upon Angel Jennifer and her gift with words and corporate reports! "Thank you, thank you, thank you!" I gushed. Then off I went to my closest AT&T store to pick up my little gem - an amethyst.

See, I'd already bought a purple gel case for my "baby" back before I didn't know I couldn't have her. I'd already bought her a car charger. I had the cell phone charms set aside - a brand new vinyl mermaid, one of a very limited stash I have left.

I picked her up and grinned like an idiot the whole time. I called Hubs when I got out of the store, my first official call from the new iPhone. (I got his voicemail...)

I drove home, vowing that because I'd spent a valuable hour of my writing time (kids finally went back to school today!) that I wouldn't play with my new toy; that I'd spend the time writing. It was enough that I had "her;" I would enjoy her later. After I met my word count for the day.

Um... yeah. Right. I got halfway through my word count and called it quits. Who was I kidding? I had my iPhone! There were apps to download! Email accounts to transfer over! Pages to bookmark! Research to do to find an app that will allow me to load my latest manuscript and work on it while taking kids to sports/doctor appts/waiting to pick them up from work (still looking for that app; apparently there are several that will let me load MSWord docs, but none will let me edit so where's the help in that? If anyone knows of one, I'd reeeeally appreciate it). There was too much to do with the new "baby" to spend my valuable time writing.

Because, of course, another Child came home from school and had to "see" it since the other Kid won't let this one near their iPhone! sigh.

So, Christmas came a bit late, but it did come.

Now... what do I want for my birthday?

What was your to-die for wish item for the holiday? And if you didn't have one, what about a member of your family?


  1. A kitchen that's big enough for a stove and dishwasher??? My stove went out on me right before Christmas dinner. But I'm now finding out that the dishwasher is so close to the stove, if the handle juts out of the stove too much, which they all do, I couldn't get the dishwasher open. Either its thousands of dollars of renovation, or...pay $200 to fix the stove. *sigh* So for my birthday, I want a new kitchen. Can't have it, but you asked. LOL!!!

  2. Congrats on your new baby, Judi! Enjoy!

    My wish list was to play Santa this year and get my boys (all 3: two teens and the hubby) a Wii. Blending a family isn't easy and I thought, since hubby has a competitive streak and the teens love to play games, this could bring the three of them together. We're still working on it; hubby claims he's "not a video game guy", but he spent nearly 6 hours playing Wii Baseball, and the boys will walk through broken glass to play Pokemon battles. Now it's just a matter of having them find a single game they can all enjoy.

    Then maybe I can get my *other* Christmas wish: time alone, somewhere quiet, to write!

  3. My heart was wrung--absolutely wrung--by the pathos of "nothing for Christmas." I could hear the little quiver in your voice. [chortle]

    Actually, I got what I wanted for Christmas--a new computer. Now I'm sort of like I'm the Sorcerer's apprentice. I don't have the skills to deal with all this power. Just figuring out MSWord 2008 has me exclaiming over and over, "What made it do THAT?"

    We won't speak of the movie-making function with which I COULD make book trailers. I'm not sure if I want to know how. No telling what would happen to me if I unleash the power of its magic.

    What I'm wishing for now is for the Sorcerer to come to my house.

  4. Judi, ambassadors could take lessons from you, lol! I'm glad you got your baby. Loved hearing your battles with ringtones, and btw, did you get those figured out?

    Brat that you are, you played with that thing most of the evening and STILL got your word quota done for the day. sigh, and I didn't have an iphone to play with and still didn't get my quota, well half of it was done.

    I'm with Terry. I want a new stove ( and I'd LOVE a new kitchen instead of the *galley* kitchen I have) Mine bit the dust. Well the oven did. I didn't realize how much I used it until I didn't have it available. I'm checking around for one.

    Have fun with your new time saving baby. ;-)

  5. That was a GREAT story Judi, and congrats on your new toy!! It sounds like perfection!

    This Christmas I got two amazing presents, from my parents a very nice GPS (no more getting lost or trying to read directions in the dark). And from my amazing BF, tickets to the sold out Lady Gaga show this weekend. The seats are amazing, but the real present is that he's going to go with me and act like he's having fun. :)

  6. Oh, Judi, I love your persistence! What a great lesson in how to make your dreams come true. :}

  7. Me, I'd just like to get my treadmill fixed. We ordered it from Amazon and when it arrived in early December, it didn't work right at all. I called the manufacturer and the guy listened to it and ordered parts, the parts came, but, oh, trying to get the repairman out here to the wilds of rural Indiana is like pulling teeth. He hasn't shown up when scheduled twice now, and he's not returning my calls, either. I've been nice, I've been understanding, but now I'm PISSED!!!!

  8. Yes, great story! I didn't have any "must have" items on my list, but was great surprised and happy that my son bought my husband and me tickets to see a touring show of "Hairspray". We'll see it in a couple weeks!

  9. And the technology battle continues...

    No, not with the iPhone. Although I did find out that you CAN'T use your iTunes library as ringtones. No, if you want to do THAT, you have to create a ringtone from the song (right click on it in your list, then click on make ringtone - you do get to select which part of the song you want), but then - this is the !!!!! part - you have to PAY for that ringtone!!!! Ninety-nine cents, but STILL!!!! You own the song, you own the device, yet they want you to pay to chop it into a soundbite... OMG. Talk about greedy!

    No, my next problem is that Comcast went all digital today. And I hadn't installed the digital converter boxes. So I've spent the last hour doing that only to (long story short) HAVE TO HAVE A TECHNICIAN COME OUT TOMORROW because for some stupid reason their signals aren't getting to our digital boxes. Oh, they're set up correctly (seriously, I'm not an idiot, but by the third tech going over it with me I wanted to start babbling!), but, hmmm, gee. They aren't working.

    And it also cut out my phone service. Oh, we can dial out and answer the phones; problem is no one can HEAR US!! Yes, all 6 phones, so it's not like someone pushed MUTE on one and they all went.

    This is why I didn't want to get cable for my phone service, but the landline was getting so expensive to just have, ya know? I don't even know why we have a landline since all of us now have cell phones...

    And the fun just continues. I won't even tell you about Kid's cooking project that got switched from Jan 11 until TOMORROW. You know the one, where we're making spaghetti sauce a day ahead of time to prep... Yeah, that would be TODAY. And we had NO ingredients in the house as of 9 pm last night.

    Sauce is now simmering.

    Is it 5 o'clock somewhere yet? OH, never mind. I have to pick another Child up from school today, so no drinking for me yet...

    sigh. How's your day?

  10. Judi, I love in the land of "it's five o'clock all the time". LOL! Congrats on getting your phone early and all the fun you're having with it! I guess I'm lucky that I pretty much have everything I want. OK, so a pool in the southern residence would be nice. But nothing electronic. I get a rash just thinking of having instant, continuous connection to the internet!

  11. Judi, I enjoyed every word of your iPhone saga. But my favorite chuckle was, Another lo and behold.

    You find joy and delight in nearly every adventure--I tip my hat to you. And wish I had sauce simmering on the stove. I'm hungry.

  12. House remodel, and if not that then to replace the ancient appliances that we refuse to replace until we decide on a total remodel. It is a vicious circle and 2010 is the year it ends. So we say. We'll see how well we did in 2011.

    Enjoy the new technology Judi. As far as ringtones go, DH can make any song into a ringtone so I never think about it. One of the perks of having a computer god. Good luck and yes, they are ripping you off by double charging. :(

  13. HOWEVER... one of the free ringtones apps is to show you how to MAKE a ringtone.

    I'm now very happy. :)

  14. I'm finding all the appliances interesting. Along with clothes, I'd put appliances last on my list. But gadgetry... I am so there! Which means I'll leave more appliances for you ladies, and you can leave the gadgets for moi!

  15. Congratulations Judi. I know you've been ever so impatiently waiting for this new phone. Personally I don't like changing phones. With the last one I passed it to one of my kids and said, "Fix this for me." LOL

    Have fun. A more appreciative customer couldn't be found.

  16. Now I'm scared to even consider changing my phone and it's so old I can't even get a new battery for it. The one problem I won't have - my contract expired almost 2 years ago and they've been trying to get me to renew.
    Just one question - Where is a picture of this new baby? After all you went through to get, you need to show it off.

    By the way, thanks for the laugh today. I thought I was the only one technically challenged.

  17. Judi--Glad you got the wish list item you wanted. I understand the (crazed) desire for technology. My top items--a netbook, record album converter to CD, a new stereo system, an e-book reader, a new laptop. Got most of those but have a few to go.


  18. Hi Judi. Your perseverance finally prevailed. This year my son got the Ipod Touch and I was content to get some goodies to upgrade my guitar. Enjoy your new magic toy.


  19. thanks for stopping by everyone! I've added more apps to it today (Stanza book eReader - nice program and it was free. No $200 eReader or Nook or Kindle for me). And lots of ringtones. And some photos. And more apps.

    And, yes, I did get some writing done today, surprisingly.

    Happy Hump Day tomorrow!

  20. Judi, congrats on besting At&T, now maybe you and help others (a side line to being a Mom and a writer) taking on corporate America. Sound like Cheryl Brooks could be your first customer.

    I got what I wanted for Christmas, I got to spend it with my Son, his girlfriend and her family, and felt right at home. Thanks for asking.

  21. My son got one (well, similar) and I watched him play. Cool! And another son is still receiving movies through the mail (still Christmas here). Both great presents!

  22. I want a Nook. So maybe for my birthday in April. Unless I break down and treat myself to one.


  23. Yep, Jessica, I'll add it to the list of "more jobs I'm underpaid for." LOL. I should be a millionaire by now.

    The Nook looks cool, but seriously? After reading 2 books on the iPhone last night, I just can't justify spending another $200. And even though I love gadgets, I loathe carrying them all around. I'm even balking at synching my blue tooth headset with the phone b/c that's one more thing to remember. Best invention, imo, were debit cards. Now, if only I could get my Drivers License and debit card synched to my iPhone, life would be perfect. (Until I lost the iPhone...)

  24. Judi,

    You always need a landline in case of an emergency if the cell towers are out. I always use my cell but keep the landline for that reason. And there's been a couple times out here when it's a good thing we do have it.

    I've got the Kindle app on my netbook, but I'd still like the Nook for travel.

  25. Judi, that is a fantastic, and so humorous, story.

    I went through a similar thing a few months ago, but my ending did not turn out as well. Yes, I NOW have my iPhone - and love it with a love reserved for few things in life: my kids, my cat, my car, almost my hubby - but I had to wait until the dreaded contract expiration date. We went through the exact same hundred phone calls, finally getting to a manager who oh-so-nicely explained that it is a written in stone contract clause with Apple that can in no way be wavered. Oh, the tears! She did give me a $75 credit on my cell account, which salved some of the pain. She did say they were working to renegotiate that contract with Apple, so apparently they did. Either that or you are an even better manipulator and actress than we all thought. ;-) LOL!

    The iPhone is great. I really do love it. And the almost best part? It was my Kid who wanted the phone in the first place, but her contract was even longer to expire than mine. It was while checking out the cool features for her that I fell in love with it! So now I have the iPhone and she whines and begs for it! How sweet it is...