The woman on our party line’s a nosy thing; she picks up the receiver when she knows it’s my ring

So!  Today was a Wasted Day.

Oh, it fired a warning shot over the bows first, but there was really nothing I could’ve done to alter course.

The warning shot:  I opened Firebird this morning, to find letters in-queue, but! they were all empty.  Further investigation revealed an Urgent! message from Eset Security, counseling me to upgrade (for free) Right Now.  So I did that.

Or, at least, I tried to do that.

Eset reported that the install had failed. Panicked, I rebooted the machine.  The installation completed on reboot, and my mail automagically appeared in fullness.


Went out to the kitchen to get my coffee and to unplug my cellphone, which had been charging on the overnight.  Turned it on and — No Sim Card — read the message running along the top of the screen.  Turned the phone off.  Turned it back on.  Same result.  Took it back to my office, jacked it into the computer, turned it on. . .

No Sim Card.

Now, before anybody tells that All I Have To Have Done was open up the phone and reseat the SIM card — I have a Droid Turbo.  If there’s any way to open the case, it requires a specialized tool unavailable to the residents of the confusion factory.

Which is why I want into town, seeking the Verizon store and that specialized tool.

I had to wait about fifteen minutes for a tech, so I went to the back of the store and opened the book I had grabbed off the table on my way out the door — Carousel Tides, by Sharon Lee.  Never heard of her, but it’s a pretty good book. Which turned out to be a blessing.  While I was reading, a woman wandered by, looking at phones, as one does. She had a small, intelligent dog on a leash.  Dog saw me and thrust forward, tail wagging.  I said, “Hi, Dog,” extended a hand. . .

“Don’t touch him!” the woman snapped.  “He’s a service dog!”

I blinked.  “He’s not wearing his vest,” I said, mildly.

“It’s too hot for his vest,” she said.  “He’s all business when he has it on, and he just wants to talk to everybody when he doesn’t — but don’t touch him.  He’s working.”

So, then.  Dog, who looked, as I say, like a fine, intelligent fellow, knows the Rules. Too bad his Boss doesn’t.

Back to the book, ignoring Dog and owner.  Eventually, my name is called.  The tech — Josh — allows as how the phone is still under warranty, and it ought to be an easy fix, if I’d just sit back down, he’d be back in five minutes.

He was back sooner than that, saying that whatever had done the SIM card had wiped the phone’s serial number on the way out, and he couldn’t do the fix.  He was therefore going to have to get me a replacement phone.

Except — you see where this is going, right?  Right.  My phone is Too Old to be stocked in the store.  Josh goes online to the Verizon Warehouse, finds one, orders it, comes back to tell me that it’ll be seven days before it arrives.  I allow as how that’s not exactly convenient, but a phone on the way is better than no phone at all.  He goes back to confirm the order —

And finds a message from the warehouse inventory system that — the phone is out of stock.

He then calls Motorola.  I overheard the part of the conversation that went, “No, I am not going to tell my customer that I’ll give her fifty bucks on her phone toward a new one.  Her phone is under warranty.  If you can’t send her a replacement phone, I’ll just give her one of the new Droids we have in stock — I’m sorry?  OK, let’s try that.”

Apparently, Motorola did a remote reset, which reawakened the SIM card and re-established the serial number.  No, I don’t know how that worked.  All I know is that my phone was back on-line, and All We Had To Do — cough — was for me to sign into Google and re-acquire my Stuff.

Except. . .Google wouldn’t let me in — I was stuck in an endless loop of “enter email/enter password” — my email and password worked on Josh’s phone, but not on mine.

Long story short, Josh called Google, which isn’t as easy as you might think, and finally got through to a tech named Cora, who explained that because the phone had been reset, there was a 24-hour lockdown period before I could sign into my Google account.  Josh asked if there was any way around that, and she gave him Motorola’s number.

He called Motorola, and talked to. . .somebody.  Again cutting corners — Motorola assumes that any device that has been wiped and re-animated has been stolen — yes, even if they have just done that Their Very Own Selves — and no — there is no way around the 24-hour lockdown.

So, what I have sitting on the kitchen table is currently a brick, and I won’t know until tomorrow at about 1:30 in the afternoon, if it really does function now.


This whole operation consumed FIVE HOURS of my day.  I’m glad I had a good book with me, as I said.  As it was, I blew off the rest of my errands, save a quick stop at the grocery store in the same shopping center as the phone store, to pick up a quiche for lunch, and came home, where Steve said, “I wondered where you were all this time, so I sent you a text. . .”

Here’s hoping that your day was considerably better than mine.

Also!  As of this writing, one month after its release date, Alliance of Equals has 163! reader reviews on, only 37 shy of our goal of 200 reviews!  That’s. . .awesome.  Thank you.

Today’s blog title is brought to you by the Waybacks, “Mind Your Own Business.”  Here’s your link.



6 thoughts on “The woman on our party line’s a nosy thing; she picks up the receiver when she knows it’s my ring”

  1. I too have played the wait game at a Verizon store, and I can testify that it’s not great fun. Yes, I too had something along to read – thank e-reader!

  2. I had problems with the ESET update on one of my machines, but the other 3 updated smoothly.

    Sounds like cell phone hell…

  3. Ain’t technology *wonderful*!

    (when it works, that is…not so much when it doesn’t…)

  4. Boy, that sounds a lot like my dealings with Comcast. Though Verizon made me so mad I won’t sing up for FIOS, so, that. Gotta love big companies.

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