I need a three-year-old to operate my phone!
TO PROVE that the age of innocence isn't dead I ambled into town on Sunday to buy a battery for my mobile phone. To all smart alicks au fait with the workings of a world of built-in obsolescence, then bully for you. But to fellow Luddite technophobes who've only owned two mobile phones in their life, you'll know what I mean when I say I encountered a 'doh' moment.
To his credit Dean in the phone shop, while politely pointing out that he hadn't stocked batteries for several years, didn't bat an eyelid. And even if he noted that my arrival in the Orange shop coincided precisely with the moment its computer system crashed, then he was too much of a gentleman to mention it. Charitably pointing me in the direction of the high tech equivalent of an antique dealer, but clearly conscious of my lingering air of bewilderment, Dean uttered the words 'upgrade' and 'no extra cost' and I became putty in his hands. Summoning up my account details he duly observed, without even the faintest hint of derision, that I hadn't made a solitary call in the past month. Instead he declared that in addition to giving me a free, new phone, my bill would promptly be reduced by £10 a month.
Hey, I love this upgrade stuff! Makes you wonder why the Royal Mail haven't tried a wheeze like that.
When I entered the shop it had been like waking up in a medical waiting room unable to remember whether I was there to see a dentist or a urologist. Now, as SIM cards were juggled, I was at ease with the world and could nonchalantly pretend I knew it all.
There remained a moment of guilt when the computer went again and poor old Dean was forced to do the paperwork by hand, and a further moment of inadequacy watching a three-year-old girl teetering on tiptoe to reach one of the display phones before fluttering her tiny fingers across the touch pad and expertly conjuring up a cartoon game to amuse herself.
Unfortunately, her mother wouldn't let me bring her home to work my Sky HD box.
Honours, however, were left just about even back at the car park where a young lady, approximately a third of my age, was near to hysterics because the ticket machine wouldn't give her a receipt.
Then an attendant, a man of mature years, appeared and directed 'madam' to the button marked 'press for receipt'.