I’ll just say it and get it out of the way. I am not tech savvy. I’m not proud of it, but it’s true. I can do the basics (mostly), but anything beyond that and I’m essentially lost.
Unfortunately, my phone has been getting a bit quirky lately. First, with no warning, when I tried to forward photos through Messenger, the screen language switched to …Croatian? Russian? I’m not sure what language it was, but it had letters in it that I’d never seen before. I checked all my settings, but couldn’t figure out what was wrong. It was there to stay. But, hey, I figured I could live with it because I already knew what to click on to choose contacts, send, etc. I might even become iphone fluent in some unknown language. Silver lining!
But then this past Friday, I clicked on my camera and the entire screen turned black. I pushed the button to try taking a photo, and that worked. If I clicked on the photo icon, I could see the picture I’d just taken. But when I clicked on the camera again, the screen turned black. There was no way to figure out exactly what I was taking a picture of. This was less than ideal. I couldn’t even figure out a silver lining.
I happened to be near the cell phone provider’s store on Sunday, and noticed their parking lot was essentially empty. This is a rare occurrence and one to take advantage of, so I decided to pop in and ask for help.
I walked in the door. The store was empty of customers, and the three men working there jumped away from a small huddle around a computer. Hmmmm…I wonder what was going on there?
“Wow, you guys looked guilty,” I said, laughing.
“Only because we weren’t at the door to welcome you and invite you in,” replied one of them swiftly.
I gave him a skeptical glance, but decided to let it go.
“How can we help you?” he added, moving away from his friends and to my side.
“Well, my phone is acting up,” I said. “The camera won’t work and when I try to send a photo through Messenger, the language switches to Croatian….or something.”
He looked at me quizzically. I held out my phone and clicked on the camera.
“See?” I asked.
He took the phone, looked at the black screen, clearly puzzled, then clicked around for a minute or so.
“I’ve never seen this before,” he finally said.
“Great,” I mumbled. That is so NOT what I wanted to hear. How much is that deductible again?
He clicked around the phone for a minute more, then handed it back to me, saying, “Oh. You just need to update your phone.”
“But I don’t want to update my phone,” I said.
“Well,” he said, patiently, “that’s what you need to do to fix this. You are three updates behind.”
“I know,” I said, “but I don’t want those updates to mess everything up on my phone. I like it the way it is…except with a working camera and no Croatian.”
“Well I can’t guarantee the updates won’t do that, but if you want your camera to work, you need to update, ” he repeated.
“But I really don’t want to update,” I said again.
“Okay,” he said, taking another tack. “Have you tried turning it off?”
“Um. No,” I replied, a bit sheepishly. “I never turn it off.”
“You never turn it off?”
“No,” I said, “I’m convinced it’ll make me provide it with some weird password to get back in, and I won’t know it.”
I think his sigh probably triggered seismic recorders, but he remained pleasant and restrained from rolling his eyes. Heroic, really.
“You really should turn it off at least once a week,” he finally said.
He took the phone back and checked something. He looked at me, even more askance.
“You don’t even have a lock or password on this phone.”
“Okay,” I said, “but I’m going to turn it off right here, so you can help me if it goes crazy.”
“Okay,” he said, resigned to his fate and no doubt regretting that he was the first of the three to offer to help me.
I pushed the button on the side of the phone. Nothing happened. I looked over at him.
“I need to push it for longer, don’t I?” I asked.
He simply nodded. So I pushed the button again, waited a moment, then watched it turn off. I pushed the button again to turn it back on. The screen popped up. No password required. Yay! Then, I clicked the camera button and… Hooray! No black screen!
I laughed. “This is great!” I said. “Thanks so much. Now when I leave, you can go back to your co-workers and say, ‘OMG, that lady was ridiculous. She hasn’t ever updated her phone and wasn’t even completely sure how to turn it off!'”
He laughed and walked me to the door, though I noticed he didn’t deny it. He really had been a nice guy, but I’m sure he was either entertained or appalled by me. Or both. He was, no doubt, happy to be see my quirks and problems leave the store, and I was just as happy to have my phone working again with no update needed. Win! Win!