Friday, November 5, 2010

Lost in Cellular Land

Here's a riddle: What do U.S. Cellular on a Friday night and a snowed-in airport have in common?

Answer: You can spend countless hours at both, waiting for something to happen...and be horribly disappointed.

For the past two and a half hours, my family and I have been camped out at U.S. Cellular in Augusta, waiting for one of the two staff members helping a steady throng of customers to assist us in replacing Emma's broken phone.

We've tried all the phones, checked out the various accessories, taken a break to shop for groceries at the Wal-Mart down the road and returned to our new home to find our name hopefully stalled on the dry-erase board from hell. I can't quite decide which image is most appropriate:

  • The final scene in Beetlejuice, where said villian shiftily exchanges his hopelessly large "take a number" with the medicine man sitting next to him, only to have his head shrunk to a shriveled apple; or
  • The droll, monotonous faux-French voice on Spongebob that marks the excessive passage of time with the words "two hours laaaater..."
I guess either applies well in this failed adventure in cellular land.

10 p.m. update: We just arrived home after a Gilligan's Island-esque "three hour tour" - weary, a big haggard but in possession of three shiny new phones thanks to the patient efforts of customer service rep Caitlin Rutt.

As the clock edged past 8:30, I'll admit to being more than a little cynical about the company's approach to customer service through it's "Belief Project" initiative. Caitlin's attentiveness - particularly after a long day in which her team was shorthanded due to illness - made the end result worth the incredibly long wait.

On a side note, I bid a tearful farewell to my cellular companion of the past five years, my old LG phone with the sporty antenna that my family openly mocked.

Goodbye, faithful friend. You served me well.

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