• Day 22/90 – The British Accent Works

    Day 22 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? Taking my fake British accent to the Verizon store!

    Sometimes you want to sit on Evo when you check your phone. (Photo by Sheila Dee)
    Sometimes you want to sit on Evo when you check your phone. (Photo by Sheila Dee)

    My phones been on the fritz lately, so I stopped by the Verizon store on my way home from work. Whenever you check in at the store, one of the first things they ask you is your first name. Call me old-fashioned, but I think it’s presumptuous when a company assumes that they can call you by your first name. This is one of the few things I dislike about Verizon.

    And, since I’m me, I’ve been rocking my British accent off-and-on all day – including when I walked into the Verizon store. When the clerk asked for my name, I’ve responded with, “I prefer ‘Mrs. Carter,’ if you don’t mind.” (I was inspired by Emma Thompson’s portrayal of P.L. Travers in Saving Mr. Banks.) Historically, when I’ve objected to the clerk entering my first name, they’ve looked at me strangely; however, with a British accent, the guy didn’t bat an eye and said, “No problem, Mrs. Carter.”

    The clerk who assisted me was equally accommodating and polite. The Verizon clerks are usually wonderful when they are assisting me, so that wasn’t unusual. I did think it was very sweet that the clerk who assisted me walked me to the door and held it open for me as I left.

    I don’t know why speaking with a fake British accent makes people more polite and accommodating, but as long as it’s working and it makes me happy, I’m going to keep doing it. (It works even when I don’t ask for stuff. Remind me to tell you the story about how I got a discount on sunglasses just because I was speaking with my accent.)

    It turns out my phone’s processor is fried and thankfully I’m due for a free upgrade. I’ll be back at Verizon in a few days to transfer my contacts to my new phone.

    In case you missed it: Day 21 of the 90 Days of Awesome – Resetting my Priorities with Help from Saving Mr. Banks!

  • Verizon Forgets Women’s Needs

    Classic Pin-up Pose with Cell Phone by Frank Kovalchek

    I have been with Verizon for as long as I’ve had a cell phone. They provide great service. I have reception almost everywhere I go. However, I was disappointed when I went shopping for a new phone last week.

    My first smartphone was the LG Ally. It was simple, and it worked for my needs. I didn’t need or want a super fancy phone. I needed a phone that allowed me to make calls, check email, and update Twitter. The LG Ally fit my needs, it was small enough to fit in my hand and in the front my pocket of my jeans, and I preferred the pop-out keyboard to the touch screen. It was a good phone until I added Google+ and my phone ran out of space. It was time to update.

    I walked into my Verizon store, held up my phone, and basically said, “I need this with more space.” I was disappointed to learn that Verizon’s current phone selection does not cater to women’s needs. I walked out of there with a new LG phone, but it’s not a phone that was made for me.

    For one, my new phone is too big for my child-size hand. I used to be able to use my phone one-handed, but that’s a thing of the past. It’s obvious the people who designed my phone did not try it out on small-framed women.

    I learned that one the reasons why my phone is so big is because it has a bigger screen to better accommodate the touchscreen. Verizon had few phones that had a pop-out keyboard. I was frustrated that the clerk who was helping me failed to mention that I didn’t have this feature until he had run my credit card. Apparently, “I need this with more space,” only meant “I need a phone” to him. The upside to not having a pop-out keyboard is my new phone has few moving parts so it will be harder for me to break it and it can have protective rubber cover. So far, I’m not thrilled about using the touchscreen and I hate autocorrect.

    I told the clerk that I needed a phone that would fit in my pocket. He said his phone fit in his pocket. I had to remind him that there’s a big difference in the amount of space guys get for their pockets compared to women. Women’s pants have micro-pockets, if they have pockets at all. My clerk pointed to my bag and said, “It’ll fit in there.” What about when I don’t want to carry a bag? My new phone only fits in my back pocket so I’m good as long as I don’t sit down.

    My grateful Verizon gives me two weeks to try out a new phone. I may take it back and see if they have something better suited for women…but I’m not holding my breath. I thought I was being petty about my phone until I shared my concerns with other women and they exasperatedly agreed that their phones weren’t made for them either.

    If any woman has a phone that fits in her hand and her front pocket comfortably, please let me know what it is. I’d be interested in trying it out.