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the smartest guy gets the dumbest phone June 30, 2009

Posted by That Guy in Technology Trouble.
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Companies want their employees to be available 100 percent of the time. Good companies realize that they have to issue cell phones to their employees or else the employees won’t answer their personal phones; who wants to spend their own cell phone minutes talking to work?

Well, I do, for one, and here’s why:

For years, my boss (now departed) told me that we were going to get company-issued cell phones, and that they would be good ones. But negotiations with the cell phone company were difficult, and we were continually put off.

Then, last Friday, the Two-Year-Old came in and announced, loudly, that the new phones were in and everyone should go downstairs, two at a time, to get them.

HTC Touch Pro (by Ray Dehler)

HTC Touch Pro (by Ray Dehler)

I wasn’t doing anything; why shouldn’t I go down? LR and I went to the room. LR gave his name and the phone rep handed him a brand-new HTC Touch Pro. Now, I had an earlier edition of the Touch Pro and I really liked it (until the system got so buggy that I couldn’t use it anymore), so I was actually looking forward to getting one of these. I do already have an iPhone, but it’s a 3G and I really would like something with video recording and a better camera. If that means I have to carry around two phones, then fine, I’ll carry around two phones.

LR signed for his phone and my turn came up. I said to the nice lady, “my name is That Guy.” She looked over the collection of Touch Pro phones and couldn’t find my name.

One of our finance guys did find it — in a stack of Samsung Sagas.

Urgh.

Samsung Saga

Samsung Saga

Now, nothing against Samsung or the Saga (my sister’s old Samsung was actually really, really cool), but let’s be realistic here: I’m a techy kind of guy. I have an iPhone 3G. My phone already does everything that the Saga does except record video, and if you’ve never seen Saga video (or Blackjack II, which is basically the same)… well, let’s just say you’re not missing out. The Touch Pro at least has a 3.2-megapixel camera, which is better than the 3G, and I certainly wouldn’t mind being able to record video again.

So I left the Saga on the table, told the Two-Year-Old that my iPhone is already a much better device, and asked if I could get a Touch Pro if there are enough left. Because, you know, everyone in here knows I’m technical and everyone in here is going to be asking me how to use their phones*. I certainly can’t help out if I don’t have a phone to compare it to, and I certainly can’t teach people to use things on their phones if I haven’t figured out how to do it myself. That’s probably the most compelling argument, to be honest.

Not that it’ll matter. There weren’t any spare Touch Pros on the table (at least, none that I could see).

Oh, and even better, no one will be able to help with the Touch Pros because the IT guys aren’t getting them either — they’re also getting Sagas.

iPhone 3G (by Adrian Korte)

iPhone 3G (by Adrian Korte)

Everyone in upper management — including the Two-Year-Old — is getting an iPhone 3G (the old one, not the new one). The 3G phones actually cost less than one-third as much as the Touch Pros, and are light-years-easier to use — I tried to help LR set up his Windows Mobile e-mail (because I actually like him) and it turned out that the phone wasn’t even fully set up to work on the data network. LR, fortunately, is a smart guy, and went upstairs to get the problem fixed, but for all the other people who work in here, I just know there’ll be strife as they receive their awesome new devices that don’t quite work as promised.

Meanwhile, I was talking to Amy, who just signed a two-year contract with her provider and picked up a new Instinct. She’s going to roll back to just a phone plan and carry around her husband’s ancient flip phone, but she was pretty disappointed; she finally got the Instinct to do exactly what she wanted, and now she’s going to have to get used to a Touch Pro.

But LR and Amy are exceptions. The vast majority of people I work with will use their $350 Touch Pros as telephones and cameras, and even after the training that has been promised, I guarantee they won’t know how to properly configure the cameras, check their e-mail, go to our mobile website, or take usable video. Pretty standard, when you think about it.

Side note: I know the title of this post claims I’m the smartest guy here. I know that’s not true. However, people in the building think I’m the smartest guy, at least when it comes to technological stuff like cell phones. It only makes sense that I got the dumbest phone, right?

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* As I’ve said countless times, most of the people at CorporateSpeak, despite how they look or behave, are not very bright when it comes to anything more technical than a pencil and paper. Seriously, there are people here who we’ve had to demonstrate — more than once — how to copy and paste in a Word document.

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Comments»

1. Adrian Korte - April 19, 2012

Hi there! You’re using one of my photos in your article. That’s great, thank you!
But could you please link back to http://www.artikelwissen.info, as it is described at the original flickr-source? ;-) That would be great!


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