Stuff not to do during a pandemic.

New on left, old on right!

I know this from personal experience. Every dang thing had kerfuffle’s. Every. Ding dong dang. Thing.

First don’t buy a new house. We went through germy houses and had to be sterilized. I considered having a steam room installed in my house that we had to go through before entering. Visitors too. We were fortunate to buy one not yet on the market meaning the only germy person who touched stuff was the owner.

Don’t sell your house during a pandemic. Germy people come through and you have to sterilize before feeling comfortable living in your own house.

Don’t move. We had three days to get out of our old house when the movers arrived. It was the height of the pandemic and they said they can’t work with a mask. I was sure we would all die. I directed traffic from at least six feet away. We had a miracle and no one got sick.

Don’t buy a car. There is no inventory. No choice. No negotiating. Just cha-ching, cha-ching.

Don’t buy a cell phone. Again not much inventory. The lovely phones at a reasonable price are not available. You can buy a bottom level version or a $$ one. There isn’t staff to help either at the buying end or set up. What should take a half hour takes days, waiting in phone queues and driving cross town.

You’ve heard me complain about all the other stuff. Here is my cell phone experience. I had to buy a phone as mine was dying. At one store there wasn’t a techie to help with the set-up and at it’s sister store they didn’t have the model I wanted. I bought at one store and drove to the other store clear across town to get help with set up. I stood in line. There were three people ahead of me. Not too bad or so I thought.

It took two hours for my turn to come up. The techie was working on multiple people and texting on her own cell. She had zero multi-tasking skills. She spent a half hour on my phone (we are now at 2-1/2 hours in the store, way beyond my limit. My brain is fried. Claustrophobia is setting in and I just want to get out.). She says she can’t transfer data. Something happens on the phone and I see some contacts and numbers appear. She sends me on my way and I am all too happy to get out.

When I tried to make a call I had no cell reception. The message said there was no SIM card. (I now know more about SIM cards than I want to!). After much diddling around plus google and YouTube, I figured out she put my SIM card in wrong. Sigh! I still had issues which required a call to my service provider. I was in queue for almost an hour. Fortunately I had the option of getting a call back so I didn’t have to sit there.

Service is fixed. The next morning I looked at my contacts. Only half of my contacts were transferred. There was no rhyme or reason on which ones they chose. Maybe they were sending me a message on my choice of friends. Rather than go through trying to transfer the rest, I added them manually. One. By. One. I had to install all my apps and give permissions. I felt like I was giving away my underwear sizes.

I now have a working cell phone that is too big for pockets and awkward to use. I put a date on my calendar when I will trade it in for one that is simple, easy and works with my small hands. It will be after the pandemic and when those doggone ships stuck at seas with all the cargo can sail. I don’t need to carry around a whole computer screen.

Yes, I’m blaming all this on the pandemic. During normal times I would have consulted with techies on which phone matched my needs. They would have been delighted to make a sale. There actually would have been knowledgeable people working and inventory. Maybe that has become a fantasy these days.

Anyhow I’m back in service.

83 thoughts on “Stuff not to do during a pandemic.

  1. I wanted to buy a new phone this month too and change the plan and get some help with an app, as I hate my newer big screen model, it’s just too big and awkward, but when I went to the Telus store I saw a Help Wanted sign and that was that! I just renewed the contract on the old one for another year rather than deal with it as I am hopeless when it comes to tech stuff.

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  2. I have, on occasion, dreaded going into Best Buy … more often than not I get someone who talks a mile a minute and looks at me like I’m the man in the moon if I look slow to comprehend. I had to get two new flip phones in the last few years because AT&T no longer supported my cute little 2G phone, then I just got used to the new phone and oops … we no longer support 3G, so I had to get a 4G phone. I don’t want to connect to internet, so I really needed something simpler. Give them another year and 5G will be mandatory.

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  3. Having done all of these things during a pandemic and coming out the other end to warn us, I’d say you’re the super-heroes of the over 60’s set! You’re pretty amazing. I give you all the credit you deserve, with wishes that at the end of this pandemic, should we all be fortunate enough to live to see it completely in our rearview mirrors, you deserve a fantastic vacation. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I did two of those things during the pandemic: buy a new phone and a new car. The phone was pretty simple since I already knew what I wanted. The car? I had to wait almost three months. That phone “tech” sounds horrible. I don’t think many retail stores are being very picky about who they hire nowadays. “Pulse? Check. You are hired!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Much of my angst was caused by the techie. I didn’t know what to do about the SIM card. I even went back the next day but she had called off sick. The person there was not a techie so she gave me another SIM card. That doesn’t work as my phone was connected to the old card. Round and round. I was luckier with the car. I watched the internet for a delivery of one I wanted. Our local dealership (of the brand I wanted) only got 5 cars a week so it took 4 weeks but I did get the model and amazingly the color I wanted. Most of the new cars coming in were either black or white and I wanted red.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Me too. My computer is old and prior to the pandemic I was thinking of upgrading. I’ve been trying to hold off and it’s working ok except for freezing up. We have a “computer guy” and I may have him check it out first. My husband is still on a computer with Windows 7. I keep telling him that his days are numbered. It can’t be upgraded it’s that old.

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    • Not everyone has the experience I had. I really blame a lot of it on the techie that was “supposed” to set me up and transfer data. Not putting a SIM card in the proper slot was a really stupid mistake and it cascaded from there. I should have done it myself.

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  5. Cell phones are going to be the death of us all. Not in the “they’ll fry your brain” way, but in the “why the heck do I have this thing” way. I don’t know anyone who likes their phone. Looking for the perfect one is like the search for the Holy Grail.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My husband was at the car dealer today starting the paperwork to just keep our lease rather than go through trying to find another car. They had zero new cars on their lot. We traded phones the first of the year, during the pandemic, but in between the supply shortages. We got two iPhones, the same models, but when they update mine does it seamlessly and his takes me a half an hour to work through all the security hoops they want me to jump through just to have it work. I will never understand it, and for sure I can’t go find someone who can help. I guess that’s why everything is disposable these days – there’s no CS so when you get fed up, you buy something else.

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  7. I managed to set up my own phone and it works fine. I did get the same model as my daughter so I knew I could ask for help if I needed it. I have an android and transferred most stuff via google. I do have grandchildren so I think I will be alright for the next few years. The pandemic is making us more self-reliant.

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  8. I have been on the same mobile provider for about 20 years. Not a problems, except my new phone kept cutting out, typically after the warranty ran out. Not my phone apparently. The provider service does not like our house. Stand in the garden or in the road, no problem, but indoors? Nada. Transmitter mast is bust and the substitute insufficient. So, we got a new sim card for a different provider on what we thought was the same PAYG set up we have. That’ll be a no then as you have to set up a monthly payment which isn’t always carried over to the next month. Don’t like that. It went in the bin.

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  9. Tech stuff is the worst! So frustrating. My kids have left the “Apple-verse” (which I joined because they were all on Apple products) but I am staying because upgrading my phone or computer is so much easier (and I don’t feel I have the energy to learn Android, at this point). I know it’s pricey but dammit, it is worth it to me to not have to tear my hair out or gnash my teeth down to nubs every time I get a new tech-thingy.

    Deb

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  10. You really have managed to accomplish some amazing things during the panDAMNic. As for the phone debacle…jeez. While the brick & mortar provider I went to had pretty much no inventory and a 3+ week wait for delivery, I managed to buy and pick up one same day through the manufacturer over the weekend. I did a backup on the old phone and voila! looks like all my apps, contacts and settings migrated during the activation of the new phone {patting myself on the back for doing it without sobbing or swearing (mostly) on my own}. I’m no phone genius but actually managed to do it (normally I’d leave that up to those freshly scrubbed faces of the millennials at the store). My only hiccup has been with the WiFi but that’s another story/battle in progress. I think tech companies are disciples of the devil.

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    • I bought my first smart phone on-line and set up myself. It wasn’t so bad. I don’t know why I didn’t this time. Oh yes! I didn’t want to spend a lot of time “learning or relearning” how to do it. Well, that boat sailed!

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  11. Oh Kate! I know how frustrating all of this is – I feel your pain about the phone thing. I probably never would have tried moving during a pandemic (you were so brave!) but I HAD to do the phone switch from 3G. Reading your experience had me giggling (no offense but it did!) but there is hardly one dingy dang thing we try to do these days that doesn’t turn into a MOUNTAIN when it should be a molehill. It’s ridiculous – frustrating – and no end in sight but like lemmings we continue to march to the cliffs because WE – HAVE – NO – CHOICE! Sigh.

    Hugs, Pam

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    • For the past 2 years I’ve been thinking about upgrading but I didn’t need to. Over the past year, I started to do more things on my phone but then…well…pandemic. However, when it takes me 10 minutes to order my mocha I knew it was time. One day it would just die. With the renovation going on, the contractors text and I don’t want to miss that. If it weren’t for all that, I’d be sitting here with my old, slow phone.

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  12. Guess I will hang onto my old phone for awhile. My patience isn’t what it used to be, in fact, it has nearly disappeared. I don’t understand how someone can use their phone while serving a customer. In my world personal calls while working are a no-no. Guess my world is shrinking.😐

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    • I tried to not judge. Maybe she had a sick kid but she texted constantly through all the customers sometimes fouling things up. She was transferring data for someone else and it timed out. She didn’t see it. They came back an hour later only to find out it wasn’t done. Perhaps getting an iPhone and going to an Apple store would guarantee better service.

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  13. Oh Kate! I am so sorry… I truly feel your frustration. You truly did all the big stuff at the peak of pandemic pandemonium! We thought we had a good experience with our phones but we did spend over two hours purchasing them… ridiculous. You are a brave woman. I am telling when this is all over with you will need a therapist… don’t ask me how I know! Hugs!

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  14. I really do understand when it’s just one d&*^ed thing after another, complicated by anything and everything having to do with this d&*^ed pandemic. I need to buy another car before the end of May as mine will no longer pass inspection and the cost of fixing what ails it is 1/3rd of its value. I’ve had to table looking seriously (other than some searches online) because I’m also a part of the filing of a civil suit against the personal representative of my dad’s will and that has a lot of money tied up in a retainer. Not to mention that my medical issues do not only not seem to go away, but new ones keep getting added with every visit! Oh yea, and my landlord just informed me of a rent increase! I feel your pain and hope we both come out on the other side of all of this stuff!

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  15. OMG, that sounds excruciating. Kudos to you for your patience in the phone store.

    We got all new phones this past year, but my spouse is technically proficient. The phones arrived in the mail. He transferred all the data, and then I just grumbled over having to learn the new “improvements” in the buttons and operating systems. It’s been months and I think I’ve finally stopped trying to hit the nonexistent “home” button. Finally.

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  16. I love Consumer Cellular for phone service and replacement phones. No glitches and fabulous service folks on the phone, based in the US and speak English!! And I have a wonderful computer guy who fixes my computer as needed, and also does all my exchange from one phone to the new one. I will count my lucky stars!!

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    • I couldn’t get what I wanted through CC’s Target affiliate. I really like to see before buying but that didn’t help in this case. Normally their customer service is great and fast but right now the queues are long. Once you get through, their people are knowledgeable and we cleared out some errors the on-site techie made. I’m going to transfer myself next time. They now have a button on the phone that does it easily. Not sure what the techie did to screw everything up.

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