Saturday, July 28, 2007

sad news

I'm very unhappy to announce that I now have a phone that works. I've waited over a year to switch my old phone over to a new one; a coworker gave me this phone in, oh, 2005, and I did nothing with it. It sat at my desk in the office for many moons. After much procrastination, I found myself in an LG Telecom office this afternoon with my buddies Tom and Jang-woong, and the three of us got the phone taken care of.

There are two reasons why I didn't get the phone switched over right away, and these reasons will give you some insight into my character.

First: I hate cell phones and see no reason to have one. I'm not a Luddite, but I am an introvert. I have a cell phone only because one was foisted on me in 2002 by my Korean buddy as soon as I arrived in Korea. "It's modern society, man!" he told me. "You need a cell phone!" But I don't like being found. It's a bit like Lindsay Lohan and her ankle bracelet: I feel as though you can track me no matter where I am. That's not a good feeling.

Second: I hate the fact that I'm unable to make the cell phone switch on my own. I tried it once; the dude told me that, as a foreigner, I would need my Korean companion to do the honors. As a guy nearing 40, I find this extremely degrading, so as a simple matter of pride (I may blog about my shitting habits and my split pants, but I do have my pride), I didn't want to enter the LG office with my buddy to do the deed. That state of affairs obtained for over a year.

In any case, I've got a phone now. It works just fine. You can send me text messages and other obnoxious shit. This phone has a camera, which I might start using, though I'm not really into moblogging.

Grudging thanks to my homeys for helping out with the changeover.




Anonymous said...

I know how you feel. I've got more or less to send and receive calls from the wife and that's about it. Drives my wife crazy when someone calls me and I refuse to answer. I tell her, if the call is really important, the person will either send an e-mail or text me.

Drives me crazy to have my conversations interrupted by phones. I've always been the kind of person that believes the person you're physically talking with should receive your full attention rather than someone on the other side of Seoul who wants to know why I forgot to staple my students' quizzes or something.

You have been leashed! Guard your number with your life or you'll be getting night-before-the-test texts from students and all sorts of other nonsense. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

If I may strike a different tune: it's about time!

For me, a cell phone is indispensable, because this is where all my calls for school and work come in. In fact, I rely so much on my cell phone that our land line was down for two days before I noticed. In fact, it's still down at the moment--I'll have to call the phone company tomorrow. Or not... practically the only people who call the land line are telemarketers. Hmm...

Is your number the same, by the way? If not, drop me an email with the new number so I can torment you (jk).

By the way, I do agree that it is complete BS that you can't set up the phone by yourself. I told my wife about this and she said that her (foreign) students hook up their own phones all the time. I'll have to ask her if she's sure that their companies don't do it for them. Not that it matters now, but it just strikes me as really weird that you couldn't do it by yourself.

At least the humiliation is over.

Kevin Kim said...

The humiliation lingers, Charles, it lingers!

And yeah, I've seen stories on other blogs re: the foreigner's ability to do most phone-related (and credit card-related) things for himself. But many of those stories (e.g., Pusan Jeff's story) note that you often have to argue strenuously with the staffers to convince them that the law has changed and that it's now possible for foreigners to take care of themselves. The fact that you have to fight for what's already yours is also demeaning.

Oh, yes: my phone number remains the same. Which reminds me... I need to pay my phone bill. Guess I'll do that Monday.


I hear you. Luckily, when my phone was good, my students didn't call/text me that often. I expect that trend to continue.