The gift of the pain-in-the-rear phone

I have grown to really hate Apple. Seriously. Why are they now making us pay $700+ on payment plans tied to our phone service for their little pocket computers that only last 12 months at the most? Or at least that’s how long they seem to last for me. Example: my current iPhone 6+ is the replacement for another iPhone 6+ that went belly-up December 2016, which, if memory serves me right, was a replacement of an earlier phone that also fizzled out and died. So if you’re keeping track, my current phone is a replacement for a replacement for a phone that couldn’t hack it and live up to its potential as a $700 pocket computer. This current replacement of a replacement has been out of the box for exactly 14 months and it too started to show signs it didn’t want to live anymore: lines covering half the screen, touch screen not working 25% of the time, freezing and not letting me answer incoming calls, and, the best one, battery that only lasts about 3.5-4 hours. It’s the battery issue that had me scouring Amazon for any type of portable charger solution (and start a really fascinatingly overwhelming thread on my Facebook page about solar chargers vs. other chargers — too much tech speak for me!). But I couldn’t just exchange the phone again because the original replace the replacement that was the replacement cycle had come to an end. In addition, we really want to leave AT&T, but I have the only phone out of three lines that is paid off. Getting a brand new phone would commit us to another 638 years of contracts with AT&T. Bleah.

I didn’t think to ask one of my oldest friends who actually repairs iPhones to take a look at it. I didn’t want to bother him with it, and I assumed it was not fixable. I did call him to see if he had an older “burner phone” I could buy off of him to use as a temporary replacement for walking the Camino — really I was looking for battery life and “will it work?” But otherwise, I just didn’t want to bug him with what I thought was irreparable.

“Jen, bring me your phone. Just bring it to me. Let me see what I can do. Stop arguing and bring me your phone. Jen, bring me your phone.”

Oh my goodness, I am so glad I did! Lowell was able to fix the screen and replace the battery in about 30 minutes (IT’S A MIRACLE!), but more importantly–

Today was a gift.

Dealing with the stupid phone was a necessity. Spending time with an incredibly good friend, catching up, connecting over some of the trials and tribulations we each experienced in the last 16 months since we’ve seen each other — this morning was a gift.

SPENDING THIS TIME WITH HIM WAS AN ABSOLUTE GIFT. Phone be damned. I’m amazed how much the universe has shown me just prepping for the Camino before leaving Seattle. Today’s lesson: Don’t be afraid to ask your friends for help, but more importantly, DON’T LET THAT MUCH TIME GO BY WITHOUT CHECKING IN WITH THOSE YOU LOVE AND WHO ARE IMPORTANT TO YOU. 

Thank you, Lowell. I am taking that tiny speck of burden from you and leaving it at Cruz de Ferro. Look for my potato effigies on this blog. See you in June!

For everyone else in the Seattle area– if you need your iPhone fixed, take it to Lowell at iPlayPower (even if it’s the replacement of a replacement).

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