the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Tag: Cingular

Short Tales of the Weekend

1) The Tale of our Cellular Service

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About two years ago, my mobile service was ATT. The service was pretty bad. At some point, ATT were bought out by Cingular. Although Cingular seemed more organized, Sophia and I were stuck on the old “ATT” plan and Cingular treated us as second class citizens. Their customer service was rude to us on the phone, saying that we weren’t “real” Cingular customers. Eventually, we settled in with Cingular and their spotty service in Redondo Beach, and we were finally accepted as “real” Cingular customers.

On Saturday, we found out Cingular was merged with ATT and the company would be now called ATT again. WTF???????

2) The Tale of the Roomba

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Sophia is always complaining that I’m trying to get female readers to love me for my sensitive side, but here’s an example where my sensitivity went too far:

My mother-in-law’s Roomba wasn’t working well, so on Saturday, I brought it home to clean. Sophia decided to test it on our living room floor. She put on the power and then followed the Roomba around as it did its job. There is something addictive about watching the robot as it curves in-and-out under the couch and the chairs. As the Roomba headed for the patio door, it got stuck on the little shag rug we keep in front of the patio in order to wipe our feet. The Roomba kept trying to release itself. It would move forward for a second, bump its head on the glass door, then move back to repeat the same action again and again. Sophia stood there, watching, waiting for it to unravel itself.

It was too much for a sensitive soul like myself.

“Sophia, take him off,” I cried, “He’s HURTING himself!”

3) The Tale of the Car Trunk

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Last night, Sophia and I took a walk along the beach. On the way back home, we passed a parked BMW. I noticed that the trunk was slightly ajar, as if the owner didn’t slam it closed hard enough.

“Should I close it for them?” I asked Sophia.

“Sure,” she said. “It’ll prevent people from stealing something.”

Two or three blocks later, I noticed an uncomfortable look on Sophia’s face.

“What is it?” I asked.

“You know, maybe the owner was beaten up and THROWN into the trunk, and now we just suffocated him.”

“You watch WAY TOO MUCH TV,” I said at the time, but I had nightmares all night about the Sopranos.

4) The Tale of the Nice Blogger

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Fitena of C’est La Vie send me these beautiful little gifts from Mauritius!

Thank you, Fitena. You are so sweet. One day, I would love to come visit you in person.  I saw on the package that you sent it on December 20th, bu I didn’t receive it until yesterday, February 3rd!  Let’s hear it for the Mauritius and U.S. Postal Services!

5) The Tale of the Super Bowl

Sophia is over at a Super Bowl Party. I’m blogging. Do I have to make believe I care? But I hope Chicago wins for Kevin’s sake. You know someone is a crazed fan when they change their header photo to their favorite team.

A Year Ago on Citizen of the Month: The Photo Shoot

Extremely Short Tales of Cell Phones

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Story One — The Bar in Queens 

I left New York rather quickly last month, so I don’t think I publicly said how much I enjoyed seeing Sandra, Caitlin, Anonymous City Girl, Tatyana, and Claudette

One of the funniest meetings was with Caitlin and her boyfriend, Billy.  We planned to meet in a bar in Queens.  I arrived a few minutes early and was waiting by the jukebox in front.  Some pretty girl walked in and stared at me for a second and then just passed me by.  She sat at the bar.  I looked over at her and she looked my way, but then she turned away and ignored me.  She started a conversation with the guy sitting next to her at the bar.

I continued to wait for Caitlin and Billy. 

Every few minutes, I felt someone looking at me.  It was that girl at the bar.  I would look over at her and she would look away.  Now, the guy at the bar turned to me for a second, then turned away.

Was this Caitlin and Billy?  And why don’t they come over to me?  Isn’t it apparent that I am waiting for them by the front entrance?  It can’t be them.  Wouldn’t Caitlin and Billy come together?  Maybe this girl at the bar just thinks my overcoat looks funny and she is making fun of me?  Should I go over to them?  Will that dude who is talking to her think I am cutting in and kick my ass in the alley?

I came up with the perfect solution.  Caitlin had called me on my phone earlier, so I had her phone number stored in memory.  I’ll call her up and if this girl answers the phone, I’ll know it is her. If not, I’ll know that she hasn’t arrived yet.

I dialed Caitlin’s phone number.  A phone rang at the bar and the girl answered.

Caitlin:  Hello.

She looked my way.

Neil:  Hi, I think this is me and you are you.

Caitlin:  Oh, hi!

Neil:  What should we do now?  Should I go over there?

Caitlin:  Sure.  Thanks for calling!

Neil:  Anytime.  Nice speaking to you.  Bye!

Caitlin:  Bye-bye!

It was Caitlin… and Billy.  We sat down in the restaurant area to order some dinner.  We noticed that patrons at different tables were eating completely different types of food:  Chinese food, pizza, and even fried chicken.  “What a diverse menu!” I said.  It ended up being that since the bar didn’t serve food, they handed everyone a bunch of take-out menus, and patrons just got food delivered to their table from some outside restaurant.  So, I used my phone again and ordered some pizza.

 

Story Two — The Free Phone

Last year, I received a free Sprint phone and six months of service as part of the Sprint Ambassador Program for bloggers.  I wasn’t required to write about the phone on my blog but (wink wink).   Sophia was so jealous that she emailed them and convinced them to send HER a second phone since she was my blog editor.

Six months later, the gig was up.  Bloggers around the country said good-bye to their Sprint phones.  Sophia, of course, found it difficult to say goodbye.  She loved playing with all the applications.  She even used the GPS program she downloaded on the phone as she walked around New York.  She convinced me to write a suck-up post to Sprint so we could be participants in the new “phase” of the Sprint Ambassador program.  It didn’t work.  My days of free stuff for blogging came to an end, and I went back to paying for my measly phone service like the rest of you suckers.  It was my own fault.  I didn’t pimp them enough AND I never really gave them any feedback.  Honestly, I didn’t use any of the cool applications other than reading my blog comments on the phone.  On the other hand, Sophia downloaded music, played “Lemonade,” text messaged, watched TV, etc. and had an opinion on every single thing about the phone, including the size of the buttons, and emailed Sprint all the time, telling them how they could do it better.

So, guess which of us got a NEW phone for another six months for this Sprint Ambassador Program?  And which of us was refused as a participant for being a promotional dud?

 

Story Three — Stupid Commercial

I really hate that new Cingular ad where these two dudes have just downloaded The Clash’s “Rock the Casbah” on their phone and are singing it incorrectly as “Lock the Cashbox.”

At first it bothered me because they were mangling one of my favorite songs and making me feel old, but on second thought I just found it insulting to the intelligence of Cingular’s customers, such as myself.  Those idiots just DOWNLOADED a song titled “Rock the Casbah” and they can’t figure out what the refrain is?  Didn’t they have to look it up first to download it?

“Dude, I just downloaded “Rock the Casbah” but I can’t understand what these British guys are saying.  Is it “Lock the Cashbox?” 

The real idiots are the copywriters that created this one.

A Year Ago on Citizen of the MonthCES: Day Two

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