The one about too good to be true

5 Apr

Yesterday I underwent a painful life lesson, again.  If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  I haven’t given my bank details to displaced Nigerian princes, nor indeed invested in an ‘earn up to £10,000 per month’ scheme advertised on the back of A-road signs in North Kent, nor chosen Rescue Remedy over a nice double vodka, nor have I assumed, well, ANYTHING (separate blog coming up there, I think), so I’ve always prided myself on my worldly attitude to not being sucked into something that blatantly isn’t going to work.  Well, until yesterday.

Background.  The keyboard to my beloved BlackBerry Curve has developed supersensitivity, indeed so sensitive is it that I would probably put it on a par with L1.  Typing ‘a’ leads it to sheer agony (it must do, it types ‘aaaaaaaaaa’); risking the delete button gives it the opportunity to show me exactly what it thinks about my text messages or IMs, by mandatorily deleting every previous character in the sentence.  And don’t get me started on what happens when you type ‘p’ (just remember, it’s next to ‘o’ on a qwerty keyboard, and I have two small children – word associations with me don’t tend to end up in the realm of astrophysics).

I loathe being out of touch and I loathe not being able to make myself clear (FOR THE AVOIDANCE OF DOUBT – favourite phrase, ever, FACT), so as you can probably imagine this state of affairs is agony to me.  I have developed a method of using the keyboard that, during a brief out of body moment on the 6.18, I viewed from the perspective of a fellow commuter, and realised that I must look like I’ve taken leave of my senses.  I tip myself to the left and the BlackBerry to the left still further, and type the far right hand side of the keyboard with my left hand, and vice versa.  Having had my Damascene moment in this regard, when an e-mail from BlackBerry Trade-Up popped into my inbox I fell to my knees and praised the Almighty (in my head, metaphorically not literally, not on the 6.18).

For BlackBerry Trade-Up promised me what, at that point, seemed to me to be the earth, With No Catches.  Yes, visit any ‘participating retailer’, press upon them your BlackBerry handset, and receive a brand new one not just totally free, oh no, but WITH MONEY BACK.  I know, I know.  I should have listened to the part of me that constantly repeats ‘for the avoidance of doubt’ at work and at home, ad nauseum.  But I didn’t.  I ran to the Carphone Warehouse with wings on my heels, missing bedtime the night before the start of my Easter break, to take advantage of this and have £43 to spend in the pub the next day.  What could possibly go wrong?

Well, firstly, Carphone Warehouse had never heard of this deal.  I had a five-minute conversation with someone which felt like we were behind a sheet of one-way viewing glass talking frantically about two entirely separate topics: the HS2 project and Jessie J, perhaps.  That sort of level of misunderstanding.  Finally we found someone who appeared to be able to translate, who sent me from the middle of Oxford Street (Bond Street end) to Tottenham Court Road, to the Phones4U store (“they’ve got the BlackBerry bit there, I know they definitely do this”).

So off I toddled, right leg singing (separate story), to the place of swappage.  Firstly there was not one single person IN the BlackBerry Zone at Phones4U on Tottenham Court Road.  They were all in the main part of the shop fiddling with an iPhone.  Once I had their attention, however, they were very helpful, although in the sense that they, too, had never heard of the deal. A similar level of consultation to that encountered at Carphone Warehouse ensued, which culminated in the recommendation that I visited Selfridges (just where I had been at Carphone Warehouse, of course), who apparently “definitely have a BlackBerry bit there, I know they definitely do this”.  As you can imagine, I chose not to go back to where I came from, but instead gave myself a stern talking to outside We Will Rock You, and went home, tipping my BlackBerry and myself to the left and typing cross-handed to Tweet my disappointment.  As I shall be doing until my official Carphone Warehouse upgrade in two more months time.  For once again, I am sad to report, yes, things really can be too good to be true.  Chastened, but perhaps more wise.  For now, until the next e-mail from an organisation I trust comes through offering something I need, at least..Image.

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