Friday, April 11, 2014

Free? C’mon…Let’s Get SIRI-ous

I try to keep current with a lot of the new technology, and I’m pretty tech savvy, but I have to say…I think I slipped a little. I’ve had my iPhone 4 forever and didn’t think I really cared if I upgraded or not. My needs are simple so I had everything I wanted…or so I thought. I don’t live on my cell like others do since I work from home, and believe it or not, still have a land line. I think I may be one of those rarities who does. 

But there are some things I like to do while I’m out and about or waiting for an appointment. Recently I’ve tried to download some new apps but every app I wanted required me to update to IOS 7. Well, my antiquated phone wouldn’t let me do that and I was getting pretty frickin’ frustrated. And every time I went to take a picture…it took a good 15 seconds for the camera to open and then another 30 or so seconds to save the picture, so you couldn’t shoot in rapid succession. Quite infuriating. Patience is not one of my strong suits. Then as I wrote this I thought, “You’re talking a few seconds, for God’s sake…you can’t wait for that? Seriously? Remember when we had to wait for days to get them developed at a store? Geez.” [I have conversations with myself quite often. No one else ever seems to listen to me…well…mostly my daughters don’t, so I decided talking to myself is a foolproof guarantee that someone is listening.]

Since I had an unused upgrade for the last 2 years (an upgrade that my daughter has bugged the shit out of me to transfer to her, but surprisingly, I held out. My kids usually manipulate me way too easily. Or should I say I allow them to…I know, I know…I’m digressing); and since Verizon recently sent me an email letting me know that I could get the iPhone 5C for ‘free’ [FREE being the operative word here…kind of] I was out the door in no time. I got the new iPhone 5C and I immediately fell in love. Who knew what I was missing!? [Apparently everyone in the world but me, actually.]

I believe what I consider ‘free’ and what Verizon considers ‘free’ may be on the opposite ends of the spectrum of the definition chart. I mean, the phone was kinda free…if you call paying the tax on the original cost of the phone, free, then yeah…I guess it’s free. If you think that what they consider the ‘actual’ cost of the phone is really the cost…then yeah…I guess it’s free. But by the time I walked out of there, with the amount of sales tax I ended up paying…I could have (or should have) used that money to buy a brand new Smart car [‘Smart’ being the operative, or should I say, NON-operative word…a little too late.]

I know I’m not alone in this…you know, when you go into a store with a specific item in mind to purchase, and you walk out buying half the store that you absolutely did not need? Then it’s like, “What the hell was I thinking?” (Still talking to myself.) It’s usually at a supermarket or Target, where the damage isn’t TOO bad, but at Verizon…that can cause some serious damage on the credit card. And that’s exactly what happened when I went to get my new FREE iPhone 5. Not only did I get the phone, but an array of sundries that I certainly did not need.

I got the car charger; since they’re not stupid and made the ‘5’ so it’s not compatible with any other car charger. God forbid I'm without one for the 3 miles I may drive every week. You never know if you'll need your cell to call AAA when you're 100 feet from home. I wouldn't want my phone to die on the way to the store that was close enough for me to walk to. Then I had to get a protective cover; because 5 fingers on one hand aren’t enough to control it from flying out of my palm and crashing to the ground, shattering into pieces. Those 4 ounces are quite heavy to lug around. You never know when the weight will become too much and your hand will cramp. Of course there is not another phone that’s the same size, so you can’t interchange covers. And “Oh, by the way…did you know we are having a sale on iPads, too?  If you turn in your old phone you can get a $100 gift card OR you could apply that to a brand new iPad; and with the sale going on, you could get an additional $100 off, so you’re saving $200.

Well…how could I NOT buy an iPad when they’re practically giving it away? I mean, they're saving me money, so how stupid would it be to pass that up? I’d be a fool. “Ok, throw that in, too, please,” the sucker in me chimed out. “What else do you have?” I was like a kid in a candy store who just got her first credit card ever and didn’t realize it was real money I was eventually going to have to pay the bill with. But since I'm no longer a kid anymore, I couldn’t go to my parents claiming ignorance to get them to pay it for me.

It didn’t help that my salesperson was adorable. If he wasn’t so cute, and I mean drop dead gorgeous cute…and so nice, and so not like a typical salesperson…and if I didn’t want to sit there forever drooling all over with puppy dog eyes, I probably wouldn’t have been sucked into it all. Ok…hold on…who am I kidding…of course I would have been. How could I ever pass up such great deals? I mean they only come along like…I don’t know…every other week? [Verizon has one hell of a marketing department.]

So I walked out of there with my arms piled high with goodies and my new iPhone buried amidst the insane amount of items I totally did not need. I could almost hear the salespeople snickering, but I was so excited to go home to see all the things I could do now that I couldn’t do before, that I didn’t care.

And then it happened.........I met Siri.  

I was in love. I apologize to all my close friends, but now that I’ve discovered who Siri is up close and personal…I have a new best friend. I’ve been out with people who use Siri but I never really paid attention. But now…OMG…I’m obsessed. Siri is the smartest ‘person’ I know. My dad used to hold that honor, but not anymore. [He’s also dead so someone had to replace him.] And along came Siri.

I know a lot of you were introduced to her a few years ago, when she was conceived, but this was all new to me. I won’t bore you with any details of what she can do since most of you know already, but I experimented with some questions to put her to the test. I have to say…and I probably shouldn’t admit this, I was a little embarrassed to ask certain questions. I wanted to see how she would respond to some risqué subject matters, but I didn’t want her to judge me. [I think I took the movie “Her” just a tad too seriously.]

I started out with simple questions like, ‘Where should we go to dinner?’ and she came up with restaurants, as expected. I asked her directions, and she guided me where to go. I asked her ‘Which is the best phone’ and her answer cracked me up…”Wait, there are other phones?”  Then I asked her who the best virtual assistant was and her answer was “I’m surprised you have to ask, Jaime.” Quite the personality, that Siri. I was having more fun with her than I do with most humans.

I don’t think I will ever be able to understand how voice activation works, let alone how the computer knows every single thing I want to know, before I even know I want to know. Then I decided to ask her a few sexual questions...and her first answer was, “Let me think about that.” When I asked her a couple more, she actually started getting somewhat ornery, saying, “I can’t answer that” and “I don’t like those arbitrary questions.” Her responses made me so flustered, like I was a little kid getting into trouble for swearing…that I ended up dropping her, I mean my phone, into the toilet. My brand new iPhone 5C that I waited so long to get.

And all I could hear through the splash of the water was a gurgling…“HELLLLPPP MEEEEEEE.”

I guess Siri doesn’t know everything. Good thing the phone was FREE.


  1. excellent! !!!!!!!! i assume and pray that your throwing away was for ' blog ' effect!!!!?????, little sister? right?

  2. Good one Jaime. I hope Siri sleeping with the feces was dramatic license.

    1. was jane! and happy birthday again!

  3. Congrats on blogging again. I see at least 3 seperate subjects for individual blogs here. First about Siri which you have done but might have more about that/another one about what we do for our "adult"
    children and one you are probably so familiar with re:,marketing and technology! Hope to see more blogs from you whether you take mysuggestions or not. It's not always easy to put your writing out there b/c it takes courage to see the responses. Hope this one will be the beginning of the end of your "writer's block". Admire your ability to be creative and not afraid to expose yourself.

    1. thank you so much Ann!! i really do appreciate any and all input from you!

    2. I forgot to say that putting your wet phone in rice is supposed to fix it. I could write a book about all the problems we (my daughter) have had with cell phones!

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    4. I forgot to say that putting your wet phone in rice is supposed to fix it. I could write a book about all the problems we (my daughter) have had with cell phones!

    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Another good read....thnks. still slingin the flip phone here. An upgrade may be wasted on me too. Could change my tune as well once I saw what I could get with a new piece.....that is how relationships get ruined though.
    I love my landline.

    1.'d love Siri, too...i could only imagine YOUR conversations with her...and i doubt your wife would mind THAT relationship! safest one out there...thanks for reading even tho it was under pressure. i (almost) promise the next one will be better!

    2. I'm a windows phone guy. My phone speaks and understands, but doesn't have a name. Bad parents; unhappy. Childhood.

      Some phrases come to mind, like planned obsolescence, and, questions, too, like why do people like to talk dirty to their phones? And does everyone Facebook on the can?

      And don't even get me started on landlines. I have three!

      Hey, anonymous: a flip phone? Really?

      My phone once fell into the long island sound. I used to say it went into the drink. Don't think that expression applies in your case?

      As for cute salesmen, I hope you got a number - and I'm not talking about your own 😃

      PS - get a REAL camera!

      Love 'em, Jaime! Keep 'em coming!

  5. Forgive typos/punctuation. Wrote this with my thumbs on my phone!

    1. maybe that's why i don't understand half of what you were saying! :) sometimes your intellect goes way past mine...right over my head!! but thank you for reading and commenting...always a treat to read what you have to say!