I’m a tech snob. This isn’t something to be described as a negative aspect of my personality, it’s actually something that I’m kind of proud of. With technology where it is today, I think that the right tools are available to do what the masses need to do. I also fully believe that if you’re going to embrace technology, you need to do it properly, with the best tools you can get your hands on. This is something that has taken me years to realize; saving money isn’t going to save you money in the long run.
About a year ago, when I found out that I was going to be on a more frequent work on-call rotation, it was suggested that I finally get a company mobile phone. I took this advice and filled out the appropriate forms and waited for the red tape to unwind itself a bit. Our company is aligned with AT&T, so I knew that my smartphone choices would be different than what I was familiar with on Verizon. I was fairly surprised when I was told that I couldn’t have a smartphone of anytime, but rather I had two or three choices of flip phones to choose from.
I ended up getting some Samsung flip phone that is so poorly designed that I have never used it. I have never given out my company mobile number to anyone, not even to the company. Instead, I opted to get a Google Voice number, which I can then direct anywhere I want to direct it.
Now, I’m not wasting company funds. When I am officially on-call, the Google Voice number is directed to my personal iPhone and to the piece of crap Samsung flip phone. The latter direction is just so that I have something audible to startle me awake should I get a call in the middle of the night. The piece of crap Samsung flip phone sits on my nightstand and does nothing even mobile related. The moment I am officially off-call I power down the phone and shove it away in a drawer.
The piece of crap Samsung flip phone doesn’t hold a charge for longer than 24 hours. It beeps and burps and chirps randomly at all hours of the night. I don’t know if it’s some sort of audible notification stating, “my battery is charged!” or what but it’s annoying. If I pick up the phone like you’re going to make or answer a call, I always hit the PTT button on the side by mistake which throws the phone into some sort of warning notification hell telling me that my PTT is going to charge me something. I don’t even know what my PTT Is. There is a constant notification on my screen stating that I missed a call on the 29th of December, even though I have pecked at the keyboard to get beyond this notification countless times. And did I mention that my iPhone has a better battery life than this thing?
The folks at work were kind enough to provide me with a holster to carry the phone on my belt. Sorry ma’am, but if I’m going to carry a holster that size on my belt, it’s going to have a Glock in it and people are going to be impressed, not laughing uproariously at me.
Through casual observation at work, I have noticed that most of the folks that you would think have a company cell phone actually carry a personal smartphone instead, with their company number forwarded to their personal phone. Most of the time the personal device of choice is an iPhone. Smart choices for smart people!
Flip phones were quaint back in their day but it’s time to move on. I don’t care if it’s an iPhone or an Android device, but in today’s business world where you need to be connected, you need to have a device that isn’t on the cheap and is going to do the job properly. Especially when you’re part of the telecommunications world.
Guess what I’m not packing with me for my business trip today.