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Tomas Gallucci

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The Owning of iCall [Dec. 30th, 2010|09:46 pm]
Tomas Gallucci

Being the end of the year and not really working on much, I was ready to get out of the office and go home to start my New Year's holiday.

My R&R began with catching the 1800 of Black Swan, which I had been aware of a few days earlier. I wasn't even aware that Aronofsky had directed another film. His name on the marque behind the title of Director was all the motivation I needed to get me to the theater.

I left work at 1700, per usual. I didn't want to stand around the theater for an hour like a douche, so I opted to go home for a few minutes before heading to the theater. I had my phone on me when I left work.

The plan was to watch Black Swan which would end around 2000 then go home and wait for 2100 to roll around so I could go pick up Z. Z went to be with his family over the Christmas holiday, you see, and I, being the good friend that I am, was going to play chauffeur. His plane was scheduled to land at 2200.

When I pulled into my parking space at the theater, I felt for my phone on my belt. The clip was there, but the phone wasn't. I searched the car, but there was no phone in the car. This wasn't the first time I'd had this happen.

I started to panic, but logic took over. I thought, maybe I left my phone at home sitting on my desk or something. But it wasn't worth going home to find out. It was better to stay and watch the film instead of wasting the price of a ticket. Besides, I had time after the film before Z's flight was supposed to get in, so figuring out the phone situation could wait.

Z Flies Home
After the film, I went home. I couldn't find my phone in my apartment either. It escapes my memory whether or not I drove back to the office and looked around in the parking lot. Having no way to communicate with Z (more importantly, he had no way to communicate with me) I was in a real bind…except…

@FatherPhoenix and I were heavy Twitter users at the time. I sent him a tweet asking him if he could get on Skype (I can count on one hand the number of times I've used Skype and that was pre-Microsoft acquisition.) He did and I explained the situation to him. I gave him Z's number and told him to text Z the situation, instructing Z to call FatherPhoenix when he landed and that FatherPhoenix would relay the message to me and that I would be at the airport shortly. (The airport is fifteen minutes give or take from my apartment. Given that traffic was light, I wasn't worried about delay in getting to the airport, but I did need to know where to go when.)

Everything went according to plan and I picked up Z, albeit with a delay. I seem to remember that his flight was an hour early or some tommyrot like that.

But this meant that I didn't have a phone.

Now, it's not like I get that many calls–or make that many for that matter. If I am calling someone, it's to bitch about life as I think out loud or maybe talk about the tech industry or politics. But still, having a communication method and not utilizing it is better than not having the communication method at all.

So I needed a new phone.

Visiting the Verizon Store
The next day–December 31, to be exact–I went to the Verizon store bright and early. Now, I had been contract free for two years. I never renewed when my two year contract first ran out and two years after the fact I didn't renew either. I didn't want another phone when my contract first expired because all the phones out there were shit. Two years after that, I still didn't want a new phone for much of the same reason. Besides, at that time, Verizon didn't have the iPhone, THE phone to have.

But now I was going to have to sign a contract to subsidize the price of whatever piece-of-shit phone the carrier was going to offer me or buy the phone outright and still pay the same amount per month for service. Getting a better phone at a subsidized price was a no-brainer.

Now, I wasn't at all happy about losing my phone this close to when I thought the iPhone would come to Verizon. I figured it might happen after the first of the year, but the fact of the matter is the entire world had been waiting for two years for the iPhone to come to Verizon, so all bets were off.

FatherPhoneix being a die-hard Android fan had spent a lot of time the previous evening attempting to get me warmed up to the idea of owning an Android phone. We even picked out the Droid Incredible (if memory serves me right) because it had a physical keyboard. Having been limited to just a number pad, there was no way in hell I was going to get a phone that I would be typing a lot on if it didn't have a full Qwerty keyboard.

I planned to bargain from the position of my loyalty as a Verizon customer (six plus years) and see if one of the mangers there could give me the New Every Two that I hadn't cashed in on plus the round I would be due for now. Essentially, we're talking about $100 towards a new phone instead of $50. No biggie, right?



I even made it clear that I wanted the iPhone and if it meant switching carriers to get the phone, that's what was going to happen. I'd deal with the dropped calls as they were dropped.

The Best Experience EVER with a Cellular Provider
By the grace of God, Apple decided to open a store in Huntsville. So I went there, knowing that I could turncoat on Verizon to AT&T without having to deal with an douchebag from AT&T.

The experience was great! I walked in, knew exactly what I wanted and got it set up pronto. No dicking around with AT&T, just quality service from a quality company. Since I was in Apple's store I got Apple's warranty so in the even that anything happened to the phone I could deal with the company I wanted to do business with anyway.

And it did come in handy too: I don't know how it happened but handing my phone to FatherPhoneix just once in June of 2011 somehow got the phone stuck in an infinite boot loop. I got a replacement phone at no additional cost.

This is how I came to own iCall.