He is at a total loss to understand how could he be so dumb stupid. He feels ashamed of himself, a manager at an insurance company, recalling the memory of it, although it has been only a few weeks ago. He somehow takes solace in the fact that perhaps the help-line executive he phoned to was the dumbest stupid, an abysmal nincompoop at best! On his own stupidity he often tries to justify: the unending months of stay-home and work-from-home on account of the pandemic perhaps made him a fool-proof digital being, concerned only with streams of passwords, PINs and IDs. But the fact remains, he was really stupid, he ponders pensively.
Actually, his old mobile phone was giving him constant trouble from the beginning of the lockdown, it’s given hangs, sudden shutdowns, blank screens and problems with the operating system. There was no way of getting it repaired any time soon. It was a huge setback for him in view of the demanding virtual times. He had no option but to wait. After about two months of lockdown, for the first time, e-commerce of non-essentials was allowed temporarily. He grabbed the opportunity and booked a rather costly smartphone online; he needed a powerful camera, more storage capacity and more speed.
Luckily, the smartphone was delivered in real quick time. Ecstatically, he opened the package and took the elegant device in his hands. He wanted to get it working immediately. He took out the sim card from his old phone, and thence the trouble began. He failed to find the usual opening of the backside for putting in the card. Fiddling with it for quite some time and yet failing to find the sim-card slot, he rummaged through the package checking the accessories and the guide booklet. He howled in anger, finding the guide too brief, giving no indication about inserting sim cards. He wanted to call his wife, but she was too busy in the kitchen at the time.
Even though he hated doing it, he looked for the service center help-line number and dialed. He was finally directed to a customer service executive.
“Good morning! How can I help you, Sir?” He told him about the problem.
“I’m sorry for the inconvenience. Sir, please check the package, you’ll find the pin there.”
“I searched many times, but no PIN is given.”
“But Sir, the pin is always provided along with the set.”
“I told you it’s not there. And how is it possible? I’ve bought a brand new set, every facility has to be provided. Tell me again, is it written somewhere in the backside of the model?”
“No Sir! It’s provided with the accessories.”
“But it’s not there! How to start my phone now?”
“You’ll have to visit our nearest service center, only they can provide the pin.”
“What do you mean? How the hell I am supposed to go there? You know the situation! Horrible service! I’m sorry I went for your model!” he bellowed now.
“Extremely sorry for the inconvenience, Sir! Please… !” The enraged ‘customer’ cut the line.
His wife entered the scene now hearing the commotion. He answered her queries rather reluctantly, his ego against expressing his absolute helplessness. His wife took the instrument in her hands, and produced a safety-pin as if out of thin air. She unclasped the sharp pin and inserted it into a tiny hole on one side of the mobile. And lo! Out came the sim-card tray! She asked for the sim, he gave it to her readily. She fitted it carefully in one slot and pushed the tray in. And the smartphone started working immediately. She handed him the phone back and exited the scene with a triumphant smile.
He cursed the executive for not telling him the obvious: that the PIN was in fact was a mere pin which he could have extracted very easily from his office files.
Anyway, he thinks about it again: who is the bigger fool? For my defense I have the fact that I’ve not been used to costly smartphones with sim-card trays! so, what about the executive? Well, the poor fellow probably had no clue about his customer’s colossal ignorance!
Chinmay Chakravarty is a professional creatively engaged in writing. He has a special liking to see people happy and smiling always. So he has devoted a sizable chunk of his writing time to humor pieces based mostly on daily life and observations. He was an officer of Indian Information Service and superannuated from the post of Director, Press Information Bureau, Kolkata in November, 2019. Published his first book on Humor ‘Laugh and Let Laugh’ in 2017.