Yikes! My Smartphone is Making Me Stupid!!

My smartphone is like my wife. It wakes me up, tells me what to do all day, lets me know if I’m headed the wrong direction. Plus, sometimes I want to upgrade. 
  
See? Only a stupid person would publish that about his spouse. I’m just kidding. I really love my wife. 

  
I do almost everything on my phone. I’m writing this blog on my phone. I just switched from the Samsung Galaxy to the iPhone 6 and really love it. My wife loves her iPhone 5s but  I just think I could go back to the smaller screen. This screen size is perfect. It’s almost too large but not quite. Perfect. I mainly switched because my Galaxy picked up malware and I had to complete a full factory reset. Apple products guard against such things. 

  
I used the SwiftKey keyboard on my Android, which is so intuitive, its scary. I barely had to think of a word and SwiftKey has already suggested it. That is built in to the iPhone 6! I’m not a gamer, so I use my phone mostly for productivity. 

  
Between my blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email and Pinterest, I am busy the entire day. It’s a good thing I don’t have a typical job. Being a writer, I can also write and read books on my phone so it comes in very handy. Technology is amazing. 

  
In 1987, Los Angeles Cellular, a part of the largest cellular conglomerate in the world, recruited me to conduct the most  massive business process re-engineering project in the history of the industry. They knew that retail had to be the mass distribution channel, but couldn’t figure out how to make it work. 

  
They were brainiacs without a clue with regard to practical application. In their defense, none of them had a retail background, so they really didn’t understand the importance of simplicity in the retail realm. If it wasn’t easy, it wouldn’t work. 

  
When I first started the project, a consumer was fortunate to have a functional cell phone in two weeks. When I finished two and a half years later, that same consumer could have a functional phone in about ten minutes. I turned a public utility company into a retailer. 
That was incredibly difficult. I was the most hated man in the company because the dealer services department employees were used to working from 8 – 5 Monday through Friday but were now open from 8 am – 9 pm Monday through Saturday and 8 – 6 on Sunday. 

  
I wore a bullet proof vest and spent almost all of my time in the field, certain that one of the reps under the old schedule would gun me down like a bounty hunter looking for Jesse James. 

  
In the end, it all worked out. The phone companies and manufacturers of phones and infrastructure equipment made a killing, while the consumer got the shaft. We’re still getting the shaft today, but not as bad. A minute of air time then, would cost you $.49 per minute. Wow. 

  
Can you imagine? A $500 monthly cell phone bill was not uncommon. It was a wealthy person’s gadget. Kids have phones today with unlimited minutes and texts. Not then. It seems so strange today but people used to be charged 25 cents for a busy signal! The companies made the case that since cell phones are really two way radios, you were using half of the transmission to initiate the call. That was not what you would call consumer friendly. 

  
Drug dealers used to come into our building to pay their bill in cash. Lots of cash. Sometimes $100,000. I’m not kidding. We were constantly being visited by the DEA and FBI trying to catch those guys. Soon the crooks found ways to bypass the billing system.

  
Even though it was so long ago and I live in a different state, I still look over my shoulder. I’m sure one of those Dealer Service people still have a contract out on me.
See you tomorrow.
Facebook: Jerry Mabbott 

Twitter: @jmabbott

Blog: jerrymabbott.com

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