Get The Cell Outta Here! The Emotional Shattering of Setting Up a New iPhone!

About a month ago I dropped my iPhone. As I was getting out of my car, it fell from my lap and onto the driveway.  The screen cracked.

Now—it didn’t seem that bad of a crack and there was no way I was going to visit one of those “We-Can-Fix-Your-Cracked-Screens” Kiosks at the mall. They charge well over one hundred dollars. I have better things to spend money that I don’t have on.

But over the course of a couple weeks, the crack worsened.


My crack never got this bad but let’s just say it grew to be pretty bad.

I went to my local ATT store at the mall to find out if I was eligible for a new phone. I wasn’t.

However, I remembered I have phone insurance.  God forbid the ATT people actually remind me of that as they checked my account to tell me I was not eligible for a new phone.

And when I reminded the ATT people that I wanted to see if I could replace the phone, I was told I could, but I had to do so either online or via my cell phone.

I went home, went online, and couldn’t figure out the instructions for replacing the damaged phone because I needed a “passcode”.  I never remembered even creating a passcode because it had never been mentioned to me by the good folks at ATT when I had my past phones.

After many naughty words spewed from my mouth, I called the number for assistance.

giphy (3)

This is pretty much how I looked while spewing some well-deserved naughty words…

Thankfully, the assistance I received over the phone was stellar. I was told to create a passcode, which I did over the phone with the help of Jeanne from ATT.  A new phone would be sent to me within 2 business days and I was to follow the instructions that came with the phone.


Phone received on Friday.

When I opened the box, I immediately followed the instructions to charge the new phone. I could do that!

New Phone Charging

…and believe me, charging the phone was just about the ONLY thing I was capable of doing!

 And having to work in Retail Hell on Friday and Saturday, I figured I would wait until Sunday to focus on setting up my new phone. After all, I’m not right in the head and I am also a very maniacal, crazy, over-reactive, emotional woman so it was best to not have any pressing matters come my way during phone set up day.

One cup of morning coffee down and in a productive mood, I started to read the remaining instructions.  They seemed simple enough.

Phone replacement notice

My instructions seemed pretty much simple and foolproof…

I proceeded to take my newly charged phone over to my computer.  I successfully entered my Wi-Fi connection.  Success was also measured in setting up the cute little generic icons.  Uh oh. How come my really important icons such as  Twitter, Instagram, Face Book, and other ones displaying my narcissistic nature weren’t transferred over?

Icons. No service.

Where’s the important shit  stuff (Bonaparte made me correct my gutter language) like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook? How will be able to display my obnoxious and narcissistic personality to the world??

Back to the instructions.

Phone. easy set up my ass

Easy set up my ass!

I needed to get my Apple ID and passwords.  WTF? I haven’t used them in over a year!!!  *Sigh*

Pause as I sent emails to reset my user ID’s and passwords.

Back to the set up.

I’m constantly reminded as per instructions to return my old and damaged phone back to ATT within 10 days. Three days have passed and it appears that it just may take another week to figure all this out. And I’m leaving for France.  This is not good. If I don’t take care of this soon, I’ll have a hefty penalty charge.

Instructions for sending back. more like demanding

Yeah, I get the message that you want the phone returned!

I decided to call the ATT tech assistance phone number that was provided on the instructions.  After prompting to the correct department, I didn’t get a human voice, but received a recording:  “You have reached technical assistance.” “Our hours are Monday through Friday, 8AM through 5PM”.

I’m sure that most people who are having issues with technicalities on their phones do not have the time to call on Monday through Friday between those hours because they are at work! So they call on the weekends when nobody is available. Does this make sense?

Nobody is on the other end of the line to hear the nastiness that’s coming out of my mouth.

giphy (1)

True dat. I can scream and curse at the top of my lungs but nobody but a recording is on the other line! Nobody can hear me because nobody is working!

After hanging up, I take another pause and realize that I’m smart enough to figure this out.  Back to the instructions.

tumblr_mv8cbd710I1sj3oxho1_400 Stuart Smalley

Ok. Unlike Stuart Smalley, one outta three ain’t bad. I’m pretty sure I’m smart enough!

I insert my phones to the USB chords and insert the chords into the computer. Now I’m going to try to switch data over from one phone to another.

There is an issue on my computer. I cannot make the switch because the computer doesn’t recognize my devices.  The computer only recognizes Bonaparte’s account. WTF?   All of a sudden my computer is Gallic?

French mime

All of a sudden the computer of “mime” is French?????

Now I’m going full-tilt boogie crazy!


I would say that I am in that outnumbered grouping!

I go back to the ATT site to see if there is a different solution.  ATT wants my MEI number and my SIM card number.

I didn’t realize there were so many numbers on my phone.  I find the MEI and it is NOT the MEI number that ATT has in their records. I am not able to change the MEI number on my computer and cannot submit anything. For some reason my Gallic  computer is not recognizing my information and is blocking me from moving forward.

It is now almost 11:00 AM and I started this process over two hours ago.


Yeah! I have all the time in the world to set up my new phone. All the time in the world…….

I rip out both phones from the computer.

I pack throw both phones into the box in which the new phone was mailed to me.

Cell phone old and new thrown in the box

I wonder how many people get to this point?  I have NO idea how those chords became THAT tangled. I must have really thrown them curve-ball style into the box!

I go into the bathroom and wipe deodorant on my pits. I don’t even bother to wash my face.  My hair is in the same braid that I wore to work the previous day.  My mascara is smeared because, yes. I’m a slob!

I drive to the local ATT store. This time, I don’t go to the ATT store at the mall. I go to the one up the street from where I live.

Luckily I arrived just as the store opened.  Nate and John, the two young men who work there, greet me.

Also luckily, Nate has helped me before with other issues so he knows what is in store.  He didn’t run away!

Nate's look says it all! But seriously. He was great!

Somehow Nate just doesn’t seem thrilled to see ME!  He did a fantastic job in such a short time! Perhaps he and John were glad to get rid of me!

It took Nate all of twenty minutes to set up my iPhone.

I’m happy as a dirty little bottom crawler of a clam as I make my way home to finally bathe and play with my new phone.

My hair is filthy. My makeup is still on from last night. My fang is sticking out but I'm happy

Filthy hair, smeared mascara, dirty old slob but happy that my phone has been set up!


Day Two:

I now have a couple of “Apple” issues and have to drive to the Apple store to take care of this.  For some ungodly reason, I can’t email pics from my phone to my computer.

Apple store ten am

Take a good look. The Apple store is never this empty!

This is very important because we are going away and I need a backup to save my photos.

Wait!  I have my digital camera!!! I can pack my camera!  I go over to the desk where I keep my camera and it isn’t there.

Where did I put it?

I unpack all the stuff I so carefully placed into my carryon. The camera isn’t there.  I go over to the little closet where I keep my sweaters and wigs (don’t judge) and random stuff. No camera.

Makiing a mess

And to think that I thought I was FINALLY organized. Another fine mess I’ve gotten myself into!

I go into our bedroom and search handbags, drawers and any crevice I can. No camera.

Now I panic because I’m 61 years old and my memory is going. My hypochondrium is building up.

The phone rings. It is Bonaparte.

He went to have my car inspected and he asks me, quite annoyed too, where the auto insurance card is.

My response is “WTF are you talking about?”  “I didn’t get any insurance card!!!!!” “If I did, I would have put it in the car!!!!!!!”

Now Bonaparte is pissed.  “Zuh cahrd sud be eeen zuh cahr.” “I em sur I gev eet to ou!” “Don’ worreeee”.

He hangs up and I’m crying.

I get dressed to go to the Apple store and am only thinking about my lack of memory. St. Anthony isn’t even coming through to help me find my memory.


St. Anthony, St. Anthony, please come around. My memory is lost and stuff cannot be found.  Thanks big guy!

I’m crying and catch a glimpse of my hair in the mirror. It is filthy—my hair, not the mirror. And I notice that the dirt and grime in my hair has given me perfect beach waves!  I snap a pic with the phone and post it to Instagram. True narcissism knows no boundaries! At least I can post to Instagram!

beachy waves

Despite how upset I was, when I saw these nice beachy waves I suddenly realized what a beauty asset filthy hair is. How could I not pause for Instagram?

Bonaparte arrives home and he’s no longer annoyed.

I tell him we need to take me to a doctor immediately because I am suffering from early dementia. I tell him my camera is lost along with the insurance card.

Bonaparte apologizes and tells me he is sorry but he packed my camera and the battery recharger into his suitcase.

Camera in Bonaparte's suitcase

Why did Bonaparte not tell me he packed my camera……

He also tells me that he knows where the insurance card is.

Insurance card was here

….and thanks for filing the auto insurance card away and making me think it was MY fault!

I get into my car.

I arrive at the Apple store just minutes before  it opens for the day.  The Apple man places me on a list and tells me it’ll be twenty minutes before they can see me but they will text me.  Two minutes later I receive a text to come on in!

I am lead to the “Genius” table. (No kidding—that’s what it’s called). I’m guessing calling it the “Idiot” table” because that’s where all the idiots who have no clue are sitting’ is too politically incorrect. Call it what it is. I’m an idiot when it comes to setting up my cell phone. OK?

Apple store genius table 10.10 AM

To all those parents who’s kids are in AP classes. I made it to the genius table! OK??  I hold bragging rights! 

I explain that I am unable to email photos from my phone to my email address. Therefore I cannot send photos to my computer.  I am told it is an issue with my Verizon server.

Try as she may, Eve, the Apple expert assists me in getting my Verizon email password figured out. Instead, I get locked out of my email account and the only way I can get back in is having Verizon call our home phone with a temporary password. Only problem is that I’m not home.

Eve, in the garden of Apple delights, tells me to go to the Verizon store down the road. Then she turns to Adam of Apple, whispers something to him and they both look at me as though I’m the  poisonous serpent telling them to take a bite of the forbidden piece of fruit!

Adam and eve

The Apple people may think I’m a slithery serpent, but all I want is to use my iPhone! Is that too much to ask?

I leave Apple and drive to the Verizon store.  And I’m greeted by a pimply adolescent who tells me, after I explain my problem that the issue is with my Verizon server, he can’t help me. I’m at Verizon Wireless. I need Verizon Fios.

I tell him that “I am not right in the head and with every second that passes, I become less right in the head”.  He becomes scared and calls a Verizon expert over.

I'm not right in the head

This is the face that scared Verizon!

I tell the Verizon expert that Verizon sent a voicemail with a temporary password to my landline phone but I’m not home. She explains that the voicemail is  on my home phone and the message will be there for 7 days.

I get home and stress eat melted mozzarella on a slice of rye bread. It is so mushy and delicious that I forget my phone issues for the ten seconds that it takes my gluttonous self to finish.

The message is, in fact, on our landline. I write down the temporary email address and reset my password on my email.

I’m thrilled because now I’ll be able to send pics from my phone to my home email.

I do a test and send a pic.

It didn’t work.

Later I’ll go back to see Nate at the ATT store. Right now—I just can’t.

Like the screen on my original iPhone, I’m also shattered!

Besides. I need to get a mani-pedi.

The nail place is in the same shopping center as ATT. So after my nails are done, I drop by to see my old friends Nate and John.

ATT store. All is quiet

Are Nate and John hiding from me????

Nate is busy (which I’m sure he was thrilled about) and John tries, in vain to help me.

He explains to me that Verizon changed their server updates and many people were having issues, but Apple can fix the issues.

Unfortunately, I was the 1% that Apple could not help. More unfortunately, I’m in the wrong one percent.

It is now after 5 PM. I am NOT dealing with rush hour traffic in order to go to Apple. Again.

Instead, I go home and call Verizon FIOS.

After explaining the issues of the past 24 hours, I was instructed to go to my “settings” and was further instructed in what procedures I had to take in order to update the incoming and outgoing servers.

My phone is finally in working order.

Yet, somehow I’m waxing nostalgic for the old rotary phone we had growing up in Long Island. The days when we didn’t have passwords or user ID’s or passcodes or MEI and SIM card numbers.


Life was more simple back then when the entire family shared one phone. Oh the fights between my sisters and me over time spent on this little machine. Oh the locks that my dad put on it to stop my sisters and me from pulling each other’s hair out!  I miss those days!

The only number we needed to remember was our phone number:  Mohawk 5-2889.

How is it that I can still remember my childhood phone number and not the seven thousand passcodes/passwords/ID’s that I am now known by?

Like the screen on my original phone I’m…


About Catherine

Far from perfect, but enjoying life as a non-perfect and flawed individual at 60 years young. I'm still wondering what I'll be when I grow up! The characters in my life's screenplay include my better half. He is a refined Frenchman who grew up in Paris and summered in St. Tropez. I grew up in Long Island and summered in Long Island. I am not refined. My three grown children are also a big part of my life. For their sake, they happily live where their careers have taken them! But I can still mother them from a distance! I write about the mundane. I write about deeply shallow issues. But whatever I write or muse about--it'll always be a bit on the humorous and positive side! It's all good!
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46 Responses to Get The Cell Outta Here! The Emotional Shattering of Setting Up a New iPhone!

  1. Bernadette says:

    Catherine, I was going to comment on your post but it was so stressful I am on my way to the medicine cabinet to find a medication to take for the stress of identifying with your horror of the telephone tale.
    If all is in working order and you get a chance, please post at the Salon on Wednesday.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Bernadette! LOL. I’m terribly sorry to stress you out like that! I believe a glass or three of wine is in order! I’ll be posting this in the Salon tomorrow!! But I don’t want to stress anyone else out! XOXOXOXO!!!

  2. Woah! I’m not surprised you ended up feeling so cray! I would be going nuts too! Phones are both a blessing and a curse lol

  3. mariaholm says:

    Thank you for your description of setting up your new iPhone. I fear to go through the same soon as I keep getting messages that storage is full both on my iPhone and iPad. They are not meant to contain all our stuff

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Maria. No. These little mechanical devils are NOT meant to contain all our stuff. Problem is, they are now smarter than many of us are!! What a trip–huh??XOXOXOXO!!!

      • mariaholm says:

        I recognise this feeling of having no one to really help you with these things that matter so much. You didn’t mention if you had to pay a lot for having the phone fixed in the small shop

      • Catherine says:

        Hi Maria. Oh. I didn’t have to pay a dime to have the phone set up. My provider is ATT so I was in good hands with Nate! XOXOXO!!

  4. Karen says:

    I feel your pain. Try to find a 12 year old neighbor to help you out the next time…because you know there’s going to be a next time.

    • Catherine says:

      Oh Karen. Please. I would PAY a 12 year old next time. We have a Apple TV set up and for months it went unused until Roman came to visit. That’s what kids are for! XOXOXO!!!

  5. Leslie Preston says:

    Your hair looks great! You’ll be fine! I’m so looking forward to “my” trip to France…..via you!!!! Can’t wait to hear all about it and see the pictures!!!! You’re the best!!! Here’s my childhood phone number….TUrner 5-9540. Some things we just can’t forget….

    • Catherine says:

      Oh Leslie. I just had a color and blow out and I swear, as great a job as Adam did on my hair–I still welcome when my hair gets dirty!! Now that my phone is fixed and my camera has been found, I plan on taking lots of pics! XOXOXO!!!

  6. Juliet says:

    Crumbs! I almost need a gin and tonic on your behalf- that is totally hellish. I have to admit I only got a mobile phone at the end of last year as I’d always said didn’t want / didn’t need one and can’t stand the way certain people have to stride down the footpath glued to the screen oblivious to others (no I don’t get out of their way – in fact I am more likely to make a bee line for them as at 5ft 2ish I am just the trip hazard these people deserve)…. Any way whaddya know I love my iPhone (and the opportunity to choose a pretty case, shallow or what!) – not enough to walk about gazing into it but yes I love it (Pinterest, Facebook, Pinterest, etsy, daughter down in Durham, Pinterest, Facebook….) which made for one steep learning curve to figure out settings etc – but I am getting there. And one of the bonuses of being an older woman is that when you march into Apple or a phone provider etc, these children are terrified as generally we look like a cranky version of their mum and we are also known for not shifting until we’re sorted. Glad everything is now fixed – take loads of snaps for us hon and have the best holiday.

    • Catherine says:

      Thanks Juliet! Ain’t it the truth about the social media? Most of FB is filled with friends I’ve had since childhood and Pinterest is always fun! Hmmmmm..perhaps that’s why Nate didn’t look thrilled when I revisited. LOL!!!! XOXOXOXOXO!!!

      • Juliet says:

        He possibly thought as well as fixing your phone you were going to tell him to eat all his broccoli, quit annoying the family dog and to tidy his room

        For starters

  7. I’m exhausted 😰😰😰😰😰😰. Dang woman….Do Not Drop That New Phone…Evva!!!!!!!

  8. Nancy says:

    The bottom line is you are READY TO GO…have a glass or two of wine to celebrate you made it through this horrible mess and as always found the humor in it all.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi Nancy! Oh. I am SO ready to go. But I’m saving myself for the great Breton Cidre that I can just drink straight from the bottle. No glass for this party girl!!! I’m counting the minutes –and laughing while I’m counting!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  9. L Nelson says:

    I feel your pain. I have been going through the exact same process for the last two weeks. Did the iOS update on my iPhone and now none of my computers recognize my iPhone and I can’t access my photos to print them out. Spent hours and hours trying to fix this! I swear, sometimes I think my iPhone will turn me into an alcoholic, because I have to have a glass of wine handy when I work on it so my brain doesn’t explode out of frustration. 🙂

    • Catherine says:

      Don’t even get me started on those friggin’ iOS updates! I’ve had constant issues with those updates. Hmmmmmmmm..You may have a “branding” idea there. An iPhone wine line!! White for the gentle issues and full-bodies red for all the others!!! XOXOXO!!!

  10. Bun Karyudo says:

    As I read through your post, I kept thinking of matryoshka dolls. You had problems inside problems inside problems. It all sounded rather familiar too because I frequently get baffled by all things software and hardware related. 🙁

  11. Miss Bougie says:

    Oh Hell, I so feel for you! Phone/computer problems are of the worst kind and make me feel so stupid when a youngster solves the problem in 2.5 seconds flat. Yay to all the Nates of the world. It’s especially enraging when several entities are involved; Apple, provider, insurance….
    You’re thrown from one to the other. But You prevailed and got it right in the end!
    I try to navigate these choppy waters with the help of the “stupid bar” , love that expression!!, over at Apple or my son.
    Luckily you’re not like my hubs who would drown in those choppy waters if not for family help and the “service informatique” at his office. Actually news of his incompetence/unwillingness is so well known at work that when he calls their hotline, instead of walking him through over the phone someone will make the trip up to his office to help him out!
    I have a folder in which ALL my codes and passwords are written down, lest I forget. It has helped me out several times in the past, especially with codes you need once in a blue moon. Machines don’t forget, unlike us humans.

    • Catherine says:

      Hey B! I swear, one of the reasons I wish the kids were still living at home is to help us with these issues! I really need to bake some cookies for Nate–and not the computer cookies! Bonaparte is a lot like your hubs. We’ve had some pretty epic arguments over soft and hardware! I need to start a folder with all my codes and passwords but I’m so lazy…..XOXOXOXO!!!

  12. spearfruit says:

    Catherine, OMG – you had me laughing but also feeling bad for you! Trust me, I understand – too many passwords, passcodes, security questions! Where are the easy days, hang in there dear, your trip is coming up – relaxing times! Happy day my friend! 🙂

    • Catherine says:

      HI Terry! Hey. I’m always happy to make you laugh! As long as I can post pics from my vacation, I’ll be a happy little piggie! Back atcha-have a great day! XOXOXOXO!!!!

  13. lifelessons says:

    Catherine, you have no idea how closely I identify with your problems..It is like some fairy godmother with beach hair wrote my blog for me! Can I just erase your name and post it with my name inserted? With the exception of Bonaparte? I’ll just omit his name and replace with the name of Yolanda, who gets blamed for everything at my house. It once took me seven hours on tech help on three successive days to get my sim card installed in a throw-away phone I bought at KMart in the states. Going to KMart did me no good because they said the phone was so cheap that it wasn’t worth their time to help me. So, I dealt with four different East Indian tech support people who all gave me exactly the same advice, worded exactly the same down to the greetings and every response to what I said no matter what I said! It finally turned out I’d installed the wrong Sim card, but of course that was too basic an instruction for any of them to give. And every time we’d get to a certain place, they’d say I’d have to way seven hours and call back… and I’d get a different person and we’d start all over again. Then, when I gave up and paid cash for an iPhone, since I wasn’t going to be on any American plan, I got to go through six hours at two different Telcel places when I got back to Mexico. And, nearly a year later I still haven’t installed any apps. I don’t know how to get photos from my phone to my computer, although once or twice they’ve appeared there magically, I don’t know how to text and Microsoft has twice closed down my Hotmail for suspicious activity and won’t recognize any of my passwords faithfully recorded, then sent the instructions for reinstating my account to a Yahoo account I haven’t used in 10 years that also won’t recognize my password and sent instructions to the Hotmail account also shut down. This new world tangle is just too complex for someone past 60 who has suddenly become incapable of multitask activities. I feel your pain. Literally.

    • Catherine says:

      Oh Judy. Misery absolutely loves and adores company. Come sit next to me. I’ll pour you a drink! This world of technology is what’s ruining our society. Ever notice that younger generations cannot hold a decent conversation anymore? They do not know how to speak!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They do not know how to think when socializing. It’s incredible!
      I’m still feeling the emotional bruising of a cell phone incident last year in Paris. My phone went blank. Dead. I was freaking out in the middle of Place Dauphine–or better yet, Place Dauphone! Luckily we had a car and Bonaparte and I drove to FNAC. The line was about two hours long so he decided to just purchase a new phone. We got to the sales assistant and Bonaparte started speaking French and the young man took my phone, pushed a button or two and the issue was resolved. I can’t. I just can’t…..XOXOXOXO!!!

  14. calensariel says:

    You have just scared the livin’ crap out of me. I will NEVER buy another phone again unless he biggers at the ATT store set it up right then and there!!! OMG!!!

  15. painterwrite says:

    Reading this has once again confirmed my resolve to never get a smart phone until the bastards force me to give up my oh-so-easy-to-use-impossible-to-break-despite-the-number-of-times-I’ve-dropped-it dumb phone. Thank you, your suffering has been of use to at least one person!

  16. mareymercy says:

    I am sorry for your pain, but I was howling while reading this. You know, I actually completely STOPPED listening to music in my car years ago when everything went digital and it became such a nightmare for me just to find an album and PLAY IT. Totally stopped. Just gave the eff up and have been listening to nothing but highway noise since then. Grrrr.

    • Catherine says:

      Cynthia. Oh. Let’s not even go there! The one thing that I can no longer do since I got my new phone is listen to my music in the car. My bluetooth isn’t working. I need to go back to the car dealer to get it re hooked up. I’ll wait!!! XOXOXOXO!!!

      • mareymercy says:

        Mine is just so weird – first of all I find it dangerous to be driving and manipulating my phone to get to the music, then when I try to play something, it’s either no longer there for some mysterious reason, or it needs to be downloaded which I can’t do while I’m driving, or it starts playing but then the phone demands a password if I want to fast forward which is too hard to do, again, while driving…it makes me batty as hell. I finally just gave up! At one point I even bought a little mp3 player and loaded it with songs but I’ve already lost the damn thing LOL

  17. junedesilva says:

    Ah mobile phones – as we call them in the UK! I must admit I love my iPhone but not only did I drop it but I dropped it into the toilet; not once but twice 😳 The first time I got away with it by putting it into a box of rice to dry out but the second time involved a trip to the Apple Store. The nearest one being over an hour away. So how did I drop my phone into the loo/bog/john? Because I was trying to count the number of steps I do in a day!!! I obviously don’t learn from my stupid mistakes having done the same thing again for the same reason. Luckily, my husband came to the rescue and bought me a Fitbit !!! So, I am now obsessed with my latest gadget – much to the amusement of my sons….thanks for making me laugh, too.

    • Catherine says:

      Hi June. Oh god. The Fitbit. I need a Nonfitbit due to my slovenly laziness! I swear I burnt more calories on my trip due to stress and anxiety of signing up for the international package with ATT only to find out that the apartment didn’t have Wee-fee!! XOXOXOXO!!!

  18. Tony Burgess says:

    What an adventure. I’m an Android guy so all this Iphone

  19. Tony Burgess says:

    Stuff is strange to me.

    • Catherine says:

      Tony. You’re confusing me more now. I’m not even sure what an Android is. Is it a tablet? Because if it is, my tablet has been retired to the closet and back in the box it came in!!! XOXOXO!!!

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