Friday, November 6, 2009

Day of the Droid, 11.6.09

3:45 a.m. wake. It’s 38 degrees. Fill thermos and bundle up. I have never owned a smartphone. Today I take the leap; I’m getting one. The Droid.

5:15 a.m. drive 18 miles to Verizon store.

5:40 a.m. parked in parking lot. I expected a line, but no one else is there, so I sit in the car and write comments on student papers.

6:15 a.m., middle-aged man drives into the lot and parks. He’s wearing shirtsleeves and dress pants. I correctly guess he is the Verizon store manager. I open my car door and say, “Waitin’ on a Droid.” He smiles and says, “We have ‘em.” I say, “Do I have to wait until 8:00?” He says, “Unfortunately.” At least now he knows that I am first in line.

6:30 a.m., two Verizon employees, females, arrive. Then others.

6:45 a.m., van from local AM radio station arrives with a screech, and disk jockey and engineer are allowed into the store to set themselves up. They will report on the rush for Droids.

7:00 a.m., still no one waitin’ on a Droid but me. Sun is up. I get out of car and stand next to the Verizon door. Its banner reads, “Be the first to own it. 8 a.m. 11.06.2009.” I reflect on what it means to be first.

7:20 a.m. About 12 employees and a radio disk jockey are in the store, which now has its lights on and shades raised, but doors locked. I’m still all alone in line.

7:43 a.m. I’m cold and have read through all the student papers.

8:00 a.m. I’m the first customer through the door. Two young men follow, but they head for the demo phones and not the sales desk. The manager gives me a female sales rep who talks to me. He tells her, “Any [cellphone] cover she wants, she gets free, because she was first.”

8:15 a.m. I'm glad I have a Google account because it makes the setup and tests go smoothly.

8:55 a.m., swinging a stylish Verizon bag containing my Droid and accessories, totaling $397 (before $100 mail-in rebate), I’m on my way out when the disk jockey says, “The first Droid out the door!” He asks if I’m excited. I say yes. “We’ll give you some radio love,” he says. “There she goes,” he announces, “the first Droid out the door!”

I hope my Droid will replace or obviate the “need” for an iPod/MP3, GPS, maps, voice recorder, day planner, Kindle, camera, TV, notebook, timer, watch, shopping lists, and the computer. And oh yes -- the land-line telephone.

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