Monday, August 1, 2011
Care and Maintenance
As I scanned through the owner's manual, my eyes fell upon the "Care and maintenance" section. I read through the bulleted list of warnings, and one struck me as funny. No, it wasn't the "Keep the device dry" warning. I've actually known several people who've inadvertantly taken their cell phone swimming with them. Nor did I find the warning to not use "harsh chemicals" to clean the phone amusing. I'd never do so personally, but I guess that there are people who don't know better who might try such things. No, it was the last warning that made me laugh out loud: "Do not paint the device. Paint can clog the moving parts and prevent proper operation."
What made me laugh was the fact that--with lists of warnings like this--it must be that someone at some time has done all of these things. And while I can imagine why someone would take a cell phone from a very hot location to a very cold location without allowing the phone to adjust, or why someone might use something other than a camera lens cloth to clean the surface of the phone, I can't imagine why anyone would want to paint it.
I can just imagine the conversation on the telephone support line...
Operator: (obviously reading from a script) Thank you for calling Nokia, the world's leading maufacturer of cellular phone systems. My name is Joshua, and I am here to help you. What seems to be the problem?
User: The screen lock dial on my phone doesn't seem to be working.
Operator (still obviously reading from a script): I am sorry to hear that you're having trouble with your Nokia smart phone. I can certainly help you with your problem and make sure it's resolved. Can you tell me what was happening just before your problem began?
User: Well, the problem began right about the time I painted my phone.
Operator (Long Pause): Uh, excuse me? (now obviously OFF script)
User: Yeah, I didn't like the basic black of my phone, so I went to the Home Depot and got an oil based enamel and painted it sort of a deep red. Uh, hang on...(momentary pause)...Yeah, the name on the side of the can of paint is "Candy Apple Red," if that's any help...
Operator: Sir, please excuse me. Am I to understand that you PAINTED your cellular phone?
User: That's right...Uh, do you think that might have something to do with it?...
I can imagine when the phone call is over the operator contacting his superior and saying, "Bob, we're going to need to revise the standard warnings in the manual again..."