One of my three part-time jobs enables me to do a lot of people-watching.
So I do.
What I have discovered watching customers at the car dealership where I work — as well as my colleagues in all departments — is the ubiquitous nature of smart phones. Everyone seems to have one. Heck, I even have one.
Just yesterday, one of my colleagues said, “Hey, look over there. Two customers are on their smart phones, and so is their salesman. No one’s talking to each other.”
Yep, that’s the way it is these days.
I see sales representatives racing through the showroom chatting on their phone, or sending text messages to someone. Service department personnel? Same thing. Parts guys? Them, too. Our business department? Yes.
Years ago I once proclaimed my goal in life to be the last person on Earth with a cell phone. After some time resisting the temptation, I finally decided to declare victory — and then I bought my first cellular telephone. I made a bit of noise about it publicly at the time. Some friends tried to say they’d never owned a cell phone; a family member said the same thing. My response? You cannot prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. So my victory declaration stands.
Here we are in 2015. I’ve upgraded to a smart phone. It’s got a lot of those gizmos one uses to do all kinds of things.
As I watch people through the day using their smart phones, I am struck by the degree of proficiency they exhibit.
I’ll call the experts the “one-handers.” These are the individuals who can send text messages with one hand, while holding the hand of a child in the other. They’re adept at using these devices. My fear is that they do so while driving a motor vehicle — but I won’t go there.
Me? I’m a two-handed guy. I haven’t yet mastered the dexterity it takes to do all these functions with just a single hand. I’ll speak for my wife and say that neither is she.
I prefer my relative clumsiness with these devices. I don’t want anyone to think I am so smug that I can manipulate a smart phone with just a single hand.
I’ll prefer to remember what a young friend, who at the time was working as a barista in an Amarillo coffee shop, told me when I informed him I had just purchased my first cell phone. He said I reminded him of his grandfather, who would hold his cell phone up close to his face so he could read the numbers whenever he made a call.
Yes, that’s me.
I’ve already declared victory in my quest to be the last man on Earth with a cell phone. Will I ever ascend to “expert status” using my smart gadget?