With the release of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, the inevitable phone wars have begun afresh.
Don’t act like you don’t know what the phone wars are.
The ongoing comparisons between Apple and Samsung or iOS versus Android.
Invariably, these little skirmishes arise whenever Apple drops a new product (and never the other way around).
But that’s beside the point.
Or is it? Hmmmm….
Anywho, every so often users on both sides take to the interwebs to pronounce their allegiance to (or disdain for) one side or the other.
Your’s truly is no exception.
I’ve been known to malign an Android owner or two in my day.
No. I don’t own stock in Apple, and no Samsung owner ever kicked my dog (I don’t even own a dog).
“So why the hostility?” you ask.
Well, that’s easy.
Usually, I’ve got a cogent argument supporting my pro-Apple stance.
Sometimes, not so much.
My blind allegiance is often questioned, and I’ve always assumed it was because Apple simply made a better product.
But with the release of the iPhone 6, which is really Apple’s version of the larger Samsung family of devices, the questions of my blind allegiance are….well…valid?
So I’ve done a little introspection and I think I’ve got it.
I’m a fanboy.
Like millions of others, when it comes to anything Apple, I go balls to the wall.
I readily admit my fandom, but others can’t seem to self-identify (as I have).
So today, I’m going to share with you the top five signs that you too, are a fanboy.
1. You wait in line the day a new device drops.
More accurately, you camp out for days leading up to the release of a new device.
Only true fanboys place such importance to being the first ones to own a device that they’re willing to risk their lives, brave poor weather, take time away from the families or jobs to sit on a line and wait.
Will they win a prize?
Receive an award?
Be recognized for their achievement?
No. No. And no.
So why do they do it?
For the visceral feeling they get holding a brand spanking new device that no one else (yet) has. That’s why.
Oh. And they’re fanboys.
2. You take pro- (or anti-) device claims at face value.
If anything that Apple (or Google) publishes in anticipation of a release gives you wood and you regurgitate the features and capabilities as fact, sight unseen, you’re a fanboy.
So what you’re getting all your information from the rumor mill?
If Apple says it, it must be true. Right?
3. You take criticism of your device personally.
Everyone knows that Apple’s battery life is notoriously horrible. Or that Android devices routinely freeze, crash and drop calls.
But if you’re a fanboy, and someone utters a word against your favored device, all you hear are fighting words – and you’re literally ready to fight.
I remember when the Samsung Galaxy GS3 dropped.
Several of my so-called friends copped it and were all ga-ga over it.
I had one of the first GS3s in my office and had a chance to take it for a test drive.
Needless to say, I wasn’t impressed.
I posted a blog with my two cents, and was immediately set upon for posting negative reviews.
I had to unfriend a few folks after that.
4. You’ve never owned the competing device.
As a result, you’re totally ignorant about what an iOS device or Android can or can’t do.
It’s hard to offer any legitimate critique of a competing device if you’ve never owned one.
But that doesn’t keep fanboys from making far-reaching pronouncements about the inadequacies of the opposition.
5. You still rock Blackberry.
There is no more profound evidence to the existence of a true fanboy, than Blackberry owners.
Despite the obsolescence (or near obsolescence – they’re clearly on life support) of Blackberry devices for several years now, there are still legions that swear by these blocky, keyboard bearing pieces of antiquity.
Now if you have any doubt whether or not you’re a fanboy, ask yourself, “When was the last time you owned <input name of device you don’t currently own here>?”
If you can’t remember, you’re a fanboy.
I know I usually title my posts with outrageous statements sometimes, in an effort to distinguish myself from the blogging fray.
But a trace amount of urine actually escaped my urethra as I waited excitedly for the start of Apple’s September 8th announcements.
To be precise, I didn’t exactly pee on myself.
I was trying to hold in my pee.
It was a matter of not missing the live stream or relieving myself.
Ultimately, my desire to avoid soiling myself further won out and I was able to dry the small spot of wetness on my trousers with the hand dryer.
I kid. I kid.
But I (like millions of other fanboys and girls) watched as Apple announced the iPhone 6, 6 Plus and Apple Watch.
If you’re an Android user, technologically daft or live under a rock, and Apple products don’t give you a rise in your nether regions, stop reading now.
If however, new Apple products give you wood, cause spontaneous orgasm or premature ejaculation, read on.
I can’t front, I’ve been jealous of all those Android users with their tv phones.
When the GS3, the Note, the S5, and all those large form Android Phablets came out, I was green with envy.
While I can’t stand the “commonness” of Android devices or the randomness of features which are on certain phones and absent from others, I do dig how much content you can consume on their large(r) screens.
Of course, I was happy when the 5 dropped and we gained those 100 or so extra pixels at the bottom of the screen, but the 5/5s was still kinda wack, when compared with the Android tv phones.
And ‘yes’, I mocked Android users as they pulled out their massive screens from their
Sure, I maligned them for lugging around phones larger than their heads.
But I was really just masking my pain.
I wanted a massive tv phone to lug around too.
But one made by Apple, with a reliable OS that I trusted.
Not some open source foolishness cobbled together by sweaty geeks huddled together in a cave.
If I was going to lug around a tv phone in my pocket, it was going to be a sleek, elegant, uber thin Apple tv phone.
My every commute was filled with angst, as the Android horde pulled out their tv phones, watching House of Cards, or True Blood, 30 Rock or Amy Schumer on crystal clear HD screens, and I pulled out my monocle to read on my not-a-tv-phone iPhone 5s.
Sure, I had the latest and greatest Apple had to offer, and I was happy with it.
But I often found myself unconsciously peering over the shoulders of Android users, giggling at their screens, before catching (and cursing) myself for the lapse.
As much as I despised Android, the lure of their large screens was hard to resist.
Why didn’t Apple make such a glorious device?
But like Zeus’ mighty lightning bolts forged by the Cyclops, Apple has forged not one, but two mighty iPhones to beat back the savages.
With the arrival of the large form phones, Apple is squarely in competition with Android.
Soon, I will be the one envied by the Android horde, as I unsheath my iPhone 6 Plus (you know I’m going large – and it’s not to mask any inadequacies!)
No longer will I be looking over shoulders, staring at the screens of savages.
They shall spy on me!
I’m sorry, was I frothing at the mouth just now?
Now, I’d love to give you my hands on review of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
But, alas, my invite from Cupertino must have been lost in the mail (umm, Apple, get your mail room in order).
So, rather than regurgitate someone else’s hands on assessment of the wonders of Apple’s latest devices, check Mashable, whose write ups and videos are pretty good.
In fact, they’ve got a really good side-by-side comparison between Apple and the others.
Not to worry.
I’ll have the 6 Plus as soon as it’s released, and you’ll have my hands-on assessment straight from the source.
Until then, I’ll be wearing diapers.
Have you ever been in a public bathroom stall and overheard your “neighbor” tapping on their mobile phone, holding a conversation or playing a game?
You may have even been the offending neighbor yourself.
Whatever the case, I find the use of mobile devices on the latrine…gross.
I mean really?
Is using the toilet so devoid of excitement that you can’t do it without some form of entertainment?
Are you just so concerned that you might miss some oh-so-important Facebook status update, that you can’t possibly put your phone away?
Is getting a new high score on Candy Crush just that critical that it can’t wait until you’re not on the bowl?
Okay, okay. Sure you can play a game of Solitaire, or read email or surf the net while you’re voiding your bowels – what else are you going to do?
But what happens next?
Huh? Nasty boy?
I’ll tell you.
You put the phone down. Wipe you ass or vajajay. Pick your phone up. Leave the toilet.
Maybe you wash your hands.
More often than not, you don’t (because you’re a nasty muthafucker).
But even if you do, trace amounts of your fecal matter, and a lil bit of pee, is leaving the bathroom with you – on your phone.
And you’re probably handling your shitty phone to coworkers and friends, having them scroll through baby pictures, watch your ice bucket challenge or type in their phone number into your contacts.
And now, they’re contaminated.
Thanks, you cretin.
It’s not bad enough that Ebola is ravaging Africa, you’ve got to add your filthy two-cents, spreading cholera.
And why? All because you text while you shit.
So do us all a favor, when you go to the commode, leave your phone at your desk.
And if you must take it with you, keep some disinfecting wipes handy.
Or better yet, just stop being nasty.
If you’ve been following the interwebs, then you’ve likely come across the story of the Comcast rep who fought the customer trying to cancel their service.
If you’re not up on the incident, a mini-recap is in order.
Dude wants to cancel his service. Wife calls Comcast and is abused by the rep for about 10 minutes. Frustrated, she hands the phone to dude, who is similarly abused for another 10 minutes. Inspired, dude decides to start recording and captures the last eight minutes of the rep’s totally ridiculous behavior.
You can listen to the call here.
As someone who suffered under the oppressive yoke of Comcast before Fios gave us free, I was not surprised by the shitty customer service experience.
And as someone who has experienced shitty customer service from brands like Louis Vuitton (I know how Oprah feels), I realize that customer service is no longer a self-explanatory term.
Every day, we are all faced by people in customer service roles that could give a fuck that their job is to be helpful, and instead have cultivated the art of showing you their full asses.
How many time have you been condescended to? Cut off? Passed inaccurate information? Yelled at?
Far too often, I’m sure.
So today, I’m sharing my top five tips for not being a customer service douche.
1. Remember that the customer is always right.
When I was growing up, I heard this maxim over and over: “the customer is always right.”
Businesses knew that customers kept them in business, and they knew that they had to keep their customers happy. How, pray tell, did they do that? By teaching their public-facing reps that their job was to keep the customer happy. Happy customers meant more sales. More sales meant higher revenues. Higher revenues meant profits. Profits allowed the business to thrives. Ergo, happy customers equalled a thriving business.
If businesses treated their customers like kings and queens, they could never go wrong.
I used to work with a dude who would routinely black out on customers. He was so abrasive, so condescending, so insulting and dismissive, that I marveled at his ability to keep his job. As project managers, we’re frequently on the receiving side of abuse, so inwardly, I rejoiced at the “Fuck you!” he routinely doled out.
But outwardly, I was more often alarmed about how poorly he understood his role. His whole attitude demonstrated that he didn’t get the fact that his behavior was a reflection of the brand that employed him. My advice to him, which he failed to observe – ultimately to his demise – was “hold your tongue.” When you’re feeling frustrated and want to go off on your client/the customer, take a breath and shut the fuck up.
3. “I’m sorry.” and “Thank you.”
When customers are mad, you’ve got to recognize they’re looking for scalps. Invariably, by the time they reach you, they’ve already run the gauntlet, gotten the run-around or are simply so frustrated with whatever it is they’re dealing with, that the need no excuse to go thermonuclear.
There are no greater calm-inducing words, than “I’m sorry.” When you say “I’m sorry” as a customer service rep, you’re telling the customer “this is our fault” and putting yourself at their mercy. Similarly saying “thank you” throughout your interaction, even for the slightest thing, helps to establish that you’re appreciative of the customer working with you to resolve their issue.
4. Never bite the hand that feeds you.
Always remember that the person on the other end of the phone, opposite you at your desk, or on the other side of the counter, directly or indirectly pays your salary. In essence, the customer is your boss. If you wouldn’t tell your boss to (proverbially) kiss your ass, you shouldn’t tell the customer either.
If you treat the customer like your next paycheck depends upon how satisfied they are with your interaction with them, you can’t go wrong. Unless you don’t like money.
5. Don’t be an asshole.
At the end of the day, when someone is having a problem, which you’re in a position to assist them with, your attitude is the last thing they want to deal with. Sure, the customer may be a total jackass, with no home training, and just because you picked up the phone, you’re in their crosshairs and the object of their abuse.
But their lack of home training doesn’t give you license to treat them badly. If you can’t figure out if you’re being an asshole or not, act like you’ve got your grandmother on the other end of the phone, and treat them accordingly.
It’s really quite simple: Keep the customer happy. Keep your job.
Or you could be like the jackass from Comcast – who may not have his by the time the dust from this debacle settles.
I never thought this day would come.
That my cool would ever come into question.
I’ve always considered myself relatively hip.
I’ve got tats.
I wear dreads.
Tall. Dark. Handsome.
I’m fucking Black goddammit!
I’m the personification of cool.
Al least so I thought.
But today, I’ve been forced to rethink my stance.
You see, today I learned that, at times, I’m somewhat of…
How do you say…
A collective gasp rises from the audience.
Can you imagine?
Moi? An embarrassment?
On more than one occasion, I’ve been asked to (and I quote) “stop embarrassing me.”
Who could utter such caustic (and clearly inaccurate) words?
Not just any of my children, mind you.
But the eldest two.
The one who looks like me.
And the other who bears my name.
How is this possible, you ask?
Well we’ve been in Martha’s Vineyard for a week, and I was told – on no less than three separate occasions – that I was embarrassing them.
I. Was. Embarrassing. Them.
How can that which sprang forth from my loins malign me so?
And question my cool no less?
Sure. I can be a little loud sometimes.
I’ve been known to molest innocent passers by.
And accost strangers.
So what if many within the sound of my voice are alarmed by my sudden and unprovoked outbursts?
It’s part of my charm.
But apparently, the same qualities that make me charming and a hoot as an adult, are the source of embarrassment as a parent to my tweens.
Do I tone it down, “chill out” and play the back to avoid embarrassing my kids?
Or do I stay true to self and force them to deal?
I think we all know the answer.
Have you ever experienced something that was so trippy, surreal and ethereal that you thought was a dream, but turned out to be real?
Last week, I had one of those experiences.
“What happened?” you ask.
I was not tripping on acid, popping pills or high on the stickiest of the icky.
Why was it so trippy?
Well, if you’ve never experienced a Moon Medicin show, it will be somewhat hard to explain.
But here goes nothing.
Moon Medicin is a five piece band consisting of lead vocalist and guitarist, Martin Luther McCoy, DJ and background vocalist, Jahi Lake, drummer, Swiss Chris, bassist and background vocalist, Mark Hines, and keyboard and background vocalist, Sanford Biggers.
Moon Medicin is also a performance piece, created by Sanford Biggers, which explores the creative intersection of music, visual and performance art.
Indeed, the pieces that Moon Medicin performs are mashups that push the boundaries of music and performance art.
Moon Medicin shows are one part live music, one part DJ, one part visual and one part experiential.
You’ve got to experience a Moon Medicin show to truly understand how you can be transported from sitting or standing in a performance venue, to a sandy dune in the desert, feeling waves lick at your toes in the ocean, or running frantically through a forest.
Perhaps it was experiencing Moon Medicin from the steps at Neuehouse.
Maybe it was the combination of the lighting, the massive visuals projected on the screen behind the band or the other worldly music they play.
It might have been the ghostly silhouettes of passers-by against the backdrop of the frosted glass windows.
I could go on and on trying to figure it out, but I’ll do you one better and let you peep a short video from their set at Lincoln Center in April.
If you get a chance, make sure you check ‘em out.
It will definitely trip you out.