Pick Up The Phone
Master P

What follows is the EPIC tale of my quest to make my wife happy get a new toy. Journey with me brave reader and you shall hear the tale. The tale of Drew in iPhoneland.
Drew's new iPhone

So a few weeks ago, Jen tells me she wants a phone contract because she is tired of always needing to top-up her phone. You see she has been on pay-as-you-go for the last year. Originally we thought this was a great option as we could change her service if we wanted, but after a year and a half of constantly being reminded of her balance after every call she has grown tired of clicking “okay.” Can’t blame her either. It really is annoying. No really.

Back to the point. When she told me she wanted a contract, I asked her to wait a couple of days because Apple was about to announce the new version of the iPhone and this would be a great chance for me to upgrade my phone at a discount. Jen being the push-over loving wife she is, was willing to wait. Once the phone was announced I told her the release date and promised her we would get her a contract then.

Fast forward to this past Thursday (pretty sure I just violated some temporal rules of grammer) and we are now standing in line with an unknown number of Apple fan-boys all drooling over the newest gadget from the gods.

“Why would one choose to stand in such a line?” you ask, understandably. The answer is simple dear reader. We were told they were going to sell out and I had promised my wife she would have a contract when I could get the new phone. The trouble, you see, is in restocking. Rumour (UK spelling there) has it, once the iPhone 4 sold out on release day it would be over a month before they anymore in stock. Thus I feel pressured to get it on release day as to keep my wife from waiting any longer.

So now I have dragged Jen out of bed at 5am on Thursday, 24 June 2010, to come stand in the queue (line) with me at our local O2 shop.
O2 Angel

When we first arrived, we were about 30th in line. This was at 7:15am, only 45 minutes before the store was due to open. I thought this would be enough time to get us in and out in enough time to get to work (we both had until 9:30 before needing to be at work), and really, how long could it take right?


That is how long. Five hours. Moving from my spot at 30th in line from 7:45 in the morning took five hours of my life.
iPhone 4 queue

Jen finally confessed to me at 8:30, she didn’t want to be there and it wasn’t worth it to her. To be fair, she never SAID it was that important to her to begin with, but hey, I am a dude (and we all know dudes speak a different language than chicks). So at 9am Jen steps out of line to go to work. But fear not, her time in line was not wasted. She ended up getting herself something on her way to work anyway.
Jen's new shoes

We wouldn’t have wanted her to not have something new after spending all that time in line. Plus she forgot her work shoes in the rush out the door. Did I mention we were up at 5am? …or that I woke up every hour on the hour in the night out of fear I would oversleep? Yeah, I am a sad individual.

In the end I did get the phone, but it was not without a hitch. Once I made it to the front of the line and was finally sitting at the desk with an O2 representative, I was told they couldn’t sell me a phone.

“WHY!?!?!”, you ask, again understandably. Well apparently O2’s online account information is in NO way connected to their in-store system. So when the very nice clerk asks me my phone number and postcode, my answer returned no results.

Apparently when we first signed up with O2 we were still in corporate housing from TM. There was NO WAY I was going to remember that postcode. So I left the store with no phone, on very frustrated customer. Five hours. No phone. And I am late for work. FOUR HOURS late for work. No phone. I have missed TWO meetings. Did I mention no phone.

Thirty minutes later I was able to get Jen on the phone, with a bit of combined brain power and Google searching I returned to the store (skipping the queue at this point) with our old postcode in hand. Luckily the clerk was a good chap and was willing to help me straight away (well as soon as he finished with his current customer). This was not however the end of the tale as he still needed to get someone on the phone at corporate to update my address as the address on file must match my current billing address on my bank card.

Now I find myself the victim of one busy signal after another. He tries calling five or six times with no luck, but he carries on like he were a patriot in WWII (Keep Calm and Carry On). FINALLY. Someone answers. He informs me it may still take another HOUR before the information is actually updated. Luck. It happens instantly. My stomach finally leaves my throat.

Can you say frustration. I knew you could.

In the end, I got the new phone, Jen got new shoes and all was right with the world. Well, unless you are my buddy Gareth. He has a whole other story to tell.

We’ve Only Got Four Minutes

I am quite torn between the desire for an extended period of time to myself and relief in the fact that there has been very little of that.  The schedule has been full, as you can tell by our absence.  The Tuesday night before Megan left, we must have been up until at least 1:30 a.m. just dragging out the last minutes.

Wednesday evening we found ourselves in Trafalgar Square with a handful of Canadian ex-pat friends for Canada Day.

canada day

canada day bikes

Thursday evening I shared a day of training with my co-workers, followed by an evening of team building festivities on the river and at the National Gallery Cafe for a posh dinner.


thames clipper skipper

thames clipper

national gallery cafe

dinner at ng

Friday evening Drew and I attended farewell drinks for his colleague Lin, of whom we had grown quite fond.  She was like an extension of our family the way she looked after us as we settled in (and even after).  It was the second Friday in a row that we raised our glass to say goodbye to peeps leaving Ticketmaster.  There must be doors being thrown open somewhere…

On Saturday Drew and I joined some American ex-pats and their families for a picnic at Tooting Bec Common.  It was quite laid back and informal with babies as entertainment.

When we tired of sitting in the park, we wandered through the crowds in the West End.  Gay Pride festivities were in full force in Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, and Soho.  I had hoped for more music and less blatant drug use.  Perhaps I had hoped for something more familiar, like a backyard barbecue.  Silly rabbit, London is for parties.

trafalgar gay pride

leicester sq gay pride

gay pride trash

The Marksman was privately booked on Sunday (maybe for the owners’ anniversary, a Fourth of July party, or for their daughter’s birthday) so I will have to wait quite a while to enjoy the next vegetarian special…  Sad.  Still, we managed to get quite a lot done before making our way to the Millenium Pier where we boarded the Thames Clipper for the O2.  Drew surprised me with Madonna tickets!

madonna o2

When we visited London in May to decide whether or not we could make it living here, Madonna and Justin’s “4 minutes” was being played everywhere we went.  There was no way that I could have at that time imagined that we would eventually be watching Madonna perform it live in London.  Granted, Justin was projected onto moving stage screens, but the deja vu of it all was enough to give me chills.  It’s just another moment that seems to bring us full circle.  My daydreams feel like a smear of something you see on the Tilt-a-Whirl; I am dizzy from it all.