I was in the lab store. Stacks of denim flanked the walls with a colorful sea of neatly folded graphic t-shirts on tables in between. The denim team was discussing the merchandising for the Women’s back-to-school line. I picked up a pair of jeans from the Men’s area to check the content label, but instead was surprised at how much material constructed the front pockets. I could easily slide in my entire palm, a cotton cave for the hand. Women’s front pockets never permitted this fabric allowance.
My mind went to all the times I stood in harshly lit fitting room and automatically went to put hands in pockets and–denied. Sometimes “pockets” are half scraps sewn shut, creating only the illusion of the feature, a magic trick in apparel. The only functional front pocket left is the coin pocket and who actually uses it? As I learned in corporate retail, Women’s pants with functional thigh pockets, like Nordic parkas in Florida, won’t sell. We stocked our shelves with desired, slim profile choices.
While this piece is about a pocket issue, it’s not a rant on the depressing nature of impractical fashion design. You can read the history of useless pockets here if you’d like that. My problem: what if you need pockets for stuff? Carrying a bulky tote is annoying when I have to use my cane to mobilize. I would be no hands-free with a big bag and white cane. Cargo pants are circa the 90s. So, where should my ever-present accessory, my phone, live? I have a reputation for missing phone calls and texts. I need a good pocket.
This problem was apparent when I was sorting dirty laundry into piles. As I bent over to grab a sweater, my phone slipped out of my denim pocket. On exit, it was two feet, maybe three feet off the ground. It clattered onto the hardwood floor and I definitely yelled THAT word.
I grimaced. It was only a month since I cracked my tablet screen when, in another freak movement, either I accidentally nudged it or I didn’t place it fully on the counter (thanks, wonky depth perception) and it fell. The nearby tech repair place installed a new tablet screen in a few hours. My pride took a hit, but at least my paycheck covered it. Shop local.
I stared at my cute houndstooth phone case which stared back at me, the rock I would have to look under. My heart sank. This is why I can’t have nice things I thought to myself as I reach down and flipped my phone over to assess the damage. Yep, another screen cracked.
Luckily, I do have phone insurance. Stockton helped me figure out how to file a claim. Deductible paid. A few days later the replacement phone arrived. Transferring my data to the new phone ended up being a hassle and Stockton had to intervene, but eventually I was set.
Until the phone started crashing after it went into lock screen mode. I restarted. I recharged. I closed out of programs. In a few moments, it still gave me the death stare of the black screen. Over and over. If I listened to music or a podcast it would not, but after a week of turning sound low and letting a long podcast play at half speed all day, Stockton firmly told me it was time to address the issue.
Thanksgiving eve I contacted the insurance company. The customer service rep troubleshooter and informed me if problem persisted to call back the next day. “Yup, we’ll be open on the holiday. 24 hours, someone will help you.” When I worked in a call center for a payroll processor, even we didn’t work late in the evening or major holidays. Those 24/7 hours, that’s the power of the phone addiction in America.
A few days later, my replacement replacement phone arrived. Stockton transferred my data and it’s working. Probably because my smartphone is jailed in an otterbox case. I’m told I’d have to throw my phone down to break it now. So now, there’s only one problem left. I still can’t fit my protected phone in a pocket.
Who else has cracked a screen? How did you fix it? How do you prevent broken phones? Would you wear a Victorian pocket in the 21st century? Tell me about it.