Here is all I know about cell phones in the Philippines, because where I live in Roosevelt Bataan there are no land lines and we must use the cell. For two years I’ve had the Cherry Mobile phone at the outrageous cost new of PNP 1,200.00 with it I can receive and make phone calls, also it is so high tech I can both text and receive text’s. Plus I’m pretty sure it also has a camera built in, as if I even care. It sits on my dresser in my bedroom and never leaves that spot.
I do check it a couple of times a day for missed calls and messages, whenever I go upstairs to take a nap or a shower. I’m pretty good at that. I spent 90% of my life with the phone in my office at work, on the wall at home and nothing in my car but music from my stereo pumping out country music as I drove along. There were so many times when absolutely no one could reach out and touch me unless I wanted to be found. What a glorious time in any life that was.
It was 1984 I was the Commissary Store Officer in Puerto Rico, within the building I was subject to the power of the phone and its ability to find me when I was the most busy doing something semi-important. The stores PA would crackle and a tiny voice would announce; “Senior Chief, You have a call on line one.” Oh joy, how I lived to hear that. When one day a Duty Yeoman from the Admin Office came to see me and presented me with a “High Tech Beeper” issued by the Command Master Chief of the base in case he or someone really important needed to reach me. A beeper; what are they thinking?
My leadership style was let the junior man/woman think for themselves. Using old Navy adage was; “Make a decision, even if it’s wrong, we’ll fix it tomorrow.” How else will they ever learn? My first month in Puerto Rico, after working hours the phone at my beach condo would ring: “Senior Chief we… I’d interrupt and say something like; Your Senior Chief was on his 22nd floor balcony drinking an ice cold beer, when a Giant Condor crashed into him and the powerful beak pierced his heart and he’s dead. So my young Shipmate, now what would you do? Because you’re now by default the person in charge?” After the first month the troops realized that unless it was an earth moving emergency they had the power to deal with it.
Back to the Beeper, there it sat on my belt of my spiffy dress uniform for over two weeks and I’d even charged it twice. It’s Friday night, I’m at the CPO Club having a pleasant social reprieve with my fellow CPO’s and playing Ship’s Captain, Crew (For fun of course) When for the first time my beeper buzzed, I checked the number, saw that it was that pain in the ass Command Master Chief whom by the way had 43 years in the Navy. When I smiled and dropped it into a pitcher of cold social lubricant and watched it spark, sputter and die. My fellow CPO’s looked at me in respect and dropped theirs into the same vessel of cold beer. This became an urban legend on base for years to come.
Paul, what are you trying to relate to with this rambling story of beer and electronics? I was at the Harbor Point Mall with the light of my life, Mayang, when I remembered her birthday was fast approaching. Never being a shy man I flat out asked her what she would like as a present. She quickly said; “A new smart phone.” What type my love? (Hoping against hope that the next words I heard would not be “I-Phone) No she wanted a Samsung Galaxy Grand (GT-19082) then after three stores later and we left the mall as I refused to pay the illegal bank charge of between PNP 500.00 and 1,000.00 for using a Credit Card. Not the VAT mined you but a stinking service charge. This had been the first time I’d run into that Voodoo BS in a very long time. Before I walked out having made no purchase, I asked the managers if any Kano had ever paid that charge, they said no. I wondered how much better their bottom line would have been if they knocked that crap off?
So Tuesday, using “CASH” she and my daughter went to the mall and picked out her new phone. She even by passed the three stores we had first gone to last week. Here was the surprise to me; Mayang had never shown any interest in the computer or internet before, even with her old Smart Phone (That my daughter now owns now as her I-Phone 4 is in Hawaii with her husband). I found her looking up our house on Google Earth. Who would have thunk it?
The trickledown effect has once more proved its worth; I’m not talking in economic terms I’m talking; “If my wife is happy, ergo I’m happy!”