The Outsider: Getting smartened up with Griffin
|By Will Jones - The Outsider | November 29, 2018|
I met Griffin last weekend. He’s 27 and lives with his girlfriend, Orla, in Little Britain. They’ve just purchased a house, two beds, two baths and a walkout basement, unfinished. He plans to make the basement into a man cave but Orla has other ideas. Griffin is in the army reservists. He wants to join the air force but it is difficult to leave the army once you’re in the reservists.
“They don’t like letting good recruits go,” explains Griffin. He’s also very outdoorsy and sporty. He loves backwoods camping and playing hockey. Ice fishing is not his thing but put him in a canoe in the summer and he’ll guarantee to catch you your dinner.
I could go on but I’m sure that by now you have heard enough about Griffin. I had. You see, Griffin is a sales assistant at a cell phone store in Peterborough and my lovely wife and I had the dubious pleasure of being assisted by him when we dropped in to get new phones.
Griffin did his best. He walked us through the vast array of almost identical looking smart phones on display, pointing out the “fantastic features” of each. He demonstrated apps and talked up diamond plans, fiddled with widgets and explained ‘firmware’. But most of all he chatted, nonstop.
After 45 minutes, I was ready to shoot myself and I stopped him, mid-flow on the benefits of dubbin versus mink oil on his combat boots. “Griffin. I want this one, this phone. Now please.” Without missing a beat in his verbal onslaught, Griffin spun around, opened a drawer and produced the brand new phone, only to then put it down while he finished his boot blacking tale.
Then the real torture began. Systems had to be synced, forgotten passwords remembered, wrongly, and reset. Updates were started and upgrades signed for. We’d now been standing at the concession in the centre of the mall for 90 minutes, and my lovely wife’s phone was still syncing. So, said Griffin. It was when he said, “now for the fun bit”, that my legs gave out from under me and I slumped down onto the mall floor, sitting next to Little Z, who was utterly bored.
He was tearing pieces of paper off of a cell phone leaflet, rolling them up and flicking them at the legs of passersby. Normally I would have scolded him for littering, or being annoying, or both but at that moment I could have happily joined in.
However, leaning over the counter, Griffin said in an altogether too cheery voice, “there’s free stuff and your wife’s picking it right now.” Begrudgingly, I pulled myself upright and nodded glumly at free gift after free gift until we could not spend any more of our ‘in-store credit’. Another half hour and by now I was getting annoyed by the free gifts. “But you’ve still got $60 left,” said Griffin. “How about an extra set of headphones?” “NO!” “Oh, okay ... do you want to donate the last of the cash to Sick Kids?” “YES!” “Fantastic,” said Griffin, smiling triumphantly. “Now, your wife’s phone has just another 15 minutes or so of syncing so how about you go get a coffee and come back when it’s ready.”
“Wha...” I have a snazzy new super smart phone now but all I can think of is the two hours that I lost last weekend. Two hours that I can never get back. Two hours that I spent in Griffin’s world. Mind you, I do know that dubbin works better than mink oil on my hunting boots. Shame Griffin couldn’t put me onto an app to polish those boots.
WILL JONES - is The Outsider