“The Salesman”

I walk into the Verizon store where my mom is waiting for me. We’re set to get a new phone for me. I’m on her plan that she’s not even on, if that gives you any idea of how fu**ed up this whole situation is.

When I walk into the store, I notice the salesman’s eyes cemented onto me with the utmost intensity, face braced in a stone posture and bulbous blue eyes filling up the room. I quickly look down and avoid eye contact with him. And I think, ok, that was pretty bad. Obviously things are going to get better from here.

We’ve been told the phone were going to be free but then he’s saying things like “$100 gets you out the door,” or, if I buy an excess of unconscionable, unneeded sh**, then “$200 gets you out the door.” It’s mostly my mom talking to him and eventually we settle on the $100 package. She offers to pay so I feel a little better but I say I can pay for it. My blood pressure has been up around 150 lately so I’m extra happy for the good mirth from her.

The time comes to get my new phone. It comes out and the salesman explains that it’s smaller than my old one, which was an LG. So my old case won’t fit around it. I have to buy a new case. My mom keeps telling me I need a new case. I decline. I forget the price but it’s completely ludicrous.

Then comes the charger, which is incompatible with my laptop, on which Ive been charging my old phone and then going about my merry way. The new one has totally different hookups and the guy tells me I can get a “block,” with the female charger hookup and male wall hookup, for $30.

I stand up and say, “I don’t need it. I don’t need a phone today.” I don’t know what the He** I’m going to do but anything seems better than getting fu**ed over for this stupid government spying instrument by this golden boy who has the nerve to say something like the customer service itself cost $100, and say it with a straight face, what’s more.

The salesman’s manager hears my ire and dismissal and comes over, calms me down and lowers my eventual total to $50, on what is supposed to be a free phone. I whiz a mile up the street to Radio Shack and snag a $7 charger that works just fine. And I still have no ability to apply on Doordash or Instacart. Some things never change. But I think of that salesman there, sitting with those boisterous blue eyes that strangle you with faux-vulnerable indignation as you try to monitor your precious money going down the toilet. I think how he’s been tailor-made for this world: he’ll believe any lie, walk any walk, do any dance for anyone as long as the shining, faceless, metallic and cancerous void tells him it’s “right.”

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