At the phone store...
ME: "I need a phone charger please. For that phone." [I point at a display case.]
HE: "Ah. Let me see... No, we don't carry a charger for that phone."
ME: "But I bought the phone in this shop."
HE: "Yes. It's a very good phone."
ME: "I see."
HE: "You like it?"
ME: "I can't turn it on. I need a charger. Mine broke."
HE: "But the charger is unusual. It has a micro USB port."
[I listen politely.]
HE: "We don't have the charger, but we have this MLine universal travel charger, and one of the attachments will fit in your phone. You can use this."
[I am grumpy.]
ME: "Yeah, but that charger doesn't work. I bought it before, and it fell apart. Plus it's expensive, and I don't need 16 extra attachments for phones I don't have."
HE: "Oh." [A beat.] "Well, I'll need the original receipt if you want to replace it."
ME: "Thanks. I don't have the receipt. I don't want to replace it. I just need a new charger."
HE: "Well...we have this MLine universal travel charger."
ME: "Which doesn't work."
HE: "It does work. Just not very well."
[He looks sad. I contemplate filching his stupid name badge and poking both of us with it until this conversation goes away.]
HE: "*Sigh*. Their products really aren't very good."
ME: "Sorry, what?" [I pretend to be listening through an ear horn. Like a jackass.]
HE: "What do you want me to say?"
ME: "Uh, if their products suck, then why do you keep buying them?"
HE: "They might have the charger you need at Niedermeyer."
ME: "That's miles away. Why don't you sell it here, where I bought the fucking phone? Don't you think that would make sense?"
HE: "We have this MLine universal travel charger."
ME: "Right. Thanks. This is stupid."
Several hours later, at Niedermeyer
ME: "Hi! I need a phone charger."
GUY: "What kind?"
[This is where karma comes round and kicks my butt. Uh oh.]
ME: "Uh. For a Nokia. A flat, black Nokia."
ME: "Er. It takes a mini USB."
[She said, confidently.]
GUY: "Sure! Right over here."
ME: "No, wait, that doesn't look right."
GUY: "But you said mini USB.
GUY: "Where's your phone? Let's try it out."
ME: "I don't have my phone with me."
GUY: "Oh. I see. That makes sense."
[I wonder if he wants to poke me with his badge until this conversation goes away.]
ME: "Well, the other guy said mini USB. Or tiny USB. Or something. A teensy-weensy USB."
[She said. Confidently.]
GUY: "Do you mean a micro USB?"
ME: "Tiny USB."
GUY: "It's smaller, and flatter."
ME: "Oo, maybe. Can I see that?"
GUY: "Sure!" [We walk to a rack. He hands me another charger.]
ME: "This doesn't look right."
GUY: "Listen. There are mini USBs and micro USBS. And nothing else."
ME: "Yeah, but they both look funny."
GUY: "Do they."
[Yeah. They kinda do.]
[At this point, I'm pretty much prepared to inconvenience everyone and their mom to get a phone charger.]
ME: "Can you look it up online?"
[He blinks slowly. He's calling me names in his head, I can tell.]
GUY: "SURE. Which phone did you say you have?"
[His voice has a certain sour edge.]
ME: "It's flat. And black. Oh and it starts with a six. Six...five... something?"
GUY: "I will fucking shank you." (p.s. he never said that.)
[Five minutes later, after scrolling through pictures of Nokia cell phones on Google.]
GUY: "Got it. Your phone takes a micro USB."
ME: "Right. Which one is that again?"
GUY: "The one you're holding."
ME: "But this one looks funny. And it's from MLine."
ME: "Oh. Do you have one that isn't from MLine?"
[Gosh, why is he so touchy?]
ME: "Oh. Okay. I guess I'll have this, then."
P.S. The charger from MLine works great. Way to go, MLine. But don't think I'm going to forget the travesty of your stupid universal travel charger. I mean, really.