It’s about 90F here in picture perfect Maryland. I am reminded of summertime foods, fruit/vegetable stands on the side of the road, and this topic.
Let me start by setting the stage.
Scenario #1: Try to picture yourself kayaking in open water, its turbulent, you are little nervous. Out of nowhere comes Brad Pitt in his own kayak. He asks, “Ma’am, are you okay? Do you need any help?”
Scenario #2: Try to picture yourself selling fruits and vegetables on a side of the road in some distant foreign country, and you are alone by yourself. Again out of nowhere, here comes Brad Pitt in his fancy sports car. Wind is blowing through his perfect movie star hair and he approaches you to start up a conversation, maybe even a little flirt.
Is there anything wrong with any of these situations? Anything alarming?
Okay, let’s use couple of real examples now.
Example #1: My buddy was kayaking with his sea specific kayak and enjoying a beautiful day on the ocean, taking photos and just absorbing all the natural beauty. Things start getting turbulent, so he starts heading back to shore. He spots a lady in a recreational kayak struggling to get to the shore. He quickly gets to her and asks very politely, “Ma’am, are you okay? Do you need any help?” She instantly lashes out at him! And says, “Stop stalking me, I’m calling the police when I get back!”
Example #2: Around this time of the year, we have influx of Norwegian teenage girls working fruits and vegetable stands near our house, on a side of a small road. Lots of respect goes out to these young ladies for doing such a difficult job when they could be out partying or relaxing. Instead, it’s just her, the stand, & one little umbrella baking under the blistering sun or getting bombarded by rain. So anyway, my wife and I always try to get something from her because it just feels like the right thing to do. One time we are waiting at the 4way intersection, and my wife alarms me about our favorite vegetable girl. She tells me there is something suspicious going on. I look over and there is a silver Prius, fully decorated with all the “standard” Prius bumper stickers on the rear, parked next to the stand. There is a middle aged man trying to have a conversation with the vegetable girl. Wind is gently blowing and his comb-over hair is flying straight up like a sail. Man has thick glasses and looks just like many of the scientists I work with. My wife says the situation is very bad and insists the vegetable girl needs help. She actually pulled out her phone to dial 911 only to find out her phone was dead, as usual…lol. At this point I am in disbelief that my own wife would react this way. I simply told my wife to stop profiling. Just because a guy looks like a creep doesn’t mean he is about to harm her.
I’m actually curious how many phone calls like this go through 911/police. Was my wife overreacting? Did my buddy do the wrong thing by offering help? I never want to be caught in any situation like this, and that’s the reason why I will never ever talk to a stranger woman. For example, if a stranger lady and I are walking toward a same door, I will always throttle back so she gets there first. I don’t want to deal with any complication that may result from holding a door open for a lady.
Okay, you just completed your 2 year contract and you are excited about jumping into that next 2year contract, you want to make sure you are getting the best possible deal. Lot of your friends will tell you this phone is better or that service is better. In the midst of this cell phone battle there seems to be the most important element missing when discussing what is the best of the best…and that missing element is your “LIFE SITUATION”. I know it sounds cliché and easy way out answer but I will explain it in detail using my personal experience.
My Verizon contract just ended and I knew it was going to be a real tough decision to try out a different carrier. I live in Columbia, MD and I am telling you there is no service more reliable than Verizon. With reliable service also comes high monthly rate. So lets talk about “life situation”. My situation is, I run a business, married, two kids, and I need data, text, voice on a reliable network. This probably sounds familiar to lot of people but there is a price point where everybody may disagree on. I wanted to optimize on lowest total cost for average service and great phone. I wanted everybody’s cheapest plan with voice, text, and data for 2phones and 2voice service for another 2phones. All the phones I picked are the top of the line phones for all the service providers, that is also reasonably priced. Why there is no iphone in my selection? because there are simply much better phones available than an iPhone. Anyway, here is the breakdown:
1. Wal-Mart phones/services: This gets you the cheapest service, cheapest plan, cheapest phone, but it has a horrible service area.
2. Verizon: 2lines w/ 2data, 2 add-a-line, Droid3 phone, 1400minutes, unlimited txt, 2gb unlimited data. Real cost is $199 upfront, $200/month. Best cell phone service provider.
3. Sprint: 2lines w/ 2data, 2add-a-line, 1500min, HTC evo shift 4g phone, unlimited txt, 5gb unlimited data. Real cost is $221 upfront, $169.99 per month. This plan is a no brainer if you are a heavy heavy data user, because Sprint is the only one that will not throttle back on your network speed. Unfortunately, there is no plan cheaper than this via Sprint.
4. AT&T: The reason I went to Verizon in the first place was because AT&T was so bad. I don’t get reception at work and there was no significant difference this time around either.
5. T-Mobile: 2lines w/ 2data, 2add-a-line, 1000min, Dell venue pro phone, Unlimited txt, 2gb unlimited data. Real cost is $140 activation, $124.27/month 2data&2basic, plus upfront cost of the 4 phones of $250.
Based on all the information I gathered up, I was almost paying $100 less with T-Mobile! That was all the information I needed to give them a try. It has all the elements I was looking for at fraction of the cost. As long as T-Mobile service is more reliable than AT&T, I will be happy as a clam. I will report back on my review of T-Mobile. Sprint would be a no brainer if I was a heavy data plan user, but 2gb plan is more than enough for my need, so I don’t have a reason to pay more.
So in summary if you are,
1. …heavy data user with one of the best phone choices available, Sprint is the only game in town.
2. …really cheap and don’t care about the crappy service or a crappy phone, stick with Walmart
3. …in need of best reliable service regardless of cost, stick with Verizon.
4. …semi cheap looking for lowest cost with average to above average service with great phones, stick with T-mobile.
These phones deserve some recognition for being the best at each category,
Best gadget packed & most advanced: HTC evo 3D
Best business/productivie: Dell venue pro
Best fun/popular: iPhone 4s