I popped into the Harvard Square Verizon store today and got a glimpse of the American worker’s interaction with ever more advanced technology.
- Customer: “Is the iPhone 4G?”
- VZ Employee: “Yes.”
[ iPhones run on the obsolete 3G network, not the current 4G LTE system; note that in July, 34 percent of existing iPhone customers thought that they already had 4G.]
- Customer: “I want to return this prepaid smartphone because the sales guy said it was 3G but the data is really slow and the phone says ‘1X’ at the top” [1X stands for 1xRTT, a slow and ancient standard]
- Omar, VZ Employee: “All of our phones are 3G. This is definitely a 3G phone. We don’t support any older networks.”
- Jamie Albanese, VZ Store Manager: (standing next to Omar) “This is definitely not a 3G phone. Who told you that the prepaid phone was 3G? None of my employees would have told you that this phone is 3G.”
- Customer: “You mean none of your employees aside from Omar, who just now said that it was 3G?”
Curious to know how far up the management chain the ignorance would persist, I called and talked to Kirsten Lyall, another VZ Store Manager. She said “1X is 3G.”
Separately, a friend went into Starbucks and ordered a latte. The employee working the register asked “Do you want milk in that?”
Remember that there are approximately 15 million Americans who are less skilled than these folks.
[The truly sad discovery from this excursion was that the Galaxy Nexus “Google phone” is not yet available.]