The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night

Once upon a time, I was thinking about a phone upgrade. The Huawei phone I had remained great: solid performance, but there’d been issues with the battery, then I’d dropped it and needed to replace everything on insurance. Looking at my contract, with three months left, I’d have to pay a couple of hundred quid to do so, which didn’t exist anyway.

I cast around for a bit, looking for a cheaper alternative. Apple was a non-starter. I didn’t want another Huawei because their own software was becoming intrusive. Someone (I do not remember who) on my Twitter timeline suggested I take a look at the Pixel 4a when the time came. There was an article about it in the Guardian that day. I linked it to Future Self as a reminder in December.

Then, this happened:

I thought maybe this was a scam, but no, that’s legitimately Google’s UK account. So, I did as I was told. I said hi, and via DM was asked to provide a name and address, which is when alarm bells started to ring. All my online smarts told me that stuff like this is normally a precursor to bad things happening. Fraud, crappy mail for the rest of time, that kind of stuff.

Some internal rationalization then followed: maybe they wanna send me stuff about the phone? Maybe it might be some kind of promotion? Hey, if it’s a money off voucher, this would be useful regardless. So, I committed. I wrote, in the instructions box they provided, ‘make sure you ring the bell’ because, knowing how Google Forms work, they’s just print out the address and the instructions to stick on the parcel, and then I’d know it was from them.

Fast-forward to last Thursday. Daughter’s first day back at school. Quite stressful all round. Getting ready to go on the School Run, a man appears with a parcel at the front door, on which my instructions are indeed printed. It is FAR TOO LARGE to be a phone and suddenly, I am more than confused… until I open it.

I am now the proud owner of a Pixel 4a. I traded in the old phone last night and so, as it happens, also in profit as a result of this deal. It’s a beautifully compact, very lovely thing and will be used to take photos with this week to see just how capable it is in the field. Thus far I am more than happy but remain a little confused.

Whoever it was who decided I was worthy of one of these things, THANK YOU. The drink and the snacks were lovely, and quite unnecessary. I’ll use it for as long as is possible and it will be very well taken care of, but for the record if you wanted an influencer, there are probably better tech people that could have been chosen. However, this solves the issue of replacing stuff. For that alone, I am happy.

It’s the little things that really make a big difference to people like me.

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