Monday, August 1, 2011


The sign reads, "repair and unblocking of cellular (phones)". Signs claiming the same services were almost as common as the fried banana on the dinner plate. Its ubiqutous presence makes one almost miss the extraordinary nature of this sign. The ability to unblock phones that are locked out of certain services or access to certain networks is the stuff of your average cyber hack (aka the regular teenager). That feature perhaps is not that extraordinary. The ability to unlock your phone is mostly thought of as a sort of mischievious way to circumvent the annoying restrictions that cell companies hold over the equipment they distrubte. So to advertise this service publically - out in the open - is out of the norm - a least to our sensibilities.
What really stands out is the that there is a claim to repair these bewildering micro circuit devices that now rule live in ours and the developing world - everyone has one. I am not sure that I have ever heard of anyone actually having their cell phone repaired. It just isn't done. Phone that stop working end up in the kids toyboxes while we march to the nearest agent for the upgrade which we have no doubt qualified. How do you repair a cell phone?
I asked Pablo that question - he seemed surprized I was asking.
Of course if your screen get cracked you can get a new one hand fabricated. You can get a new screen installed. You can swap your speaker for one that is louder. And louder is better. there are some features that can't be repaired but even some of the finest connections of the circuit board are available for a skilled technicians hand.
As technology has charged ahead into the blithering unknown. It has also left behind a stunningly large wake of disposable products in it wake. Disposable is actually a part of the market cycle that these new tech companies depend on. They count on the fact that when our phone breaks down the only option we consider is replacement.
Repair is the stuff for people who are satisfied. Satisfied with hanging on to what is. When you choose to repair a cell phone you choose to give up the possibility of acquiring the latest features available in the new models. You choose to hold your phone a little longer. Keeping stuff around longer. Its an ethos...
Our ethos is not as much about keeping - its about getting. One could speculate on which one is better but that is not really the point. I was just thinking that most of us are really hoping that this type of repair store exists for us as people as well. We all know that from time to time we break down as people - we make mistakes, we live poorly, we blink and squawk and hiccup. At times we feel like a blocked cell phone - struggling to make the most of days we are given (more crappy Diem than carpe Diem). We would love to find a spot that might actually be available to repair our broken parts. We would love to think that someone might want to keep us - hold us - a little longer. In the pace of life we live, fixing things just doesn't seem viable anymore. So we all start wondering if these repair shops actually exist any more.
Thankfully, I have found someone who want to hang onto to me a little while. By now I know that I need some touch ups - maybe even a solder joint to two. My 'plan' is not the latest greatest thing but its good enough for her.
I would wish the same for all of you my friends.
May you find someone who want to keep you...

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