You would think after having left my home country and adapted all along these last ten years that change would be easy for me now. Sometimes yes. Sometimes no.
I can meet new people every week in my job as a teacher and now barely blink an eye. But when it comes to making personal decisions, even small ones, I sometimes freeze. And put off said decisions for years.
Like changing my cell phone. I was a loyal (and lazy) client of SFR for eight years. Got my first little mobile phone from them in 2004. I used it to send my my MMS messages she received on her email box. I would anticipate the buzz of my phone around 12:25 p.m. my time meaning my mom had sent me an email that I would receive as an MMS. Complicated, but it was the best I had back then when I had no phone jack and thus modem in my tiny studio apartment.
Flash forward to late 2012 when I finally decided to trade in my now rinky dink model for a smart phone. I could have upgraded years ago. I could have been paying the same price per month for more features. Or I could have up and left SFR for another, cheaper company.
So I take my sparkly new phone home and use a bit of 3G while I'm out and about, even with my students to do some listening with BBC podcasts. I start sending way more messages cause I have unlimited texts. Or so I thought! Until suddenly I get my bill. 112 euros!!! Seems my new subscription plan didn't start till the end of January whereas my phone was purchased at the end of December. Because I'm always billed towards the end of the month and you can't dare ask a French company to change their ways.
So I marched down to the store today and tried to put on my best "unhappy customer" face while staying respectful. The moment I started saying this was an unpleasant suprise, etc., the sales agent's faced turned harder and unsmiley. The same agent who'd been all too happy to get me set up with the new phone last month.
She had pointed this issue of the date out to me, she said. I thought she was just talking about billing, not using the phone. But she hadn't ever said, don't use all the new features of your phone or you'll pay out the wazoo. And there it hit me. You're not in Alabama anymore, Milam. This is France. Where rules are rules and customers are rarely right.
My only victory is that I got her to take off 20 euros cause I had seen there was an internet connection while still in the agency when she must have updated the phone. That wasn't me. But she wasn't too happy to do it. And I left the store with a feeling of dismay.
Change is scary, guys...
Next time: changing houses. And you thought phones were tough!