The Day The StarHub Guy Made Me Cry – Movement Labs

The Day The StarHub Guy Made Me Cry

So if you recall this post, in which I discussed jobs, and science, and facing up to what you fear, you may remember that I promised to use this as a space to be genuine – Where “genuine” means to write about all the parts of life, not just the awesome/hilarious/delicious/fantastic bits.

So let’s talk about yesterday.  Yesterday, my iPhone stopped charging.  I did the normal internet research things, restart, reset, etc. etc – no dice.  Dealing with Apple products here can be a bit tricky, especially since there’s no Apple Store/Genius Bar to saunter up to when something is going wonky.  After considerable research and consultation, I found myself on the phone with a representative from StarHub, our mobile phone carrier.  I must emphasize that he was very polite, and what happened after our conversation was, in no way, his fault

[Background: The standard iPhone charging cable has one iPhone-specific side, and one USB side.]

StarHub Guy: Well, is the problem with the phone or the charger?
Me: I’m quite sure it’s the phone.  I’ve tried different outlets and different USB charge adapters.  I tried plugging it into my computer.  None of these worked.
SHG: But what about the charging cable that plugs into the phone?
Me: Well, when I plug the phone in, it “squawks” like it’s connected. It connects to my computer, so I’m pretty sure the cable is OK, but the phone just won’t charge.
SGH: You should still try switching that cord out.
Me: I can’t. I only have one.
SHG: Well, can’t you borrow one from a friend or co-worker?

Moments later, we ended our conversation, and I burst into tears.

For just a minute (OK, maybe five minutes), it didn’t matter that I have awesome friends & family around the world, that I can stay in touch with via all sorts of technology (although not my iPhone, at that moment).  It didn’t matter that lots of KMN’s friends have adopted me into their circle with open arms and hearts.  It didn’t matter that I had some budding running friendships.  It didn’t matter that I actually enjoy the work I do (from home) these days.

At that very moment, I could hear that last question reverberating in my head.  I was hyper-focused on his question, and on what my answer would have to be.  That answer was NO.  No, I actually don’t have any friends or co-workers whose iPhone charger I can borrow on a moment’s notice.

Have you ever noticed that crying is very hot work?  In about 2 minutes, I looked like I’d just come back from a run.  Lovely.  So I closed myself in the bedroom, turned on the air conditioning, and read Patricia Cornwell for awhile.  Somewhere in there, I pulled myself together, remembered all those other things I do have, and schemed a plan for dealing with the phone.  Ultimately, the story has a very happy ending – it took most of the day, but StarHub was extremely helpful and I have a brand new iPhone that cost me just $9 (the price of a new screen protector).  WIN.

So, to all of those who ask me if I’m lonely out here, the answer is…a little complicated.  Because really, I’m not.  Not a day goes by that I don’t get a text or email or FB message from a friend in the US – I’m blessed to have so many people looking out for me.  My days are full, I have work to do, and we enjoy plenty of social engagements here.   I’m generally comfortable with where I am – I know that developing my own friendships and social networks on the ground here will take time, and I’m pretty much OK with that.  But every once in awhile, something catches me off-guard, hits me a certain way, and for a few minutes, I feel incredibly, acutely homesick.

[Don’t get me started on the Jason Mraz song 93 Million Miles.]

So if you are settling into a new place yourself (or even if you’re not, actually) and feel this way sometimes – take heart.  You might feel alone, but remember that others feel this way too.  So if we feel this way together, at least we won’t *really* be alone, right?  🙂

And if you ever need a iPhone charger to test your phone?  I’m your girl.

We shall not be turning this into a pity party, so —

Tell me about your most hilarious experience on the phone with customer service!


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  1. gracechua (@gracechua) February 5, 2013 at 9:57 pm - Reply

    Clearly, you should be switching to an Android. Specifically a Samsung Galaxy S3, which I have…. 😉 Ps, yep, I have also been a zillion miles away from home and know how it is. I guarantee it’s worse in the middle of winter!

    • Holly KN February 6, 2013 at 8:30 am - Reply

      Hahahah! Grace, I hadn’t thought of that until just now. I can imagine that someone from Singapore (or another tropical locale) could really suffer far from home, when it’s compounded by the lack of daylight, lack of warmth, abundance of snow… At least here, all I need is an umbrella and some shorts. And the nearby ice cream shop doesn’t hurt! 🙂

      • Jules February 6, 2013 at 8:34 am - Reply

        I second that! So true! 🙂

  2. Winnie February 6, 2013 at 7:16 am - Reply

    Oh my dear Holly, you are not alone! Every time I visit you know where, I have had days just like yours. During my last visit, I found a song that really cheered me up. Enjoy the Torpedo Boyz.
    We had the most wonderful time with you. Thank you both so much! You gave us the most wonderful tips just like a local and yet you knew exactly how to comfort an auslander!

    • Holly KN February 6, 2013 at 8:32 am - Reply

      BAHAHAHA! Thanks for the laugh, that was great. 🙂 “Germany…I don’t know! I don’t know!” 🙂

      We were thrilled to have you both. Come back any time! [We also juuuuuust found a very local, very tasty, reasonably priced seafood spot. Chili crab for real!!!]

      • karen February 6, 2013 at 9:16 am - Reply

        Andy would tell you that it does take some time to establish your own circle of friends and feel like you belong to a community here (outside of family). I would say give it at least one year. Andy is fortunate in that he has a ‘ready-made’ community with his fire-spinning friends, since they tend to be very welcoming of any newcomers interested in their strange hobbies! You also have a good start with your running and other interests. It’s OK to feel down sometimes, just remember that it will DEFINITELY get better and soon you will be so busy with your own friends you might struggle to find time to fit KM in 😉

        • Holly KN February 6, 2013 at 9:43 am - Reply

          A year sounds reasonable… And yes – especially since I’m only working at home now, I’m really thankful to have running as a way to connect with locals. The running community is vibrant and diverse, and also welcoming, so that helps considerably. Thanks for the reminder and encouragement!

  3. […] was so busy talking about broken phone shenanigans, crock pot deliciousness, and preparations for Chinese New Year that working out has gotten short […]

  4. […] week brings a continuation of my bad skill/luck with phones…my new iPhone (see that story here) has been wonky for about a week now (which is approximately 5 days less than I’ve owned it), […]

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