Saturday, August 16, 2014

What The ^*+# Is A Tablet?

Another company is considering using me as an independent contractor. One of their requirements in an Android device. which I have, in the form of a Samsung “Smartphone”. This is a requirement for another company for whom I do some work.  Now, I really dislike the Smartphone, and only use the app for their operation, and, of course, as a cell phone.

The volume of work the potential new client wants, combined with bifocals, fat and fumbling fingers, patience deficiency, and a small screen, has me looking for alternatives. Being totally cheap, I shopped the various pawn shops in the area. Looking online, there are many choices under $100. Craigslist has many sellers. What to do?

Next stop was Best Buy, where I encountered a Salesman, an eager young man whom I would instantly hire if I still ran a car lot. He did tell me they are on salary at Best Buy. After listening to my needs, and working through my technology Luddite skill set, he started with their cheapest tablets.

“Why are the screens blank”, I asked?

“They don’t last very long”, was his reply. “We have problems keeping them going, as they are on all the time”.

Then he took me over to some Samsung tablets. Large, bright screen, better construction, and, he assures me, much more durable. My fat fingers easily worked the screen, and my aging eyes had no problem reading the displays. $179.00 plus tax, but including inland freight, handling, pack, croak and choke, and mop and glow.

“What about a protective case”, I asked him?

“About $80”, he replied, “But for $40, you can get a two year warranty. If you drop it, you get a new one”.

Wow, he was good, but not yet top notch, as I left without purchasing.

Anybody have advice? What I will be doing is checking inventory (floor plan checks), where you have a list by serial number, and you physically put your mitts on each item on the list. The recruiter is excited because I’ve done these thousands of times over a thirty years period selling cars. Most of the work is outside, in all kinds of weather. You need three hands, since a magnifier may be needed to read the serial number, and a small ladder to reach a reading level (think Ford F-550 4x4). Thus, you are going to drop something at some point.

My other concern is, how much time will I be working? This will be the fourth, “part time, supplement my retirement income”, job I will be doing. The numbers the recruiter is quoting sounds like close to a full time job.  Then there is the oopsie.

“Ah, WSF, can you drive down to ___________ and do six checks? We will pay you extra, of course”.

Oh well, until I win the lottery, money is attractive (and needed). Win the lottery? Some Fairchild 24 will have a new owner. I’m too old, and fat, to climb into the cockpit of an F-86 Sabre (not to mention that pesky need to have appropriate skills).

And this describes my morning after visiting relatives last night.


  1. I'd get the protective case... THAT is more important than the replacement 'warranty' with all it's exclusions... I don't have a good suggestion on 'which' one to get through. I like the Otter Box line of products. A little heavy, but they DO protect the device.

    1. Good advice, and I will be getting a protective case.

  2. May offer you my deepest sympathies!! ;-) Luckily I don't feel or have the need!!

    1. The real pain will start with downloading the apps, and then learning how to use the blankety blank thing.