In various blogosphere responses to my previous piece in which I discussed the poor broadband alternatives and the sad outlook for FIOS in my sleepy New Jersey suburban town, I was accused of being a "whiner" for not "sucking up" the additional costs of having to pay for the overages on my cable modem.
Well, get your flame throwers ready, 'cause now I'm gonna complain about something else. I now have to carry two mobile devices, as a result of corporate cost-cutting.
See, what happened was that I used to send in an expense report for my cell phone, which was 40 bucks a month. However, as a result of a new corporate managed services program with these guys I no longer have to do that anymore. No more cell phone bills, no more expense reports. I get shared corporate minutes and I no longer have to worry about going over due to too many conference calls and such.
Sounds great, right? BZZZT!
With the new managed services program I have the choice of either porting over my existing phone number, or getting a new phone number and a new phone and retaining my personal line for my personal use, which I have to pay for on my own. In practice, I would have just ported over my phone number, and everything would have been peachy. The problem is I use a Blackberry as my cell phone, and its the EDGE data and corporate activation that's not part of the services I am allowed to get reimbursed for.
So, I either forego the managed services program and pay for my cell services on my own, or ditch the Blackberry and my data plan. And as far as I am concerned, you can take my Blackberry out of my cold dead hands.
So this last weekend, I decided to go for option 3. I walked into my local AT&T store, and had them turn my Blackberry into a data-only device, with no voice plan. I now carry a cheap Samsung 3G cell for voice calls and I pay separately for my Blackberry, data plan, tethering and its corporate email. All I need is to strap an iPod or a portable Sirius radio into the mix along with my digital camera and Garmin Nuvi GPS and I'll resemble a corporate version of Batman. Except fatter.
Doesn't this strike anyone as completely bizarre? I mean, shouldn't there be a way for cell devices to have two SIM cards? So I can take my employer's SIM and shove it in to my Blackberry? Or even have some sort of Bluetooth-based "Remote SIM" feature that allows my Blackberry to take minutes from the Samsung, provided the two are in proximity, like one sitting safely in my backback and the other clipped on my belt? This way I don't have to walk around looking like a total dork?
Are you too turning into a dorky corporate superhero? Talk back and let me know.