Hawaii has seceded from the union.
Don’t get all hyper and start punching buttons on the remote control. You won’t find this news on TV. No need to open a browser to Google. They don’t have this scoop either.
This choice piece of news came to me from perky little Jennifer at T-Mobile.
Jennifer [in a champagne bubble voice]: Thank you for calling T-Mobile. I am Jennifer. How may I help you today?
Me: I will soon be moving from Las Vegas to Hawaii and would like to change my cell phone number.
Jennifer [surprised, but still bubbling]: Oh. You know you are going to have to buy a new phone?
Me: What happens to the year I still have left on my calling plan?
Jennifer [oozing sympathetic bubbles]: It probably won’t transfer over. You will have to buy it out.
Me: What if I just decide to keep this number until my current contract is up?
Jennifer [bubbles subdued]: Ma’am, your current phone isn’t going to work in Hawaii.
Me: Oh? Why not? Hawaii is in my calling plan.
Jennifer [almost no bubbles]: Yes, but you pay international rates for those calls.
Me: I don’t believe I do.
Jennifer [deep breath, slow exhale, forced bubbles]: Ma’am, if you’re calling Hawaii you are paying international rates.
Me [appalled]: Why?!
Jennifer [exasperated, no bubbles]: Because Hawaii isn’t part of the United States!
Me [after several moments of speechless wonder]: Oh? [I may have even snorted.] Since when?
Jennifer [ignoring my question and trying for bubbles]: Because it is not part of the United States, Hawaii is on a different satellite system. Your phone will need a different code than it currently has. You should probably wait until you are actually in Hawaii to do that.
Me: Thank you, Jennifer.
I refrained from asking her if I could speak to somebody intelligent. I just waited until OC and I arrived in Hawaii, then dialed T-Mobile again.
Me: I have recently moved from Las Vegas to Hawaii and would like to change my cell phone number.
Jason: No problem. I’ll have your new number for you in just a moment and it will take effect anytime between now and 24 hours from now.
Me: Twenty-four hours! Will my phone work in the meantime?
Jason: No. I have to say 24 hours, Ma’am, but it usually only takes about 15 minutes for your new number to activate.
Me: Oh good. Thank you. Is there a fee associated with this — or any new equipment to buy?
Jason: Usually there is a $15.00 fee for changing numbers, but I imagine your move has already been expensive enough so we’ll waive it.
Me: Thank you, Jason. Why is it you aren’t telling me about switching satellites and new codes requiring new phones?
Jason [perplexed]: Ma’am?
Me: Well, the last time I called, Jennifer [bubbles inserted], told me Hawaii wasn’t in the United States and I would need to switch to an international calling plan.
Jason: She what?! [laughing] They hire the front line call reps for their voices, not their brains. We do have to switch your plan from Nevada to Hawaii, but everything will remain the same except the taxes you pay. That shouldn’t change your bill more than a couple of dollars.
Me: Thanks, Jason.
Jason: Thank you for calling T-Mobile. Is there anything else I can help you with today?
Me: Nope. That’ll do it.
[We say good-bye again then I hear Jason mumbling] Hawaii isn’t a state. I don’t believe it. Hey, Bill …. [click]