OK now. Let me tell you something first. I am not much a fan of cellphones. The gadgetry and wizardry of today's phone doesn't impress me much. In fact, I think I am the only one in our company who have no cellphone. If i ever have a phone, the basic functionality will suffice. I could call and send text messages with it, and vice versa. As one popular commercial puts it "May katok kana may kutek ka pa". In Filipino katok means sometimes there's something wrong with the way your mind functions, while kutek means your mind/brain is not functioning after all.
And now came the LG Optimus One. I want one! Not because of its feature of course, which is a ton, but more on the name. Optimus One. You see I'm a big fan of the real deal, the leader of the Autobots, the One and Only, OPTIMUS PRIME, a robot that turns into a Big Mac. Not this one, you see...
The Not Mac
But this one, see...
When I told my wife that comes hell or high water I'm gonna buy me one, she already knows what's on my mind. "You really did not grow old don't you? You still thinking about them Transformers do you? You..." As she's saying this my mind is going "Ka-chewww! Chi-cheww!!" That's them Optimus Prime's guns blasting Megatron. "You already have a 23 year old daughter...and..." And my mind goes "Ku-ka-chi-ku-kwa". That's when Optimus Prime tells his metal friends, "Autobots, Transform".
I told her that they will have fifty percent sale off this one, that it will only cost us 6,500 pesos to get one. That all I have to do is go to either SM Megamall or SM West on Saturday (it was then a Thursday). That the only catch of the sale is that it is for only an hour, from 2:00 to 3:00 P.M. We've googled the specs of this one, and when my wife found out that she could do Facebook in it, I was given the blessing.
Today is Saturday, 8:30 P.M. I'm at home and without Optimus. Mission failed.
Here's what happened....
I didn't wake up early today. I got an ostrich egg yolk on my head when I wake up. Got to sober up a little. I did not eat. I told myself I will eat after I've got Optimus on my hand. I was on a bus bound for Manila at about 12:00 noon, and my original plan was to go to SM Megamall, because I am much familiar with it, and besides the Provincial Bus Stop is very near, unlike in SM West where you have to walk more than a kilometer for a hitch home. But time is my enemy now. I decided to go to SM West since it is already 1:00 P.M. An hour saved. Walk a running trot to the Annex, and then I boarded that escalator as I was looking up. So many people on the fourth floor. So many. I'm at the fourth floor, and there was this snake of a queue of people. It is then that I've realized that they are after the same glory that I seek.
I've search for the snake's tail, asked for the snake's tail and this man said it's way over there. And "there" is a pretty far place. It is not a snake but an Hydra on both ends. The tail is about five pronged and the head is three pronged. I went for the head near the LG door.
Now watch this video...
This video seems to be taken way much earlier when I arrived. See the crowd? Freeze this video at 5 seconds and play. There will appear a muscular man in black near the big column. The same man accosted me when I wandered near the glass door. Asked me where I'm going, I said I came for the bargain. "You have to fall in line sir". I said I can't see the end of the line. And he pointed me "there". And "there" is a pretty far place. I failed the Staring contest from this man. Said to myself - think quickly. Then I've said I have come from Pampanga and I am overwhelmed about what's happening in here. He said, still I have to do line myself up. Then my Guardian Devil took over, I said "Look, can we talk?" He gave me a grin and a left and right head turn. "Perhaps you could go in and talk to the manager," he said. And ever gentlemanly showed me the way as he tell the people and the guard on the door, that I am just going to talk to the manager.
I went in as 32,628 heads look at me. A man in in white shirt who seems to be the authority here said "Yes sir, what can I do for you?" Told him that I came from Pampanga and wants to take Optimus home. He said that I could buy it at its retail price of 13,000 at this very moment or I could wait 45 minutes and take my chances for the sale. I told him, "Sir, I know this is very unethical, but can you somehow make an excemption?" Told me that he understand my predicament coming all the way from Pampanga. But somehow, at least two or three people out there could be from far away provinces also. "What will happen, if all those people out there saw that we've decided to accomodate you?" And I've looked beyond the glass door. All of them are looking inside, looking at me.
I've stood still. I have to decide now. I am carrying 10k in cash. I also have my credit card. My original plan is to buy it trough credit. But this morning, doing a quick calculation, I could not afford to burden my cards anymore, and that damn new replacement card hasn't yet arrived. My money is only 10k. The retail is 13k. Perhaps a combination of both?
Ok, now. The outside people are looking at me. The inside people are looking at me. I'm in a shocked trance. Swaying back and forth looking for another cellphone. Went outside. Stood near the column where that muscular man was. I think he was talking to me but I could not hear anything anymore. I just stood there. And I could feel the Staring Eyes. Finally I looked at him and said, "Thank you so much." He said "I'm sorry, but there". He gave me a little pat on the back. I walked away.
I don't know where to go, I haven't eaten. And I am not familiar with the place anymore. It has drastically changed. Finally, I am at a bus going home, drinkin this energy drink that have a free PAU muscle pain reliever. I hope that there is something that could relieve an inside pain. A pain of dissapointment and failure.
I thought about what has just happened in there. I tried to bribe a man ("Look, can we talk?"). I've tried to influence the store people to take an excemption for my own advantage, irregardless of those people outside who have literally camped outside the LG store. I've even asked an LG man to buy it for me.
Looking outside the bus, I saw white herons. I've smiled to myself. Integrity, that is what all those people at the LG store have. Those are men and women of their words. It is something rare. And then...
I hope it is not rare in my company.
How would you feel if I told you that I will do something and then not doing it? I'll cut out the weed tomorrow but a week later the weed killed the grass. Or telling your team I will do what I promised you tomorrow and then reneging on that promise. Am I a man of integrity or of hypocrisy?
Now riddle me this: The muscular man agreed to help me and I gave him some money. The LG people sold me the phone at a bargain. Could I hold Optimus with my hand with pride? Never, man!
To the muscular man in black and to those LG guys and gals. I salute you all. And may the glass holds.
In the video below, the man in white is the person I've talked to inside the store. While the man which appeared twelve seconds later is the muscular man in black, apparently looking for somebody inside. At the end of the video there is also a man leaning at a counter. Just leaning there and staring. I think that was me.
There's an LG concept store at Clark Freeport Zone. I hope that the LG guys are considering it for a sale like this.
(If my mother was alive and knew how I got one Optimus, in an unnatural way, she will surely send me to bed without any supper.)