I had no pressing desire to stand in epic lines on launch day but there was a need to visit my local AT&T store the next day to upgrade my daughter’s phone for her birthday.

I’ll clear up one thing first: this really was a dire need and not simply the case of a spoiled teen. Her iPhone 4S screen was cracked and the housing was breaking away. The camera flash is stuck perpetually “on”. A needy case, and at our house we wait for a new release. She valiantly soldiered on.

I didn’t really expect to leave the store with one, but they had only “Gold” left as a color choice, coincidentally her preference and I had to get a large capacity 64. To complicate  the matter, as a quasi-surprise I didn’t have her phone  with me so that the new one can be activated. In the past when I upgraded a phone as a surprise gift in an Apple store I was issued a  claim check for my significant other to retrieve her phone herself.

None of this is the part that makes me feel dirty. That happened when it’s was my turn after waiting – only nine people before me. Happily two of them were very good looking women, both worthy of sneaking a sketch. This becomes relevant later.

Rather than get right to the details of my device upgrade need, the rep wanted to” save me money” on my account. I am grandfathered into an unlimited data plan and AT&T tries to convert to a fixed data plan. I never use a lot of mobile data and it would save me $25 bucks a month.

I knew I didn’t want to change the plan on principle; when I have unlimited anything it is hard to talk me out of it. As I was considering going this route based on the sales pitch, the prettier of the two women I was resting my eyes on during the wait abruptly interjected and said “Sir, remember that thing you were asking me about?”. I played along and acted non-chalant and on her phone she had typed “If you give up your unlimited data, you can never get it back”. I knew this, and this girl was acting as my siginificant other by proxy. So I re-canted. Let’s leave the plan alone.

Tim Dempsey Sketch Artist Sample from Dempseystudio

It’s true. I can draw.

“What did she showed [sic] you?” asked the rep. “Nothing”. We moved to another section of the store. He brings in the manager. This is obviously the plan when you can’t get a grandfathered-in, unlimited data account to convert. I stood firm. The manager shook hands and stood down. Once it was the two of us the rep asked again, incorrectly using past tense grammar “Really, what did she showed you?” because it was apparent that I reversed myself.

Here is the dirty part: I lied. I told him that I’m an artist (that part is true). I asked her if I could paint her portrait and she was letting me know her feelings without her husband knowing about it. I quickly turned to the second good-looking woman and tried to explain to him how pretty the lines of her face were. He asked about freelance, do you own your own business, the usual chit-chat. I don’t know if he really believed me but it was necessary to end this sickening interaction. I had to lie, but he didn’t deserve the truth.

I  left the store with the phone in the box, ready to “surprise” my daughter.