Yesterday while I was leaving the post office, the man holding the door for me kept making eye contact with me. Which started to creep me out just the tiniest little bit, until he started talking and I realized he'd just been trying to decide if I was someone who might offer quality directions. Turns out he might as well have held the door for someone else:
Him: Do you know where there's an AT&T store nearby?
Me: Hm. I'm sure I do. Let me think. They used to be Cingular, right? (Wait, dear reader; really, I have the explanations!)
Him: Well, no, they were always AT&T...
It actually did get better from there, but I'm pretty sure that guy will run the other way next time he sees a woman sporting fresh highlights and high-heeled wedge sandals that perfectly show off her pretty red toes.
Now let me explain the outlandishly unintelligent babble that fell upon the ears of that poor stranger on the post office sidewalk, okay? First, everything cognitive is, for me, a visual, relational experience. So while No, in fact, I actually don't believe I know where an AT&T store is, I was, for quite some time, a satisfied subscriber to Cingular's mobile services. (Let me stress "satisfied" here, for just a minute. Cingular is the company I chose. Okay.) And therefore I know where right many stores are, that sported That company's logo. So internally, when I ran his question through my mind, I quickly made the leap to "And by now, I'm quite sure that if you showed up at one of the many locations I could immediately point you to, there is a very good chance that most - if not all - of them, have changed their storefront branding efforts to reflect the recent-ish merger. And therefore by pointing you to any number of these places, I will have successfully steered you toward your destination.
What that man - and you, for that matter - also likely don't know, is that I actually remember what a later, early-twenties, version of me - while working all those years at MCI - came to think of as capital D "Divestiture."
We were a 5 person family, my dad had gone back to college for another degree and was supporting his brood by also working in a fabric mill. So you might say there were corners to be cut. Since we didn't have a telephone, we'd make a regular weekend evening trip, all of us in the car, to a nearby convenience store to use the payphone so my mom could call her parents long distance. Sitting in the back of the car, the little girl version of me took in everything around her, since to be honest there really wasn't that much of interest to observe. Which led to my noticing the change of the logos on the telephone booth, and wondering why the logos had to change. It was very confusing to me, this whole business of monopolies and how the government could, in fact, make decisions to affect a company's level of growth.
I'm sure my understanding was even more limited than it sounds here.
All I'm saying is that yes, I've heard of AT&T...