My true nerd has been manifested in the last couple of weeks and I couldn’t be happier about it. After all, nerds are awesome.
It all started when I had to transfer my phone line to the new gallery space. Assuming the new space was all set up with a phone line I should have been able to transfer without a problem, at least from the perspective of the phone company. However, there was a problem. And the problem was all mine. The actual wires from the phone jack that lead to the source of all things telephone had been ripped out. This is one detail the phone company would not have known. It was something I didn’t even realize until I plugged my phone in. Hmm…no dial tone, why isn’t it working? Oh, I see, there should totally be some sort of wire coming out of that box that goes outside and connects to a telephone pole somewhere. It was with this desperation that my full nerd was able to infiltrate my being and oversee what has now been dubbed “Operation: What The F Am I Supposed To Do Now?”
I had enough smarts in me to expect a 2-3 day processing time for the phone line transfer to take place, so I had found this app called “Square“, that would allow me to process credit card transactions on my phone.
(Square on iPhone)
That’s right, part of my nerd manifestation required me to buy an iPhone. For awhile I thought not owning an iPhone, or any smart phone for that matter, made me a little bit cooler than other people. Wait, that’s a lie. My true belief was that it made me way cooler. I had transcended the necessity of owning an expensive phone that so many others had fallen prey to. I’ve learned now that gaining cool points in that fashion is a bit misguided. Kind of like how people brag about being an insomniac. There is nothing cool about not being able to sleep, people. Sleep is freaking awesome. For reals. And there is nothing cool about not owning an iPhone. The real selling point for me on acquiring a new phone was that the unlimited data plan offered by Verizon was coming to an end. The loophole, of course, was that if you already had an unlimited plan before the deadline you would be able to keep that plan while new customers would be left in the dust with a measly 2 GB transfer limit. Those poor souls. I refused to be part of that gang.
Ok, so now I had the overpriced phone (worth every penny). This gave me access to the Square app which would allow me to process credit card payments during the few days my store would be without a phone line. I thought I was so smart.
Little did I know, I was getting smarter by the megabyte. And trust me, I transfer googols of megabytes. It wasn’t long before I added Square to my iPad and by golly, wouldn’t you know it…Square on the iPad changed my life. On the iPhone Square is great. You type in the total of the sale, the tax gets added automatically (which is something you set up beforehand), you swipe the customers card, they sign on the screen of your phone with their finger and the last step is the customer chooses to receive a receipt by text or email. It’s awesome!
(text version of receipt)
While Square is great on the iPhone it’s a powerhouse on the iPad. The app transforms the device into a digital register complete with images and descriptions of my products, priced and ready to ring up.
(Square on iPad)
One small problem, my iPad only connects to the internet through a wifi connection. Because of password protected neighbors (jerks) and no phone line/internet in my place of business the opportunity to take full advantage of what Square could offer me on the iPad was totally lost. Or was it?
Somewhere in the scrolling of sites I remembered reading something about the iPhone’s capability to be a hotspot. Voila! One simple trip to the Verizon store later, my phone was set up with hot spot capability. Now I could use Square on my iPad as well have internet access for my computer.
When it comes to math I’m about as gifted as a ballerina at boot camp. When money is involved, especially mine, I start to grasp the concept quite a bit more. If I end up with a higher number of dollars in my pocket than when I started it cheers me quite a bit. That’s the kind of math I can get behind. So, here’s a little breakdown of how my nerdiness has let me keep more dollars in my pocket than before this whole phone line debacle.
(Dollar Sign painting by Andy Warhol, who happened to know a thing or two about money.)
My typical phone bill (land line) was in the $20 a month range, which was strictly used only to process credit card transactions. On top of that was an additional $30 for the internet. So, my total phone bill was $50. I couldn’t live without the internet because of my Twitter and Facebook addiction. Ha ha, just kidding…what am I, thirteen years old!? C’mon people, I’m a professional and use the internet only for business. I have no time whatsoever for those silly sites. Now, FOLLOW ME and FRIEND ME! Add the “Statement Fee” from my credit card processing company, $10, and that puts us at a total of $60 for the luxury of having a phone line to accept credit card payments and the internet. I won’t calculate in the percentage taken from each credit card sale because each card takes a slightly different percentage and equates pretty close to the same amount taken by Square, which is 2.75%. The bonus with Square is they accept all cards for the same percentage. If you’ve ever wondered why a store won’t accept your American Express card it’s because the percentage they take could be best described as rape.
The cost of having my phone be a hotspot is $20 a month. The hotspot allows me to accept credit card payments on my iPad as well as connect to the internet on my computer for all of my business needs. Yes, people, BUSINESS. I’m saving $40 a month using my phone as a hotspot, not to mention the cost saved if I would have had to hire an electrician to fix my messed up phone line.
Now, Square up!