The Sims

To set the scene let us look a little bit into my upbringing.  I was the in-between generation.  The one where we had a computer lab in high school, but  you only used it once a week.  We did not grow up with cell phones.  I did not have call waiting nor cable.  So fast forward to now.  People at orientation and discussions about Pulse start talking about Sim cards.  The only Sims I am familiar with is The Sims, The Game.  I was like, we have to create a virtual family and a virtual life to watch randomly?  To me people were speaking in a different language…sim cards, unlocking your phone (you need my password?)…the main thing I heard is that if you don’t Sim then your phone may not work.  I was too embarrassed to ask questions and it seemed the everyone else knew or expected me to know so I just nodded.  I asked a few sly questions and then that foreign language of technology came out.  I just agreed and moved on.  But in the back of my mind I knew if I did not learn my phone would not work.  So I called my carrier.  They said I had to request an unlock.  They did not explain why.  They said they had not international data plan for Viet Nam.  So it was either Sim or become truly disconnected.  I finally broke down and went to the retail store.  They were very helpful.  Basically each phone has a Sim card.  If your phone is not unlocked (some mojo they do on their end) it will not work internationally.  Once it is unlocked you can switch Sim cards and use your phone on the local network/carrier.  And yes Iphones do have sim cards you can switch!  Here I thought you could not get into an iphone.  Switching sim cards means you will lose your number…panic literally set in because this is the only phone number I have had for 15 years.  But they explained that once I get back to the states I can put the old sim card back in and it magically goes back to normal!  So I have decided to play the Sim game and stay connected while I work in Viet Nam:)


  1. Thanks Chad for sharing such a fun story! I’m sure this is in some way symbolic of the many changes you will navigate through during this great assignment! Be the change!

  2. Chad you have come a long way! PULSE is designed to take us out of our comfort zone. I am with you my friend, good thing I have 4 kids to bounce these concepts off of before I embarrass myself at the Verizon store….I did learn that for iPhones the lock / unlocked depends on the carrier Verizon does NOT lock but ATT&T does. Hang in there my friend.

  3. Good luck “simming”, Chad! Make sure you keep your account active while away. For some reason, my carrier gave my phone number of 10 years away while I was out on assignment. Imagine my dismay when I returned home…

  4. Hi Chad, thanks for the laughs, I may had a link to your blog in our deployment bundle under the mobile phone FAQs.

  5. Chad thanks for a very amusing post ! Glad you discovered the difference between the sims game/ and card 😉 🙂

  6. If it makes you feel any better, I would be just as lost as you! I think change is wonderful and it is great that you seem to be really embracing it! I am sure this will be the first of many situations that will force you outside of your comfort zone! Keep sharing your sense of humor and your experiences – I love reading them!

  7. Love it! Great post! I am also part of that generation – please tell me you remember Oregon trail and where in the world is Carmen San Diego?

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