Let me start off by saying that I’m not Canadian. I’m an Anguillian – therefore technically I’m British. I’ve been living in Canada for the past two years and I have grown to love Canadians for the pride they have in their country. It doesn’t matter if the rest of the world thinks they live in igloos or their French isn’t France-certified, Canadians value their heritage more than anyone else I know.
It’s for this reason why I’m baffled by the response I get from people when they see the phone that I own and use every day. Snarky comments like “that piece of trash,” “worthless shit” and the even more embarrassing rolling of the eyes and turning away are all problems that this phone has brought me ever since I’ve been in Canada. I feel like I’ve been discriminated against because of my phone and it’s so bad it apparently took a toll out of my self-esteem. Why do you think I haven’t mentioned the type of phone I own as yet?
I own a Blackberry and, if you haven’t realized, Blackberry is a Canadian company based out of Waterloo, Ontario. I know the company hasn’t been too healthy lately and is currently on its last legs, but if you put all that aside, the company is still Canadian. The first thing that moved me when I came to Canada is that in terms of brands, Canadians support their own, no matter how much it sucks. The Maple Leafs, Rays, Raptors never have a problem with selling tickets and fan merchandise. Even the Saskatchewan Roughriders saw a 4% increase in their gross revenue for their 2011-2012 season, despite having a despicable 5 – 13 record. According to the Roughriders annual report for that season, gate and concession sales were the main factor that contributed to the increase. Technically, they got more support when their backs were against the wall.
Why doesn’t Blackberry get the same kind of love? Could the hatred be due to the fact that Blackberry just slashed 40% of their work force, or that they were always late to the market in the race with the other big names such as Apple and Samsung? In fact, for a country that always had a rivalry with its southern neighbours, the USA, I find it somewhat hypocritical that most Canadian’s now worship the apple instead of the berry.
Now, midway through a 3-year contract with my mobile service provider, I constantly restrain myself from literally throwing my Blackberry under the bus at the bus stop. It was Canadians that first inspired me to hold such pride in home grown brands, now they are the same people that are ridiculing me for upholding that virtue.
If there’s one thing I have learned is that history will inevitably repeat itself. Have you forgotten Apple’s story? The company basically booted Steve Jobs in the 90’s, suffered a financial crisis, then pulled him back on board to establish themselves as a superpower in the smartphone industry. Mike Lazaridis, former CEO and co-founder of Blackberry, and I haven’t forgotten this. Rumour has it that he is positioning himself to buy back the company that was once his.
So, go ahead. Laugh at me all you want, but for all I know, you’re laughing at yourselves because I’m just being Canadian. By the looks of things, I just might have the last laugh.