“That’s definitely the cheapest way out of the situation,” said Max Corrigan to Danielle Wright, one of three women clustered around his work table, each of them with a different smartphone crisis. Behind them, all the way to the door, stood a waiting line of customers.
Ms. Wright wanted an iPhone 4S, and Mr. Corrigan had surfed through her account with AT&T, searching for a way to make her existing contract work with the new phone. He placed a special order for it, meaning it would take several days to reach the East Hampton AT&T shop at the Newtown Lane entrance to the Schenk parking lot, and Ms. Wright stepped away from the table, smiling.
In front of Mr. Corrigan on the long, tall, narrow steel table that serves as his work space, were two running laptops and a Playbook extension for his own smartphone of choice, the Blackberry Bolt. At any moment he may be diagnosing and working on several cellphones at once, their backs off. To his left, one day last week, was an open can of Monster Espresso. Jimi Hendrix was playing softly through Playbook.
“Are you experienced? Have you ever been experienced? Well, I have,” Hendrix sang, as Mr. Corrigan kept in motion.
“Rock ’n’ roll helps, that’s true,” he said, opening another phone. His tastes in music are eclectic. “Anything but the 1980s,” he said.
“You’ve got 14 days left on your warranty,” he told another customer, who’d come in with a non-functioning Blackberry Torch. “It’s not moisture, and it’s not cracked. You should be covered.” He gave the man the 800 number at AT&T he would need to call to set up a return.
Mr. Corrigan’s advice for dealing with customer service at AT&T is simple: “Get somebody decent on the phone. If they sound like they can’t help you, hang up and call back.”
The store’s phone rang, and he answered it, his eyes darting back and forth between two laptop screens. “Yeah, this is Max. I’m an AT&T guy.”
He does his best to help callers, but his main focus is the steady stream of customers who come through the door of the shop, up to 300 a day, he said, during the season.
“I think I have help coming, but I’m pretty slammed,” he tells the caller, explaining why he can’t help at the moment. “You can keep trying.”
c said Mr. Corrigan’s younger brother, Dhruva Corrigan, who arrived to give Max a few minutes off.
The Corrigans were born and raised in Sag Harbor. “My son makes it 14 generations,” the elder brother said. He is 26 and married with a 16-month-old son.
He first worked for Todd Powell, the owner of the Bridgehampton AT&T store, on the recommendation of a family friend. “We opened the East Hampton shop in 2010, been running it ever since,” Mr. Corrigan said, as he popped open another phone.
“I swam with it in my pocket for half an hour,” Charles Helmuth of East Hampton said sheepishly.
Mr. Helmuth said of Mr. Corrigan, “He has the patience of Job.”
The Beatles’ “Helter Skelter” was now playing, but in Mr. Corrigan’s world, everything was coming down smooth and easy, in a multitasking sort of way.