Thursday, August 11, 2016

Call me. Or, wait. Um... Hello?

We've now had the new smart phones for a few weeks, and I am going to give it a solid 8 out of 10.  I reserve two points because you have to either look online for instruction, or call or go into the place we bought it at to get information.  No paper books that explain why it does what it does.  Also, a minus point because I can't seem to convince it not to make phone calls when I am trying to put a number in my address book... Fortune would have it, most of the folks I have dialed by accident seem to have had the same problem, and laugh it off.

I keep thinking about phones... My Dad worked for the local telephone company, and so we had several phones in the house.  We even had the old style crank phones, to call to the barn.  One of my friends walked around the house once, just counting phones.  I actually don't know how many we had, but Dad would often find two or three broken phones, and repair them to make one nice one.  Since they were 'junkers', we could keep the phone.  This lead to some really nice, but very unique phones.

I remember getting on the phone, and checking if anyone else was on.  Ah, yes, the good old party lines.  One jerk would leave the phone off hook each weekend, screwing up service for us.  Dad got permission from the company to disconnect them from the line, as he need to have phone service to get called out.  He received permission, and every Friday, he'd disconnect them.

They never noticed...

I recall needing to wait to call Grandma and Grandpa until after 5, as the rates were lower.  It seemed like SO many numbers to call them, since they were out of state...

I always thought it was cool, my Dad installed all the pay phones in the area, including the ones at my high school.  One of the guys told me he was going to knock down the phone booth when my Dad left.  Dad heard him, and I don't know exactly how he did it... I think the booth could have survived a 9.95 earthquake without even moving, when he finished.  I saw several football guys climb on top, then push on the roof, trying to displace it from the wall.  One fell, and did an interesting pommel horse style dismount, but no one ever did manage to pull it from the wall...

Later in high school, my parents let me stay home, when they went on a trip.  They'd told several family members and friends that I would be there, could they perhaps check on me?  This lead to me being late for school the first day they were gone, because I had all the family calling to make sure I was ready for school...

I got permission from my parents not to answer the phone the next day, which led to the family en masse calling Mom and Dad to let THEM know that I wasn't answering the phone.  Wherein, Mom had to explain that it was because I was GETTING READY FOR SCHOOL, and couldn't talk all morning.

Oh, right...

I had a really nice red phone when I was in college, a few of my friends made comments about whether it called the President...  Yes, I had unique friends.  My biggest thing was having an answering machine.  I really liked being able to come home and hear from family, or a friend reminding me about an event.  The only problem I had with it was one friend that had an extremely high voice.  The message would go something like,

BEEP, Hi this is So'nSo BEEP, next message BEEP, I just wanted to sayBEEP, next message, BEEP we are havingBEEP, and so on, for about 10 messages, until she could get the message to me.  I apologized, and she shrugged, she told me that it was what she had to do on almost every answering machine she'd dealt with.  I think the woman had a million times more patience than I will ever have.

I had a number that was one number off of the biggest greek house on campus.  It was not unusual to get phone calls at 2 AM asking if I would come get them.  If they were polite, often I'd call the greek house to go get them.  If they were jerks, I told them I would be right there, and hang up.  I wonder how many of the jerks were still waiting the next morning...

As time wore on, I learned about multi line phones, manage to entertain a company, where I didn't realize I'd hit the announcement button, until after the second or third "hello?"

The response by about 20 employees bellowing into the office was "HELLO, ALREADY!!"  Eeep.  Live and learn.

Dealing with voice mails, butt dialed numbers, and other sorts of modern phone maladies, has been ever useful for keeping grey cells functioning, if not patience.  With my new toy, I seem to have several things in my hands, a computer, a phone, a camera.  Hey, if I wait long enough, do you think I could get one that will make my cocoa in the morning?

I am only half joking, it seems like things I thought were so wow, are blaze' now.  I mean, I had a flip phone like Captain Kirk and Spock.  Jeez, now my phone is more like the on board computer!  Or even better, actually...