Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Hi. Pantster here, though Thursday is normally Plotter's blog day. She's hard a work at a task I cannot be trusted to do—identify superfluous details in the manuscript we are going to pitch at the RWA National Conference in July. (See yesterday's blog.)

Okay, it's official: I no longer have sense enough to use the telephone. Due to all the cell phone numbers floating around, we are, it seems, out of numbers. (And what's the deal with that? That is NOT what I was promised in math class.) Anyway, where I live, a seven digit number won't get you anything anymore. You've got to dial the area code first or, maybe, one plus the area code, depending. I am certainly capable of dialing more numbers; though I wasn't what one would call a shining star in math class, I did master the digits.

It's that depending that's got me worked up. Depending on what? I've had circle dialing, one price long distance, and every other bell and whistle known to South Central Bell for so long, that I don't know who is long distance and who is not. Programmable phones and caller ID are doing nothing to improve my situation. In fact, they've made me lazy and complacent. I can no longer bring up on caller ID the person I want to impart wisdom to and hit "talk". I can no longer use the numbers I programmed into the telephones back when I knew where the manuals were. Doing this takes me straight to a recorded voice that tells me I've got to do something else.

And my friends, it's about to get worse. There will soon be a new area code and where is that going to leave me? Not talking to you, that's for sure. Maybe you're relieved. I would be.

I might buy walkie-talkies and pass them out to the people I want to talk to.

Am I the only one who is having difficulty coping?


  1. No, you are not alone in the great telephone void. I, too, discovered that to call my neighbor I had to punch in the area code. It would have been easier to just go out in the front yard and yell at her ( I hit her number in my list of contacts and got the same recording - necessitating finding a piece of paper, writing down her number, which I didn't know, and then dialing it). The new programmable phones are great but they have made me lazy. I used to keep a Roledex (anyone remember those?) and I could almost remember everyone's phone number because I had to manually dial the numbers; now I can barely remember my own. It's either senility or too much information.

    After that I set about re-programming every number in all my phones. It kept me occupied for a while since we have two landlines and three cell phones. Why do we need so many phones? I kept asking myself. Guess that is the price we pay for progress and privacy - certain people get certain numbers to contact us. It gets confusing, especially for someone suffering Old-
    Timer's. I just wish sometimes that I didn't have a phone at all.

  2. We are clearly sisters under the skin on this issue! I was one of the last to get a cell phone. The Guy had one and the last thing I wanted was for someone to be able to call me at the grocery store to ask me what I was doing. Then, I had car trouble and discovered the dearth of pay phones. But I am not slave to it. It lives in my purse, not my pocket, and I don't answer it if I don't want to.

  3. Amen - I call it the electronic leash and have been known to ignore it. I don't have it with me all the time and that flummoxes people.

  4. Try adding in an office telephone where you have to first dial a 9, and now three extra numbers. Not to mention my "pass code" for long distance calls. I think I will just stop making phone calls at work, that will save me a lot of confusion.