Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Telephone

Love this phone!
Five years ago, I lost the dial tone on my land line phone.  At that time, I didn't own a cell phone, so I had to go to a neighbor's to use her phone to call the phone company.  It turned out all the land lines were down in my building.  Someone had cut the external phone line going into the building.  After that was repaired, everyone's dial tone returned except mine.  So, once again I trudged over to my neighbor's to use her phone to call the phone company.  The repairman came and discovered that the connection for my phone in the interior phone box had pulled loose.  A five-minute fix. 

Before the final repair, however, I decided to buy a cell phone.  A friend suggested that rather than a plan, I go the prepaid option.  I liked that idea since I planned to use the cell phone for emergencies only, or when I'm away from home and need to call someone.  I occasionally see pay phones but they are not as ubiquitous as they used to be.  So, I became the owner, finally, of a cell phone.

A local friend gave me her cell phone number that had a Florida area code.  I discovered, to my horror, that if I called her using my land line, I was charged for a long distance call.  She lived not far from me.  It should have been a local call.  I began using my cell phone to call her because I'd already paid for the minutes and I wouldn't be charged for a long distance call.  In fact, I now use my cell phone for long distance calls fairly often.  I also use Skype.  I rarely use my land line for long distance calls.

My pet peeve, though, is that I can no longer use my land line for any local call I want to make.  People who move here from somewhere far away don't bother to change their area codes.  They assume, apparently, that it doesn't matter.  But it does.  My Florida friend moved to New York City, and I doubt she changed her cell phone number, so her local friends who call her on a land line will be charged long distance.  Even though she's in New York, my land line bill will charge for Florida.

Why keep my land line?  I know.  More and more friends have dropped their land lines in favor of cell phones.  I keep my land line because of its dependability and its security.  I have the same phone number for longer than I want to admit, and the phone number is linked to me.  It'll probably show up on my tombstone.  I continue to use my land line far more than I use my cell phone, and I don't give out my cell phone number as often as my land line.  In fact, I still think of my cell phone as my emergency phone.

Now, if people would just update their cell phone number area codes when they move to another place.....

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