Saturday, November 30, 2013

Can You Hear Me Now? Part II

While the rest of the world is upgrading to more and more sophisticated cell phones I have downgraded to a burner phone. And have even debated doing that at all. I got it originally for road trouble but on my roads I have no signal in any place where I might have a mechanical problem. It gets used mostly to find my shopping partners in large box stores.

I once used it for long distance. But I had signal problems. Turns out 55% of users do have signal problems and I am willing to bet the majority of them live in Utah or New Mexico. And that isn't easy to do because there are whole sections of both states which do not have cell towers. The service at my house has improved except when doing cell phone to cell phone.

A whole group of people have decided in the effort to economize to cut themselves off from a land line. Yes, I went the other way when my land line company added DSL. But I had to get unlimited long distance because it does not matter if the person whose cell you are calling is next door if they bought through Verizon in Santa Fe. That is a different area code and ergo long distance.

I used to wonder about the long distance charges on my cell which was a regional plan. It was all those friends with cell phones from Miami and Washington, DC who did not change service provider when they moved to New Mexico. Remember it is not the distance between you and your friend two aisles over at WalMart. It is the distance between their service provider and your service provider. So look carefully at the area code before calling that person back.

But the biggest problem of all with cell phones is they are mobile. And the owners of said instruments are using them as them move.  No way do you have their full attention, and the shouted, "Oh damn," may have nothing to do with you. These instruments of modern technology seem to be able to garble any language and lay it over static but they do background noise as clear as a bell. If you do not believe me watch more CSI. I can now identify the particular beat of tires over a bridge or cattle guard or railroad track. I know the location of various callers because of church bells, airplanes landing, and shopping carts being pushed down aisles, and sirens. But I have no idea what my sister said the last twenty minutes of this morning's call when she was digging through boxes looking for the shock collar.

Remember when your mother was taking on the wall phone and she would say, "Excuse me a moment," to the person on the other end and press the mouth piece to her breast before shouting, "Time for lunch!"? Nobody does that anymore. Especially not if they were blue-toothing the call. You get the ear splitting yell, parts of the conversation made to people standing close and of course whatever background noise like loading the dishwasher or flushing the toilet. Note: cordless land line users can be guilty of the above offences too, but as you have to actually hold them less so.

A randomly established code says the person on the cell replaces a dropped call. If you are both on cells then both call and get each others message box. This can go on too long. If you are on the land line and do not get called back by the cell phone user one of two things is possible; 1) they hung up on you or 2) the phone fell in the box they were rummaging through or the dishwater or the toilet. In one case out the window and under the tire.

If you get the please leave a message option then it is 1. And if you get the message this number is unavailable then 2. And if you do not call back at all it is because you were so frigging tired of all the background noise you have no F**King  interest in continuing the conversation. Call me back when you are going to sit down on the couch with a cup of coffee.

And do not dare criticize me for a few key strokes of a reply to a friend on chat with me before your call.

Catch you later.


  1. SO true! Please enlighten me: what is a burner phone? I still like my land line. We have cell phones for travel, they are used rarely and half the time I forget to charge the thing. It is probably a cousin to yours. I automatically top it up with $10 a month and that is plenty. It doesn't have a full keyboard, if you want to type a c you do it by clicking a three times, and so on. The kids are of course texting all the time. I know how, but use it rarely. Only last year in hospital, the cell was my lifeline.

    1. sounds like you have a burner phone. It is a cheap phone that you can buy minutes for. Called a burner because crooks use them and toss them to avoid being tracked. You do not have to marry it like a super phone with a huge contract. Use and toss if you like.


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