Friday, September 2, 2011

The Return of the Dial Tone

The phone lines serving my apartment building have been out of service for the past couple of days. I'm not sure when it started, I first noticed it on Wednesday evening, when I went to phone someone and there was no dial tone.  Which meant I couldn't call that person because it was long distance and I hate to rack up those extra costs on my cell phone.

As of last night, the service was still out.  It was a strange sensation. I've been toying with the idea of giving up my landline, thinking I could make do with just a cell phone.  As I sat here last night, not being bothered by telemarketers (that was a bonus!), I realized there is the whole long distance issue to consider.  At the moment, I have a fabulous plan that gives me something like a thousand free minutes anywhere in Canada and the U.S. per month, which they haven't offered for years but I've held on to this plan in spite of many attempts by Bell Canada to convince me to switch to something else.  Really, what could be better?! 1,000 minutes?? That's a lot of chat to family and friends all over the continent. Needless to say, I rarely use that kind of time but it's nice to know I could if I wanted to.

I also still remember clearly what things were like in the hours after the 9/11 attacks - sometimes the landline worked, sometimes the cell phone service did, and for several hours afterwards, it was either one or the other.  I was glad to have both that day to contact those I love after that horrific event (can you believe it was 10 years ago??)

I also know myself well enough to know that using only a cell phone would bug me after a while.  Sometimes you just want to sit and hold a more substantial phone receiver in your hand, especially if it's going to be a long talk.  Or you need the speaker phone, like when you know you're going to be on hold for a long time (which was why I was glad when I didn't have to call in to report the trouble on the line, the superintendent was kind enough to post a notice in the lobby advising that the lines were down in the area and it was expected to take at least two days for the situation to be fixed.)  And of course, there will be those days when I forget to charge my cell phone and when that happens, I've got the landline as a backup.

Which is why I was relieved to wake up this morning and find the dial tone had returned.  If you have been trying to call me at home the past day or two and weren't able to reach me, or if you were waiting to hear from me, now you know why we haven't spoken.  And if you haven't tried to call me lately, why not?  Chances are, it has been too long since we talked - just call already!! ;)

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