Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Kathleen's Cell Phone Snafu

Blogger is giving me fits as I try to post, but this is nothing new. The harder I try to get with the technology program, the behinder I get.

Take yesterday, for example. I am about to leave the house, and I'm planning two stops. I announce one of them. "Going to the grocery store for a couple of forgotten items. You need anything? (pause) I've got my cell phone. (I check my purse.) If you think of anything, call." My first stop: Great Clips, where I made a quick stop yesterday after the major grocery shopping, and purchased what turned out to be gel and root booster. I wanted shampoo and conditioner.

So I'm waiting for the Great Clips person to figure out how to do an exchange on their "new system" and my purse starts playing "When the Saints Go Marching In" (chosen to separate my signal from the others going off up and down any given store aisle). I move quickly. The sooner I get the thing out of its cute little case, the sooner the tinny alarm will stop.

It's DH. He's screaming about something I should pick up. No, he's not screaming. The phone's screaming, and heads are turning. The thing's on speaker. This has happened before. I don't use speaker. How do I turn it off? "What? I don't understand. No, wait." Where's the button? "Clyde, lower your voice."

DH has a low voice. I find myself saying what more often of late. Must be another function of aging. He doesn't like to repeat himself, so he's taken to singing after the second "What?" So I'm getting this song about who has a runny nose and how we just ran out of Kleenex and I should get some Vicks while I'm at it, and I'm watching the heads appear, one cubicle after another, front to back of the shotgun-style shop. The only person who doesn't seem to notice is the woman struggling with her own technological wonder--the computer masquerading as a cash register. "Marge, do you know how to do this? It won't accept anything."

I hang up on DH. (It's a flip phone, so I'm actually flipping him off.) I do a little song and dance about the speaker function, and one by one the heads retract into their shells. Great Clips Lady gets help from her co-worker, and the computer finally allows us to trade gel for shampoo. I can't get out of there fast enough.

Cell phones bug me, and they know it. I don't think I really need one. Or I wouldn't, if pay phones hadn't gone the way of the typewriter. I'm probably letting them bug me. I could do a better job of ignoring the people who carry on at the table next to you as though the person on the other side of their conversation is deaf. Or getting too old to hear the low register. Or talking long distance back in the old days. Poetic justice, this Great Clips moment. I know I didn't set the thing on speaker. I don't know how.

Cell phones. Love/hate? Love? Hate? Or is it just me?


Cindy Gerard said...

LoL Kathleen. I feel you pain.
I fought the cell phone issue for a long time before finally giving in and getting on board. Now I can't imagine how I lived without it.
It's one little gizmo that actually doesn't baffle me tech wise. Have no clue why as I'm tech impaired on almost everything else.
Would have loved to have been there to hear your hubby singing ???

Michele Hauf said...

Oh, how I loathe cell phones.

Okay, I like them for the fact I can keep one in my car, and if I ever get in an accident, there you go. Of course, I'll probably be unconscious, but hey, my cell phone will be lying close by!

Now, I hate them, but only when in the hands of the DH. Uhuh. The dude has reverted to a teenager since he got his cell phone. A female teenager with the gift of gab and no concept of 'going over your minutes'.

I've had dreams. Vivid dreams of smashing that thing while he slumbers.

Okay, stop. Gotta get the blood pressure under control. Oh! What a hot button you pushed on me, Kathy!

Helen Brenna said...

Kathy, I'm there with you all the way. For me it's a mostly hate thing. I could totally live without a cell phone.

Now, if only those ladies in Great Clips would've recognized you while your dh was singing!!

Helen Brenna said...

OMG, Michele, don't get me going in that direction. My dh just got an iPhone. He's constantly watching clips of this or that. Checking his emails when we're out to dinner. Kills me.

Betina Krahn said...

Hey guys-- I love my cell phone!
::ducking all the stones::
I must be a real pushover, because it didn't take me long to develop a dependence on the things. We got our first one back in '94 as a safety thing and sent it out with the boys when they were on dates and going to concerts. . . in case something happened and they needed help. It wasn't long until I was carrying it myself and enjoying the power of being able to call anytime from anywhere.

Then when the boys left home and I never knew where they'd be, cell phones became indispensable. Then when I left home and they never knew where I would be, cell phones became downright critical. "Where are you, Mom?"

Now, the things are second nature. I feel a little naked without one. . . hate discovering that I've left my phone at home. The fact that the kids and I are all on the same network and get to call each other without worrying about minutes is a real plus.

And there's the safety factor. . . walking to my car in a dark parking lot or in a parking ramp with my finger on the 911 button makes me feel safer. Not sure if it's REALLY safer or if I just think it is, but it helps. And since I've lived alone quite a bit and had to depend on myself for things like calling tow trucks and getting around in bad weather-- I feel a lot better with phone in hand.

My one problem with them is that every generation of new phones (about every year or so!) I have to sit down with the manual for my new phone and re-learn a lot of buttons and functions. Kathy, the speaker phone is always one of my first lessons!

But I'm with you on the annoyance factor of having people talking loudly on phones in restaurants and in airports and other places where you can't get away. (Europe is way worse than here. You should be on an Italian train or city bus during commuter hours! Aghhh!) And don't get me started on people taking calls when we're supposed to be having lunch or dinner out!

Etiquette, people. Simple consideration. Is that too much to ask?

Michele Hauf said...

Using them for safety and to ensure your kids are safe is all right by me. So long as the kids aren't texting while driving, or even just talking. It kills me. ANd it kills a lot of them.

Whenever I've been in a near-miss by being hit by someone else, they've had a cell phone in hand. Kids think they are unbreakable, and that texting while driving is a sort of coolness factor thing. It's a sad thing when a life is stolen by the need to talk or text.

Okay, I won't be a downer. I do crave an iPhone, but the monthly bill would kill me.

But now let's talk about that new Amazon Kindle...

Debra Dixon said...

Oh, Kathleen ! LOL! I feel for you, babe.

My son is Cell-phones-are-us. The kid knows every feature on every phone and if he doesn't just give him a second and he'll have the thing making you breakfast. He programs mine whenever I get a new one.

I get complaints constantly from people. "I left a message on your cell phone."

My rely? "How many times do I have to tell you the cell phone is for my convenience? I don't respond to messages. I may not even turn it on. If you want to leave me a message, call my house phone."

People just get bent because I control instant access to my time.

Kathleen Eagle said...

I get the safety thing. There have been a couple of times when it's gotten me out of a jam. Locked the keys in the car once. Lucky for me, Clyde was only a few blocks away with his phone. But on the flip side of safety, we were rear-ended at a stop sign by a woman talking on her cell phone. Lucky for us, it was a 4-way stop with a cop taking his turn at that very moment from the opposite side.

Debra Dixon said...

Michele-- I'm totally intrigues by the Kindle. Spent some time reading about it this morning when I should be doing other things like...ahem...overdue contracts.

Kathleen Eagle said...

"I control instant access to my time." Oh, Deb, I love that. I'm making it into a sign as we speak. Will need several copies. One above the computer. One in the car. Maybe a small wrist band version....

Kathleen Eagle said...

Has anyone else found that the cell phone screws up your plotting? "Oh, yeah. Why wouldn't she just use a cell phone?"

Michele Hauf said...

Deb, I think I'll blog about the Kindle here this weekend. Maybe on Saturday.

Debra Dixon said...

Kathleen-- Please! Make those signs with my blessings. :)

And yes, cell phones play havoc with plotting for mysteries and suspense. I just had to remind a writer of that on a contest entry. If they've got every other techno gadget then they have a cell phone and that gets a character out of way too many jams! But you have to deal with it.

Ellen said...

I have a cell phone but I limit the usage by turning it on only when I travel or make a long distance call. And only when I have to get in touch with my family or they with me while I am out of town. And it better be important. As far as using it in an accident, that's why I drive a car with ONSTAR, even if I'm unconcious from an accident I can call (or rather ONSTAR calls) for help.