I picked up my home phone’s receiver on Thursday and listened to something I hadn’t heard in months.
A dial tone.
Ever since my accident in December, I’ve been pretty much living off my cellphone.
I preferred the mobile unit to the hospital’s phone and it was more convenient to use the cell when I got home and had to lumber around the house in leg braces for weeks.
However, my old landline phone was getting ready to call it a day and I asked my sister to get me a new landline phone for Christmas.
The new one is a beauty and comes with a spare receiver that I set up near the TV so I wouldn’t have to dash into my computer room every time someone called me.
There was only one problem: I couldn’t get it to work.
I read the directions over and over, but I couldn’t make sense out of them. I pressed the various buttons, plugged in all wires and the thing was still as dead as Kelsey’s nuts, as my father used to say.
I should mention here that I have no idea who Kelsey was or what caused his unfortunate condition, but the expression just seems to fit this situation.
When I finally called tech support, surprise, surprise, they were experiencing heavier than normal call volume—what exactly is normal call volume?—and I had another excuse not do anything.
Still On The Line
I told people to call my cell until I figured out the situation with the new phone—like it was some great mystery that I had to unravel. Gradually I got accustomed to not having a home phone.
I rationalized that landlines are so 20th Century and most of the calls I get on the damn thing are from telemarketers anyway. Who needs it?
This is a familiar story with me. I don’t know how something works and instead of taking care of the problem, I adjust my life to the inconvenience until it becomes the norm.
And it’s not just with technology. I have an unfortunate habit of putting up barriers where none exist and this sounds like a good habit to break.
Every time I walked into my computer room I could feel the new phone staring at me with zombie eyes.
Finally, I’d had enough. I was going to call tech support, heavier than normal call volume be damned, and get my phone working.
I got connected with a young woman who ran me through a series of questions, which quickly determined that I was using a wire from my old phone and plugging it into the wrong socket.
I corrected these two errors, picked up the receiver, and nearly burst into tears when I heard that lovely dial tone singing back to me. It was just a simple adjustment, but to me it was like day Alexander Graham Bell hollered “Watson, I need you!”
Okay, so I’ll giving myself a split grade on this one. I’m disappointed that I let this situation go on for so long, but I’m happy that I finally took care of it.
Now I have to set up the voice mail and if I get any messages from Kelsey I’m not calling him back.