Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I kinda miss Ma Bell

I remember when I turned 13 and I came home from school one day and the telephone rang. The reason I remember it is that when I left for school there was no telephone, so I had to hunt around to find the ringing. My folks said that now that I was a teenager, we should have a phone. I presume while I was at school the nice man came to the house, hooked everything up, and left when it worked, because that was how things were done when I was a girl.

Fast forward a half a century. My company sent a new IP phone to the house in a box. It doesn't plug into the phone jack on the wall any more, it uses a wireless Internet connection with a little antennae on a box. Nor is there a nice man to come to install it. There were instructions sent to my computer from the IT people on how to get the Internet and the phone to communicate. Some place during the instruction list, I got derailed and several phone calls later (from the old phone still plugged in the wall), I got it straightened out. There were two part numbers for a wireless or a corded headset, so I ordered one. It came. It had a USB connector, not a phone jack. My new phone had a phone jack. Call Plantronics, get the right part number. Out with the old box, in with the new. Get the next headset assembled and plugged in. No dial tone on the hand set. No dial tone on the head set. Speaker phone worked. More calls on the speaker phone. Yep, the directions did say you needed to adjust the little dial on the side, but I missed them. Hand set cord was loose, got that fixed too.

Several hours, at least, of troubleshooting later, every thing works. It's all magic any more. There is a directory on there, but I can't figure out what it wants for a password nor how to set one. That's OK. Shortly everyone I want to talk to will have called me or I will have called them, and I can access those numbers.

Years ago my MIL had Alzheimer's and eventually she forgot how to use the telephone. Well, I am not there yet, I can still use the @#$! phone, even if I couldn't hook it up. Sigh. Magic.

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