Thursday, January 5, 2017

Grrrr! Cell Phones...

There is nothing that compares to receiving a phone call, or text message, on your emergency telephone line at 4 o'clock in the morning.  If my regular, old-fashioned home telephone (an honest-to-goodness land line) rings in the middle of my sleep, that's startling; but when my emergency phone rings, or buzzes, it scares me, because I think of all of the things that can happen to friends, family and pets.  I waited a very long time to get a cell phone.  I do not like the damned things - and I hate talking on them.  I only got one when it became apparent that sometimes my clients felt the need to contact me while I was walking their dogs.  I even had clients offer to purchase a phone for me, and put that phone on their plan, with them paying for it monthly.
   I finally broke down and purchased my own cell phone.  I give the number out to a very few friends, to family, and to my clients.  When I start working for them, I tell the clients, this cell phone number is for emergency purposes only - call my home number, or e-mail me, if you want to schedule something.  No one listens to instructions anymore.  If I did not follow instructions regarding the care of these folks' animals and houses, I'd be in BIG trouble.  But my requests and instructions regarding making contact with me are totally ignored.  It's amazing...  One of my clients calls multiple times each day, just to chat, and/or to ask my opinion of a certain pet product.
   I don't seem to remember living anywhere as narcissistic as Boulder.  Here, it seems that everyone believes that "the rules apply to others, not me."  People walk across busy streets in the middle of traffic, not using crosswalks.  People go through and turn on red lights, if no one is approaching.  The law says that one must pick up your dog's poop - but less than half do it (I do, even though the dogs I walk are not mine).  People on bicycles blast through Stop signs and red lights.  I heard a teen-ager on the bus tell his friend that he'd left his tablet on the bus - and the other kid said, "Oh, I don't like that one.  My folks will buy me  a newer, better one, when I tell them I lost it."  This stuff just astounds me.
   Anyway, I was sound asleep at 4 o'clock in the morning.  My cell phone was plugged in and charging on the stand beside my bed.  I was caring for Bop and Tiko, two cats, whose owners were on their way back from Spain.  They were due back at home between 6 and 7 that night...  Suddenly, my phone started buzzing and crawling across the night stand - then it whistled three times in a row.  That meant I either had three voice messages, or three text messages.  My mind immediately flew to several older critters that I have cared for over many years, and I worried that one had passed away.  I turned on the light, grabbed the phone, and saw 3 text messages.
   Tiko and Bop's parents/owners were at Heathrow Airport, outside of London, on the way home - how were the boys, how was the weather, any problems with the house?  Two pages of questions...  Then the third text was - "Whoops!  Forgot the time difference - you're asleep, aren't you?"   "Not any longer," was my response....
    Boulder is in a valley on the edge of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.  Even though there are plenty of micro-wave towers, reception for cell phones is very spotty.  Sometimes the cell phone will ring in one part of a specific house, but nor in another.  My cell phone only works in my bedroom of my apartment.  Even so, people's voices fade in and out - that's why I prefer to use my real telephone - it doesn't fade in and out, and always has good reception.  I still think that cell phones are NOT a convenience.  Guess I'm still an old-fashioned so-and-so!

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