Cell Phone Service
By Tom Morrone, CFP ®, CPA, Principal
I for one most definitely take it for granted that we can make or receive a phone call on a cell phone from just about anywhere. I was under my house recently trying to find the shut off valve for the outside faucet to take the precaution of water pipes freezing over the winter. Normally I would know exactly where to go but being a new house, this was the first time that I was doing this yearly ritual in this location. We have a crawl space and not a full basement so that made the process a little more challenging. With the advice of my builder I purchased a small stool on casters. I was able to sit on the stool and roll around the crawl space on the stool and not have to crawl or squat to maneuver around looking for the valve. Anyway, here I am rolling around the crawl space and was unable to find this valve. No problem. I took out my cell phone, called our builder who answered and he told me exactly where I had to go. I rolled on over and sure enough there was the valve. All of this while under the house. Like I said before I took it for a granted that I was able to make the call from the crawl space.
Most people would be able to come up with their own version of weird places that they have made or received a call. There have also been times where I thought I was in a remote location walking along the beach and the signal strength of the cellular service was very strong and had a perfectly clear conversation. Also I have been in a very populated and commercial area and the cell service was very weak and it would sound like an old Verizon commercial, “Can you hear me now”? I guess in this day and age of advanced technology we just want to be connected or feel the need to be connected. Many people freely disconnect themselves from the reaches of whomever and leave their phones behind so they can either focus on what they are doing or more importantly not focus on anything at all and do not want to be interrupted. I definitely have been all sides of those situations. Being connected allows for flexibility of schedule and location. Being disconnected provides tranquility and solitude. Finding the balance is the challenge.
Some of the early cell phones were bag phones. The battery and circuitry was so large that it had to be carried in a shoulder type of bag along with the cord to the handset. I remember thinking who I was when I would go to my trunk of my car to get my phone and plug it into the cigarette lighter. Now some cars do not have cigarette lighters as they are an option and blue tooth wireless phone connectivity is standard. Now you push a button on your steering wheel, talk to your car while driving and the car dials the phone number for you. Incoming calls are received by a simple pushing of a button. No more fumbling for the phone. My how the times have changed regarding cellular service.
Normally I would say bring back the bag phones but I do prefer a phone that fits in my pocket.
Until the Next Tom’s Take…