Communication is All

156

I was rinsing out a couple of tins ready for recycling when a thought occurred to me: two tin cans and a bit of string when you were a kid gave you an instant phone. How simple life was then! My nostalgic daydream was interrupted by The Husband’s usual weekly rant. “Right, that’s it I’ve had it! What’s the point of a mobile phone when you can’t get a signal in your own home!!”

Stars I and II raised their eyes skyward. Here we go again.

The Husband threw his mobile across the table, “I’m going out”.
“I thought it was the end of our contracts and we were off to get new phones and change provider?” I gently enquired.
“Yes but I have to call to get a code for the PAT numbers, and I have no SIGNAL!” In a flurry of scraping ice from the trusty Renault MK2. The Husband disappeared into the fog to locate a signal somewhere in our Market Town.

Star I, being all grown up, had equipped himself with an all singing all dancing phone with a fruit logo and was not helping The Husbands karma by extolling virtues of numerous apps and the fact that he had a constant signal.
“Hey Dad, it even works in the shower!!”

Eventually The Husband returned triumphant with the codes that were to herald the end of a year’s hassle with our mobiles.
Mine was marginally better than the others. If I lay across the tumble dryer at a certain angle I could hear the person I called quite clearly– a miracle!

The Husband was not so fortunate so had invested in a booster gadget that failed to solve the problem, he then bought another about a year ago. Only recently did he discover that it remained unresponsive because we needed to receive a code to activate it…ah no signal of course!

With a hefty slam of the dustbin lid they were resigned to the trash and we were off to our local Cathedral City in search of the new wonder provider of all things communicative.

Now The Husband is not especially picky, but when it comes to customer service he has zero tolerance. Being kept waiting is a particular favourite, despite any apologies for the lengthy delay, and I quote:
“Well I didn’t have a beard before I came in here!”
That’s often the cue for Stars I and I to suddenly get the overwhelming urge for a Starbucks.
So with some trepidation we entered the first mobile phone store. Some time later amid much teeth grinding when the company salesman The Husband only saw the previous week declared,
“Sorry mate that deal’s off”, and had clearly not read the following chapter entitled “But I Can Offer You This Sir” in his training manual; I firmly guided The Husband to the store in which Star II had found his mobile nirvana.

Star II and I took our seats and The Husband launched into
his spiel,
“I just want a phone with a decent signal so I can make calls and text people where I live- simple- not bothered about a camera, forget ruddy Facebook, I don’t want apps or 4G….”
My tin cans connected with string came into mind.
Two hours later, punctuated by my little trip to The White Company, Star I, The Husband and I were equipped with three new androids and the promise of a signal from the depths of the ocean to the highest peak including our very own Market Town which previously even a satellite had been unable to locate- success!

“Oh for gods sake give it to me!” Star I was busy sorting out the transfer of all our contacts and photos.
Now a week later The Husband is still leaping round the lounge,
“Look I’ve got a signal here and here and even over here!”
Yep we know.
However there is one tiny little problem, so in love with a phone that actually does what is was designed for, The Husband has in fact entered the world of the app – the very thing he swore he’d never do. He now has maps, weather, news, a torch and a fitness app that monitors the number of steps ones takes per day.

The whole signal thing didn’t worry me much as I tend to be a fan of the text punctuated with a plethora of emojies. But the fitness app, (yes I now have it too), is a cause of some stress in my life. Not only are you forced to carry your phone about your person absolutely everywhere you go but at the end of the day it will tell you how you’ve done.
“Sandra, I’ve 10976 steps today, how about you?”
Despite me running up and down the stairs numerous times my app gives it too me straight- Be more active- aka get off your backside and move you fat old bag!

That’s a bit of communication I could well do without.

Sandra Pagan

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