Thursday, July 22, 2004


My friend LeeAnn of The Cheese Stands Alone (see the list to the right --->. Anyhow, LeeAnn pushed one of my buttons yesterday: missed calls on the damned cell phone. Well...

Now first you have to understand that one of the eternal issues in most people's lives continues to be the question of Who is in control? Who's the boss? My grandfather explained it best once when he was admiring my Rolex wristwatch. He said that it was a nice watch but he wouldn't want one, that his pocket watch was what was best for him.
Really? Yeah, I don't want a damned watch telling me what to do.

Huh? Well, you have to decide whether time rules you or you rule time. If my grandfather wanted to know what time it was he would leisurely take out his pocketwatch and open it up and check the time, then he would put it back in his pocket where it would wait for him to take it out again. Now... that wrist watch of mine was always there nagging me about the time. You're late! Hurry up! Get with the program you sluggard! Grrr.

It's the same thing with that damned cell phone. You need one to stay on top of all the stuff that you have to stay on top of these days. Same thing with the watch. But who's the boss?

LeeAnn is one of those people who leave the cell phone on all the time, that way it can bark at her whenever it wants. Not me. I leave it off. If I want to use the phone then I will take out the thing and turn it on and call someone. My choice.

Gasp! What if you miss a call. Yikes! Bob... you have a job that requires you to be available 24/7. How can you turn that monster off? Easy. I have a pager on my belt, and if the folks at the office need me they can page me and it will vibrate discreetly and I will glance at it to see if I really want to call back. I decide what the priority is. I decide to do my own triage. Have I missed any calls? Nope. Have I managed to finish dinner before using the phone? Yep.

And let's admit it --- Don't you just hate being pushed around by the damned thing? Don't you just hate having a crappy little cell phone pushing you around? About 7 times out of 10 the "important" call back can wait until after dinner anyhow. How many times have you had to get up in a movie because you left the thing on? How many times have you been interrupted at dinner, or between the sheets, or at a concert?

Admit it --- don't you feel like throwing the damned chattering cell phone out the car window?

I never managed to throw away my Rolex, but I'm absolutely certain that my grandfather lived a better life than I do. He died with more money than I have too.

I'm only glad he left me the lesson.