Can You Dial Us Now?

One of our staff’s mother is rather elderly. She needs in home care while recovering from from a fall and several operations.

The mother is not the best with technology. It took her a while to realize that she didn’t have to sit next to a base unit when using a cordless phone. She was pleasantly surprised when she figured out that she could walk around with the phone instead of having to stay in one place.

This makes sense in a way. After all, the woman grew up not having a phone, to a two part (earpiece and microphone) phone with a crank, to a rotary phone on a party line, to that same rotary phone being assigned a unique phone number. She has seen a lot of technological changes in the way phones work over the years.

One of those “changes” was the addition of a second wall mounted rotary phone in her daughter’s bedroom. The woman and her husband made a deal with the then sixteen year old daughter that if the daughter got “A” on her report card, they would install a phone in her room on the wall. That way she could close the door and talk to friends. At the same time, the second phone on the second floor would be a good thing.

The daughter came through with the grades, the beige phone was installed and life went on in telephonic bliss.

The other day our staffer called to his mother’s residence. He was talking to one of the aides about his mother’s condition when the aide said “we needed some supplies and I couldn’t contact you.”

That surprised the staffer as he is generally easy to get a hold of.

The aide said that someone had left the cordless phone out of the charger for a few days and it died. “It’s charging now,” she told our guy.

“Well, what about the (rotary) phone on the second floor?” he asked. “Wasn’t that working?”

The aide said she looked at it, but couldn’t figure out how to work it.

When he talked with his mother, she said, “I tried to tell her what to do, but she kept pushing the numbers on the phone instead of turning the rotating thing.”

The staffer didn’t know whether to feel really old, or rather just shake his head at the aide.

God forbid that the woman came across a cassette tape player or even worse, an 8-track.

Young whippersnappers.

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