Buying new cellphone a hard call to make

Joan Hart

Joan Hart

By: 
JOAN HART

I bought a new smart phone this week. This is one of those events we all have to deal with occasionally, like going to the dentist. And like going to the dentist, it involves pain and a considerable outlay of money. Also, like going to the dentist, we tend to put it off as long as possible, therefore creating the need for additional pain and expense.

Don’t get me wrong. I love cell phones. To be absolutely truthful I love every kind of “gadget” ever invented, whether it be electronic office equipment designed to make me more productive there, or kitchen appliances and gadgets, electronic and otherwise, designed to help me cook more efficiently. Obviously my two favorite rooms in my house are my office and my kitchen!

But back to the smart phone. I tend to be like the guy in the Sonic commercial - I’ve had one for years and it hasn’t made me any smarter yet. I was one of the original mobile phone users. I bought my first one back in the middle 1980s when I went into the insurance business. It was a bag phone and I still have it (surprise, surprise). It is a huge piece of equipment, meant to be kept in your vehicle in a large vinyl bag (hence the name).  This is also why we called them “car phones” originally.

The handset is approximately 8 by 3 by 2 inches and is attached to a curly cord and stored in one side of the bag. The electronic workings, for want of a better term, are in a large sealed compartment in the other half of the bag. It had an antenna protruding from the bag itself and for the life of me, I don’t remember what I attached it to.

The company was U.S. Cellular and I had my ups and downs with them in those early days, even leaving them for another company for a short time, but soon returning after they finally got the bugs (mostly) worked out of  their customer service. I found out this week I bought my first U.S. Cellular phone at least ten years before the representative I bought the new one from this week was born. I should get a discount from them or something. One can always hope. Maybe mentioning them in this column will do it.

Eventually I worked up to a separate handset, still large, and with an antenna you had to pull out in order to receive service.

For the complete column, see the Weekend print edition of The Daily Record, or view the e-Edition online.

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