Cell Block

Thursday, July 14, 2005 | 0 Comments

This is the inspiration for my new poll...

I have a cell phone, but I do not use it regularly. I maybe use it every couple of days. I do not retrieve messages that get left on it. I use it for calling long distance since I get so many free minutes. I use it for getting in touch with my family and for making business calls on my breaks. I also find it is handy when SSB and I go to large public places (like stores) together and might get separated. I am often in places where they do not allow cell phones, so even if I do bring my phone I do not have it on.

On occasion, when I really need to get a hold of someone, I will tell them to call me on my cell; otherwise I tell people to only call my home phone and if they do not get a hold of me, they should leave a message there- not my cell. That sounds pretty simple, doesn't it? Well, plenty of people can not wrap their minds around this. As soon as they get my cell phone number, that becomes the only way that they will try to reach me.

I have rental properties and my renters are the biggest cell phone abusers of all. Most of my renters have cell phones as their only phone since they tend to move a lot. When they sign the lease, I also have them sign a letter that lists things that I want them to know- like checking the smoke alarms regularly and getting renters insurance. One of these things is that if they have my cell number they should not use it; instead they are to use my home phone number. They have to sign it saying that they read it. Whether they read it or not, they are responsible for knowing the information once they sign the letter. They even get a copy, so if they forget, they may review those things that they should know.

In the last month I have had to scold two of my renters for disregarding my cell phone policy. The one now claims that he has switched his contact number in his cell phone…we'll see. The other is still refusing to call my home phone, yet when SSB retrieved the messages today he said that the renter sounded distraught. In fact, SSB came running out to the garden to get me after he listened to the messages this renter left. I scowled and said that as far as I was concerned that renter never called because he should be calling our home phone. I had even recorded a message on my phone instructing the callers to leave a message at my home phone instead.

I refuse to have others dictate how I use my cell phone. Just because they call my cell phone does not mean that I have to acknowledge it; especially since I have already told these people NOT to call it. If these people really want to get a hold of me or have me call them back, they will leave a message on my home phone like I have already asked them to do many times already. I do not want to be tethered to society and my needy renters and friends 24/7.


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Blogger Scott said...

I understand not wanting to be a slave to your cellphone, but since you have caller ID, why not just ignore calls you don't want to take in public?

July 14, 2005 10:16 AM

Blogger Sylvana said...

I ignore the calls altogether because I want to discourage people from calling that phone. If I respond to their calls to that phone, they will just continue the habit.

July 14, 2005 10:54 AM

Blogger Randi said...

see i live by my cell....i hate using home phones...and i dont know why.....

July 14, 2005 11:54 AM

Blogger Sylvana said...

Randi- I only want to have to check one phone regularly, and I have to have a land-line so I use that one for messages. I don't want people to be able to get a hold of me all the time. Besides, I can't lose my home phone!! And I lose things A LOT! If people get too used to calling me on the cell, and I misplace it for a few days (which happens quite often) then I don't know they are trying to contact me because they brain-fart on me having a land-line. There are just so many little reasons I'd rather not have people using my cell number.

I think my renters are like you. They have their cell with them and use it all the time. They assume though that everyone else does that too. Which is fine. If that is the norm, I can't blame them for that assumption, but when I tell them I don't use it that way and they ignore that, then I can blame them.

July 14, 2005 12:06 PM

Blogger evilsciencechick said...

I know what you mean. I get irritated with my friends who call me FIRST on the cell phone...especially during times when I'm most likely to be home, like in the evening. I don't mind them calling the cell phone, but PLEASE try me at home first! Especially since Kev and I have to share minutes, we're pretty paranoid about where those minutes are spent!

July 14, 2005 1:22 PM

Blogger Sylvana said...

Yeah, they should at least try your home first. The people I have trouble with NEVER want to call my home, EVER!! Even when I'm talking to them and need to interrupt the conversation for a bit and tell them to reach me in 5 minutes at my home phone- they'll still call the damn cell!! They are obsessed I tell you!

July 14, 2005 1:34 PM

Blogger SierraBella said...

I don't even own a cell.
(There's no signal up here, and well I hate phones period.)
I'm in agreement with you. If you tell people to call the land-line, then that's what they should do.

July 14, 2005 2:53 PM

Blogger Maria said...

I love my cell phone. I even got rid of my home phone so I could devote all my time and energy to that little silver mouthpiece that connects me to the outside world.

Just kidding. I try not to answer my, but people keep calling!

July 14, 2005 3:11 PM

Blogger Sylvana said...

Sierrabella- they obviously don't take me seriously. A lot of people don't at first because they think I'm so nice. Which I am as long as you treat me with respect. Which they are not. In that case, I have no qualms about being assertive with them. As assertive as I need to be until they take me seriously. And then they think I'm a bitch. But if that's the way it's gotta be, it's their choice.

Maria- I just don't answer it. I will hit the hang-up button if it's someone who is not supposed to be calling. I am glad to hear that there are others who don't like people trying to force them to be on-call 24/7. Thanks!

July 14, 2005 3:38 PM

Blogger OldRoses said...

Sylvana, it's a relief to find someone who doesn't live on their cell phone. I can't believe it when I see stuff like the time I was shopping in Macy's and a mother and daughter were out shopping together. They were even checking out the merchandise on the same table. And they were both on their cell phones talking to two different people.

July 14, 2005 9:43 PM

Blogger Sylvana said...

OldRoses- people like that are the seventh sign of the apocalypse.

July 14, 2005 10:35 PM

Blogger DrMax said...

When I grew up we had a dial phone and a party line. The answering machine for homes was years away. We actually went out and did things and were not even aware of all the phone calls we missed. Yet somehow we survived.

Because we were raised in this primitive era, my wife and I only use lame Tracfone cells. Although we pay more per minute, I doubt our total cost for a year is more than what most people accept for 3 months of plan charges. I can't even comprehend how it's possible to use 500 mnutes in thirty days! But with all the people I see doing the "cell phone hunch" in cars and stores I know it can be done.

July 15, 2005 12:13 AM

Blogger Sylvana said...

DrMax- When I first moved to the North Woods there were only dial phones, we only had to dial 4 numbers if it was in town, and we had a party line too- for about two years. Ah! The nostalgia of picking up the phone to make a call and finding Mrs. Palubiki down the street jabbering away to one of her sewing circle friends about the great deal she got on fabric remnants.

July 15, 2005 7:56 AM

Blogger ORF said...

Why not tell your renters you just GOT RID OF your cell phone? The number no longer works and they will NOT reach you if they call it? And in the future, don't tell new renters that you have one. Just be more discriminate about who gets that number. The thing is, you can hardly expect people to respect your wishes to call your home phone if you give them a different number because they will figure that you probably always have your phone on you, but probably aren't always at home. They're just trying to minimize the number of calls they have to make, so I cannot say I blame them.

I hate my cell phone, but it's a necessary evil since I commute and don't have a machine on my number at home. And in general I hate talking on the telephone, so I understand your frustration. But you can't put the cookie jar in front of the kids on the table and then tell them not to touch it.

July 18, 2005 10:08 AM

Blogger Sylvana said...

OHR- I have to use my cell for business, that is one of the reasons I got the phone. As I said, most of my renters have cells and they are long distance, so I call them with my cell to avoid being charged for the call. Also, when I do showings I have to give people the cell number in case they get lost on the way, ect. And I often use it to get in touch with my renters while I'm on the road. So not giving it out or telling them that it is not working anymore are not options. Besides, I will not lie to my renters.

I can and will demand respect. If they are not willing to respect my wishes then they are disrespectful and I will treat them as such. I already have a simple solution- I just do not acknowledge their calls to my cell unless I have specifically requested that they call me on it. Done, and done!!
These people should be capable of following simple directions. They aren't children, although, at times they do act like them! :)

July 18, 2005 10:52 AM

Blogger Shannon said...

They shouldn't call your cellphone and shouldn't expect you to answer when they call. I can't think of anything else you can do besides directly telling them not to call you on that phone ever again. I have a friend whose number appears as "unlisted" or "not available" or something so people she calls can't get her number. You might want to look into that.

I used to have a landline and a cellphone, but found no use for the landline. It was just another monthly bill for me, so I got rid of it. I like my cellphone, but turn it off often.


July 19, 2005 8:46 AM

Blogger Sylvana said...

Thanks Shannon. That unlisted thing sounds like a good idea. I'll look into it. It might at least lessen the calls.
I have no qualms against ignoring phone calls I should not be getting.
I have thought about losing the landline- especially now that we have highspeed internet access, but as I said, I misplace my phone quite frequently so I would miss way too many time sensitive calls!

July 19, 2005 9:46 AM