Becky Says...

March 2002

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March 20

We've been having telephone hell in Chapel Hill this week. Part of it is weather-related. Whenever we have several rainy days in a row, there is telephone trouble.

No, I'm not kidding, and yes, this is 2002. We have a phone system that is partly modern and partly still recognizable by Alexander G. Bell. And the twain doesn't always meet, especially when we're talking about underground cables.

The telephone system was owned at first by the University of North Carolina, as were the other utilities. In the late 1970s, all the utilities were sold to their respective present companies. This means BellSouth for the telephones. They came to town and started modernizing the system, and in lots of ways things are better. But there are still parts of it that are original equipment, and where those parts are supposed to join the new ones is where most of the rainy-day problems arise.

Sometimes this means phones ring when they shouldn't. Case in point: I used to need to call a professor with whom I was working in the Psychology Department. In wet weather, dialing his phone number would cause a phone to ring in an office in the German Department. No, it hadn't been dialed incorrectly, and no, the German Department phone number wasn't close numerically. This was just a crossover fluke, and the solution was to ask the secretary there to do me a favor and call the person I was trying to reach.

Several office phone systems have been out of whack this week. Ours was one of them. And there have been some problems with my line at home. This led to a conversation Wendy and I had yesterday.

I said that I knew sometime in the course of our lives the phone lines and connections would work through rain. Wendy asked if I was sure it would be in our lifetime. My response? "I plan to outlive it."

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Beth has started a ring of journallers who plan to update daily for the rest of Lent. The ring is called "Saving Kymm's Soul," in honor of Kymm's pledge to give up reading journals for Lent. She'll need a handy list of archives to search as she celebrates Easter, and we thought we'd help her out. The list of ring members is here.

Text © copyright 2000-2002 Becky