On the road without a cell phone

I was talking with Chelle this morning. She was sharing her new cell phone number with me. We chatted a bit about life before cell phones – – having to use those things called Pay Phones when we were away from home.

Remember pay phones? Heh.

It reminded me of a job I had once. My title was “Nurse Liaison” – I worked for a hospital that specialized in post-op orthopedic rehabilitation. My job? We took referrals from the major hospitals of patients who needed post-op rehab. I took the referrals then drove to the various hospitals to meet with the patient and their family to discuss their options.

I was on the road a lot. Actually, I was on the road all day long. I’d show up in the office at 8am to get report for about an hour – then I’d be on the road, visiting various hospitals and patients for the remainder of my day.

I had a pager, but the company would not spring for a cell phone. I didn’t have one of my own, at the time (this was about 12 or 13 years ago). So, I either used the phone at whatever hospital I was at, or I’d stop at a pay phone.

Once, I was driving on the highway – and currently stuck in a traffic jam, when they paged. Then 5 minutes later, she paged again. Then again and again every 5 minutes until I could pull off the highway and find a pay phone somewhere.

When I showed up at the office the next morning.. I was actually given a ‘disciplinary notice’ for not responding to my pager in an ‘appropriate enough time frame’. Of course, they told me that the budget would not accommodate a cell phone for me, and that it was my responsibility to make arrangements and either get my own cell phone, or make damn sure I could locate a pay phone in time. Oh, and they wouldn’t reimburse me for using my own cell phone. I would need to pay my cell phone bill if I wanted to continue working for them in my current position.

Anyone remember how much cell phone bills were 12-13 years ago?

I did get my own cell phone at that point. But only after I dropped my pager off on my boss’s desk and quit. Pfft.

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2 thoughts on “On the road without a cell phone”

  1. Hmmmmmmmmmm. ๐Ÿ˜• I always thought “Nurse Liaisons” did a different kind of work… ๐Ÿ˜ก

    As long as we’re trying out the Way-Back Machine, how about the “Phone in a Bag”????? Just as scary as remembering how some of the cell phone bills used to be is knowing that in some areas it’s cheaper to have a cell phone than a land line. My sister and her hubby used to be FIBs (not sure we ever told them the true Wisconsin meaning of it) and due to Illinois having a tax on every call you made it was cheaper for them to have a cell than a landline. Pretty freaking sad…

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