Sunday, April 29, 2012

Gone the Way of the Buffalo....

This post isn't about buffalo at all, so I hope you aren't disappointed. That's one of Hubby's (many) expressions (and one of the few clean ones I can include on a family-oriented blog), one that refers to things out-dated or no longer in use.

It occurred to me this weekend that hotel telephones fall into that category.

We had a wonderful suite at the casino this weekend (that should have been my first clue they were going to take every cent I had to my name), and it had three telephones in it. One in the living room, one beside the bed, and one in the toilet. I don't mean IN the toilet, but in that separate little room apart from the bathroom where the actual toilet is located. I guess that one is for very serious business people who don't like to waste a single minute of their day and could conceivably conduct "business" (other than the obvious "business") on the toilet.

As I mentioned to Hubby when we were in the Jacuzzi, THAT might be a better place for an extra telephone than in the toilet. We don't need help getting up from the toilet (at least not yet), but getting both of us out of the Jacuzzi was an adventure. (Sorry if that's T.M.I.)

I wonder how many of those hotel phones get used anymore? I realize you might need one to order from room service (internet, anyone?) or to call the front desk for assistance (yes, I would LOVE to have used our in-room safe, but the last guest considerately left it LOCKED and did NOT provide his or her passcode). I would venture to guess that not many people even use the hotel phone for a wake-up call anymore, since most (all?) cell phones have an alarm feature on them.

I could also lump pay phones into this category. I see more and more empty "booths" where pay phones used to be, and I realize it's been a long, long time since I needed a pay phone. Back when we first started riding in BRAG, one part of our daily routine was standing in line, usually after our showers (where we also stood in line) and dinner (ditto), to call home and report the events of the day. Man, that pay phone line was LONG. I remember being in line to use the pay phone the year Hubby and I got married. Katydid was chatting with a man we met on our very first BRAG, and she filled him in on our major events since the year before.

Jim announced to everyone standing in line, and anyone else in hearing distance (and with his voice, that was a large part of North Georgia), gesturing at me, "Y'all! This girl got married TWO WEEKS AGO, and she's on BRAG!" Apparently he found it more shocking than Hubby did.

When cell phones first burst onto the scene, Katydid and I were at a rest stop on some bike ride, and she was talking to someone on her phone. Two people standing nearby, having no idea we were sisters, said in a voice dripping with contempt, "She's over there talking on a PHONE!" I didn't have any battery acid handy with which to respond to her, so I let it slide. Nowadays it's unusual at a rest stop if you DON'T see at least a fourth of the people talking or texting on a cell phone at some point. (Except in those rural areas where we don't have service, then you see people walking around in circles holding their phones up to the cell tower gods and groaning in frustration.)

I'm not sure where I was going with this, or why it's important. It occurred to me that some hotels may be able to save a lot of money by doing away with the phones. Have an in-house phone for room service and front desk requests, and just assume most guests in the 21st century will have cell phones.

If the casino could save a little bit of money, perhaps then they could let me win just one hand of three-card poker. Just one. Maybe.

1 comment:

DJan said...

I finally got a cell phone myself when I was stranded at an airport and found that all the pay phones had been discontinued. If you don't have one these days, you are at a real disadvantage.