Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I think I need

For years, I resisted Caller ID as an additional expense. Also, I have to admit I felt a little funny about "screening" calls.

(My brother and sister in law do, but then she has a Crazy Relative who makes her crazy, and they have to be mentally prepared to talk to this person).

But I'm thinking it's time to look into it. I will have to see if it (a) will work with my crummy old phone or if I have to get a new one and (b) how detailed the information it gives is. Because if it's like the ID we have on the campus phones (which I HAVE to answer; I can't not take calls from students), long-distance calls just show an "out of range" number. And if that were the case, it wouldn't be that useful to me, because a lot of the meaningful calls I get are long distance.

And I'll have to see about the "blocked number" deal - I know that a lot of telemarketing sites do that, and it just says "blocked number." But I don't know if other calls will do that too. (Though I will say if someone intentionally blocks their number, because they don't like caller ID, then they deserve to have me not answer the phone when it rings).

'Cos my dang phone has been ringing off the hook this week. Most of the calls are trivial at best and a few have been downright annoying - things I could attend to (or not) based on a message. But then again, a few calls - like from my friend, who is doing better, thank God - HAVE been calls I've wanted to get.

I tend to resist spending money on stuff like this because of my inborn frugality, but now I'm beginning to thing that if it makes my life easier, it would totally be worth it. And I'm enough of a worrier that having caller ID would give me a momentary heads-up of "Oh, it's Anne" or "Oh, it's Ronnie" so I don't have that moment of fearful, "oh crap what is it now?"

What I'd really love? Some kind of wireless receiver for caller ID that I could carry with me throughout the house - so I could have it sitting next to me when I'm in my back room, sewing, and when the phone rings, I could look at the little receiver and go, "Oh, hey, it's Ronnie calling...I want to talk to him" or "Oh, it's some telemarketer. Forget them" and let it ring. I don't know if such a thing exists but it probably SHOULD.

So I suppose the next step is looking into what's available in my local area. (Crikey, I hope this doesn't require a service call from the phone company).


Cullen said...

Do you get internet through DSL or cable? If you get it through DSL, is it from AT&T? I know they give a package deal and that's probably best to stick with. However, if you're using cable, there's no reason to not get a Voice over Internet Protocol service like Vonage (but there are TONS out there) and you can save a lot of money going that route. They also package most of the premium home phone services in their basic package.

So, saving money that way may help offset the cost of purchasing a caller ID unit or a new phone with caller ID built in. Do some research, I'm sure you'll see the cost savings quickly. The technical side of things isn't very complex either.

Good luck.

Cullen said...

I have to post again because the word verification for this post is "gelatimu" which has to be tiramisu-flavored Jello-brand gelatin. Which is gross, but funny.

Sheila O'Malley said...

Yes, good luck - I'm a screener from way back - I NEVER answer the phone without knowing who it is first. My private time is sacred to me - sounds like you are the same way - and I don't like being forced to segue into something I'm not into in that moment.

My word verification is "whers" - certainly not as fabulous as gelatimu.