After numerous solicitation calls a day, Alan Muskovitz decided to cut the cord and continue to run his business without a land line.
The change of seasons is over two weeks away, but I’ve already gotten a head start on a couple of major changes in my life. For the first time in nearly 40 years, I’ll be conducting business without the use of a (drum roll) land line! Yep, just a few days ago, I eliminated my dedicated “Big Al Communications” phone line.
This is all part of the never-ending evolution of communication technology. I can still recall in vivid detail that day in November of 1964 when our family moved into our new home in Southfield. The first thing I did was call my older brother. “Hal, you are not going to believe this. I just called you on a phone that has push buttons instead of a rotary dial!” I believe my next words were: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
I wouldn’t experience another evolutionary communications moment like that until I finally got rid of my AOL internet account, which I was paying for on a monthly basis, for years, despite the fact my exasperated kids kept telling me you could get it for free.
Canceling my business land line was difficult, but not as heart-wrenching as last year when I gave away my carrier pigeons.
By the way, I’m not going out of business by any means; that being a writer, voiceover talent, speaker and emcee. But the fact of the matter is nearly 100 percent of my business contacts reach me by cell.
It was, however, a far more pressing issue that finally forced my hand to “cut the cord,” and it came in the form of four words — endless … annoying … marketing … calls.
I was receiving nonstop solicitations day and night, usually several in a row by mid-morning and then another round during the dinner hour. Of course, I didn’t answer them, but the constant ringing was unnerving. Without fail, every call would remind me of the Seinfeld episode where Jerry asks for a telemarketer’s home phone number so he could call them back so the salesperson would know how it feels.
I turn 65 next February, which explains why the bulk of the marketing calls coming in were from companies who offered their help with another major life-altering change coming my way … signing up for Medicare.
I spent two hours last week with my insurance agent reviewing my choices for Medicare Supplement Insurance, commonly referred to as Medi-Gap, which, at first, I mistakenly thought was a hip clothing store for aging citizens with medical issues.
There are 10 Medicare Supplement Insurance plans to choose from, identified as Plans A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, M and N; which, if memory serves me, were also the last two rows of letters on my last eye exam. In both instances, hearing about the plans and reading the eye chart both ended up being a blur.
I have to admit, excluding the Medicare solicitations, there are a few scam calls I do miss. My favorite is the one that warned me I’m about to be arrested for not paying my taxes. Then there was the lady who left me a voicemail who could barely contain her excitement about significant changes to my federal student loan she wanted to share with me. Well, Holly, I was extremely fortunate not to be strapped with a student loan upon graduating MSU in 1978, but it was so nice of you to call me 41 years later to check in.
Holly actually left me her direct phone number to call her back to discuss my options. I’m thinking of calling her back, hoping I get her voicemail. Only I’ll leave her with a return phone number of another solicitor who called me recently. I mean, who knows, maybe Holly needs some replacement
Alan Muskovitz is a writer, voice-over/acting talent, speaker, and emcee. Visit his website at laughwithbigal.com,“Like” Al on Facebook and reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.