I remember when AT&T broke up into long distance and local. Like a lot of people I didn't understand what divestiture was or why I needed to dial a "1" before making a long distant call. I remember going to my grandparents house and using their old red telephone mounted on their wall. Back in those days, those phones were like bricks and they always worked. Sometimes my grandmother would ask me to call someone and when I asked her what number, she'd always says something like "Elizabeth 3" and then the number. I shockingly remember their phone number 353-8872 even though they haven't used that number since 1991 (yes I remember a non-useless phone number that hasn't been used in 25 years).
When I was a sophomore at Rutgers, there was a job fair at the student center and the crowd around AT&T looked like the pit at a Springsteen concert. Finally, the AT&T recruiter yelled "if your GPA isn't 3.5 don't bother dropping off your resume". At the time, my GPA wasn't that good so I walked on.
I did get a job as an intern at AT&T when I was in graduate school. I can still see the job posting and the person doing the recruiting was named Jim Watson and the division was called Business Operations Analysis or BOA. It was an internal analytical group. I passed the phone interview (BTW - my GPA the last two years of Rutgers was over 3.5 and my MBA GPA was very good as well) and was brought into 295 North Maple Avenue in Basking Ridge NJ for a full day of interviews. I remember the interviews and the building very well. I got the job after making a presentation on the predicted value of a Fantasy Baseball player based on their past and predicted performance. I also ordered a beer at lunch not because I'm an alcoholic but because I was stressed out and needed the comfort from a beer. Well I got the job, made it through several downsizes, launched bundled wireless and long distance plans, was one of the youngest Division Managers in the company (a division at the time had about 4-5 direct reports and each direct report had about 4-5 managers or more), and then left after 10 years to get rich on the internet which of course never happened. I still remember my AT&T phone number of 908.221.7723
Fast forward a few years and in 2006 when I was about to be let go from E*trade after their purchase of DLJ/CSFB/Harrisdirect, I set up my home office. I of course got a work phone number, the now defunct 908.876.1149. Add to that my cell phone number and my home phone number so I now have three numbers; that's way too many numbers to reach me at. So when I could, I got a Google Voice number (that was little later); that number is 908.867.8001. The Google Voice number still works but not for the use of having one number ring me on multiple phones but as a filter for calls I receive. Here's why....
In 2006/2007 I remember sitting at my desk working on something or I was on a call and my dad called my mobile phone so I didn't pick up. He then called my office number and I didn't pick up. Dad then called my home number and by then, of course I didn't pick up. Dad then called my mobile phone and left a message. So that's 4 phone calls all ringing in the same office --> Sigh
Around 2008 or so I canceled my work phone number and started using my mobile phone as my primary phone. Unfortunately, I never adjusted my calling plan on my mobile and was getting hit with massive overages but I didn't know. Well I didn't know until a bring your daughter to work day. Kaela was working at home with Mary. Mary was in charge of billing - kind of my CFO for Eric Frenchman LLC. Mary took a look at my AT&T bill and saw a bill of at least $1000 so she sent a young Kaela marching into my office with the bill. She handed it to me and said "this looks a little high". I was confused, called AT&T and found out that the bill was correct and they graciously back dated my unlimited bucket plan, wiping out my overages. So my mobile phone is my only phone number - similar to how my dad used his phone back in the mid-2000s. Yes my dad was ahead of his time in using his mobile phone as his only phone.
So let's skip ahead to 2016. I have a mobile phone and my home phone. The kids have their own phones too. I also have a shore house and there isn't a home phone there because, well, people can call my mobile phone number and reach me anywhere I am. Nobody calls us on our home phone...Well nobody except the schools for school closing and telemarketers - a lot of telemarketers - that bad kinds of telemarketers - the scam artist, the IRS calls, calls that get through the do not call registry which of course I was on from Day 1. The cost of that phone with taxes and fees was about $70 per month. That's right I'm spending $70 per month for telemarketers and scam artists to call and leave me messages. Why would I do that?
So I called up my local phone company and put our home phone on vacation mode for about $14 per month and guess what the telemarketer calls have stopped. The only push back from the local company about keeping my number was for emergencies but the most major emergency we had recently was Sandy and guess what? My home phone didn't work because years ago they switched us to DSL. The home phone doesn't work without power.
Nostalgically, my few month experiment with keeping a phone line just in case is almost up and it's time to ditch my home phone. My dad ditched his home phone about 10 years ago and didn't need it. I no longer get bothered by telemarketers (for the time being) and I don't seem to need it for emergencies. Both kids are in high school so they don't have my home phone for closings and delays. I guess that means, why does anyone have a home phone number anymore? I don't need it. Not sure you do too...