Thursday, July 24, 2008

Phones, Cellular and Land-line

This morning the phone rang, and I answered on my Panasonic that can be transported from room to room. This new phone is convenient when I am outside, but the range does not allow me to take it to Seagull Cottage, unfortunately. I proceeded into my office where I switched to our regular phone. The woman was asking why our number was not on the Web site.

"One reason is that I do not want people to call me," I replied in a very sure-of-myself voice.

"You don't?" she said, surprised.

"Would you want people calling when you were trying to fix breakfast for guests?" I ask. (The first call this morning was, indeed, while I was rushing to get everything on the table.)

The caller saw the wisdom in this argument but persisted: "I had to search online to find your number."

"Yes. People who really want to talk to me will find it if they persevere," I responded.

The discussion went on for a while. She was using a cell phone. I could tell because of the bad sound quality.

I had half a dozen similar calls today regarding availability. One person, charming and eager for a stay in September, made a reservation because we are a green bed & breakfast, but the others were all calling, probably on cell phones, for August.

"How's the weather in Wellfleet today?" one caller asked.

"It was beautiful earlier, but now it's overcast. My guests say there's fog at the ocean ..."

I do not mind answering questions over the phone, although I do prefer when reservations arrive over the Internet, a fact which is posted on the Web site. Often callers are wasting my time because they have not researched our bed & breakfast.

The final call went something like this:

"Do you have any rooms available this weekend?”

“I’m sorry but we do not have availability until August.”

“What are your rates?”

“$170 for the main house, and $200 for Seagull Cottage.”

“Oh! You have cottages?”

"One cottage. Seagull Cottage. It is very popular because it is a cut above everything else.”

“Is one of your cottages available in August?

“We have only one cottage. It is booked through mid-September.”

The lady hung up on me. I think she was using a land line.

The majority of folks who call use cell phones. This is unfortunate. Cell phone use, except in emergency, is not a good idea. Today there was an article on the CNN Web site, which I hope you all will read, about the warning issued by the head of a cancer research institution to his staff on cell phone use and its possible link to cancer. There have been reports abroad that cell phone use can cause brain tumors but the cell phone lobby here, very powerful indeed, usually manages to suppress their release. At last someone is speaking out! How wonderful!