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I am back on the mainland and blogging from Seattle with South Austin in the rearview mirror. Don't worry Virgin Island fans, I will most certainly be back in the Caribbean for visits if not full-time. And I'm sure St. Thomas will creep it's way into many future posts. For now, it's all about living in the Pacific Northwest!

August 14, 2010

Cell Phone Protocol

I was disconnected in the middle of a cell phone conversation yesterday. Well, whether or not it was the middle of the conversation, I will never know because the dynamic of the conversation was forever changed. After two call-back attempts which both resulted in voicemail messages and a third which ended with a busy signal, I no longer remembered why I had called my friend in the first place. As much as the cell phone providers would like to say that they have "fewer dropped calls" and better coverage areas than the others, it doesn't seem to matter when whoever is the best of the best still falls short of a very low set bar.

A search on the Internet for cell phone protocol/etiquette turned up a lot of chatter about all the ways you can avoid being rude while using your cell phone. These were all things we notice every day and are even guilty of ourselves at times: Don't forget to turn your cell phone off at the movies, don't talk while in line at the grocery store, and don't answer your phone while having dinner with a group of friends and proceed to talk for a half hour while they try to be quiet so as not to disturb your "important" call. Because, it must be important for you to answer at such a time.

Besides the rude factor, there is a lot of information about actual protocols for cellular service explaining in mind-numbing detail how cell phones work. But nowhere did I find standard procedures including roles and responsibilities related to lost calls. So I take it upon myself to lay some ground rules. If we all follow these two simple rules, we can save ourselves a lot of frustration. It shouldn't be hard to remember two rules. Here we go.

#1     When a call is terminated unexpectedly, the calling party is responsible for the call back. If you         were the one called, sit tight... you have no responsibility here.
#2     The calling party reserves the right to determine that the conversation was finished and NOT call back. If this happens, do not try to call them. Your conversation is deemed complete and you must wait a a period of at least two hours before attempting a new conversation with this person again.

I would add one additional rule for those of you in the VI, and that is this:
If a call is dropped at any time, it is assumed by both parties that future communication will be done via text only.

Simple right? Go forth and fear the dropped call no longer.

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