Penny Rich, Pound Foolish

I’m a bit of an old-fashioned Luddite.  I have a land-line.  Not only do I have it, I use it and I LOVE it.  Nothing beats the sound quality on a land-line. I hate cell to cell calls.  I can’t hear a damned thing, and I don’t think it’s just because I’m going deaf. I also have cable television.  I hate digital cable, but I love the DVR.  You make it work.  As such we have a data line.  I have big hands, so it took forever and a day for me to learn to type on a laptop.  Now, I make it work.  My phone has texting capabilities.  I generally don’t bother. My hands are too big, the screen to little, the keyboard made for Lilliputians.  On top of all that, I’m cheap.  As such I don’t own an iPhone.

Now I get that there’s probably an app for bringing me kicking and screaming into the 21st century.  I bow down to the sexy design of the iToy.  I get WHY everyone has a hard-on for this technology. I mean watching the screen reorient upon being turned from portrait to landscape demonstrates some incredibly sophisticated engineering.  That said, out of my price range.

One teacher I worked with this week went on about how if I didn’t learn this I would be “left behind” by technology.  It’s like technology is my bus and I’m missing it.  I think not.  I have feet, I can walk, and quite frankly, there’s more than one solution to most problems (BP needs to consider that, but I digress). She discussed how you can use the iPhone in the classroom and hook it up to the projector, etc. etc.  I pointed out that the district neither pays for nor supports the technology.  She stared at me.

Then I brought up what I feel is the most salient point.  With laptops provided, relatively cheap cell plans, and other technology, why pay for the phone/plan.  She looked at me like I was stupid.  I then pointed out that I wished to retire one day.  That, to her, was absurd.  What did one have to do with the other?  Well, last I checked the “everything” plan on AT&T for an iPhone was something like $130 a month.  FOR A PHONE!  OK, my bad, A SMART PHONE (pacifier/baby bottle). That’s something like $1600 a year (minimum two-year agreement), so really $3200 for the contract.

Seriously, how many people would be willing to pay $3200 for two years of house phone service?  I reckon our PacBell is $40 a month for unlimited calls.  I use long-distance a lot so this works for me.  Sure, that’s $960 for two years, but it’s still $2,000 less than the other phone service. In terms of money, if there are cheaper options, why not use them?

Especially in today’s climate of fiscal instability, investing the $1000 per year for your phone would benefit you in the long run.  I’m sure playing Sudoku anywhere you please is great fun, but wouldn’t retirement be better? Is today’s readily available entertainment really more important than your future?

Think about it.


2 thoughts on “Penny Rich, Pound Foolish

  1. […] Hey, Suzanne: I agree with you, for the most part, on the lack of need for subscription-based gadgets. Alas, it turns out I do require certain capabilities for my work. I’ve held out for as long […]

  2. Suzanne says:

    Dear INRIS:

    I understand needing a smart phone for one’s job. I also understand that this cost can be deducted, gets an “allowance”, or is a non-issue due to the fact that the general pay is so damned good what does it matter. However, teaching doesn’t REQUIRE a smart phone, teachers don’t get a phone allowance, and the pay is $75K a year IF you’re lucky. Teaching DOES require a person who manages to make students forget that their iToy is in their backpack.

    I don’t actually CARE about whether ANYone has an iToy or the cost involved (as I point out, it’s the cost that keeps me from indulging). However, since many teachers complain LOUDLY and often about how little they are paid, along with concerns about medical and retirement, I felt this was a needed “lesson”. They are embracing being “the cool kids” without the cool kid income to back it up.

    I just think, for this profession, is having the toy worth NOT having so many other things? Then again, we try to live without debt so we’re probably the idiots. LOL.

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