LIFE IN THE PERSHING EXCHANGE
I remember talking to my paternal grandmother when she lived on such a tight budget that she counted the nickel phone call a luxury. She made a list of things she wanted to talk to us about. The children would line up to have their turn to talk to her. She was very business like in her phone conversations.
Having experienced this approach to phone conversation it is strange to see people go down the grocery store aisles chatting with a cell phone to their ears. I know someone is probably reading them the grocery list that they left at home. At some point we will surely be all talked out, as we continuously extend our conversations all hours of the day and night.
My brother developed a different approach to Sunday conversations. He calls us all when he has to return a call because he has to pay a certain rate for the first phone call and every additional one after that is free. We get to catch up with him on holidays and odd intervals as he uses his phone plan to his best advantage.
The old days of the Pershing exchange our phone number started with PE and then the rest of the phone number. We have become a nation of so many phone conversationalists that our numbers are now ten digits long. We have so much more to say than we used to. I think we provide better support to each other than we did back then. Then if you had trouble you just had to deal with it, now you can call upon a bigger support system to help you. I think we live in a better world today. Those were not the good old days. As my grandmother would say, “time’s up.”