…..before there were cell phones, and voice mail and laptops there were true sales people. Road warriors. People that could drive a stick, eat pizza, drink coffee and write a note on that obnoxious suction cup thing that held a pad a paper.
I am reminded of these ‘good old days’ as I travel back and forth to White Plains once a week. This morning at the rest stop seeing a row of payphones brought back a particular memory from my old travel days.
I used to go to Buffalo once a month. I would jump on the US Air little turbo prop at 6am and come back at 5pm. Easy. Even in the snow, Buffalo airport was perfect. This one particular day I was waiting for a payphone, yes the payphone. I had a 97 digit pin (exaggeration) that I had to punch in when using a payphone each and every time I dialed a number. This one day I was tired and my plane was delayed and I am waiting patiently for an open payphone. I am the only woman there. I finally get an open phone and I reach into my purse to get a pen. It’s stuck and when I pull on the pen, a tampon flies out of my purse and hits the opposite wall and just falls there…..really. You could have heard a pin drop and as the only woman standing there, it was obvious it was me. Ugh.
We also had a ‘deaf receptionist’ at Mead Data Central/LexisNexis. Lauren’s hearing was not great and she didn’t always here the phone ringing….really, as a receptionist? So they installed a light that would flash to tell her the phone was ringing. I would sit on a pay phone and whisper in the phone, “see the light Lauren,turn around and see the light and pick up the phone”. OK question: if she cannot hear the phone ringing, how does she actually hear the person on the phone and take a message? Hmmm.
I traveled for many years and have many great stories that I will share but today, I was at that rest stop and remembered that afternoon in the Buffalo airport. I was fortunate to have the experiences I did. I sat in the front seat of a turbo prop with a headset and listened to the pilots from Albany to Boston; I made the flight announcements on a flight from Laguardia to O’Hare and a very handsome gentleman ‘invited me to First Class’ one late night from Chicago to Newburgh.
I still cannot drive a stick without running every red light and stop sign in avoidance of having to come to a complete stop and risk rolling back. I do still carry a rosary in my purse for comfort and safety in travel and I now thank God for the tools that make my life easier GPS, cell phone and an iPod for my Zumba tunes. Life is good.