Ma Bell’s Shirtsleeves

Does anyone answer their phone anymore? I rarely do. That’s because nearly every call is a hustle.

Am I to think the call from West Allis, Wisconsin is from someone I know? What about the one from Hammond, Louisiana? The most amusing one in my recent call log came from Clever, Missouri. As if.

It wasn’t always this way. Not too long ago an incoming phone call had a good chance of involving commerce. Especially the ones that I could see from legit landline exchanges.

My mobile phone number was once my studio line so it has a downtown St. Louis prefix of 621. Today when I saw a call coming in from 314-621-xxxx I had a feeling it was legit. Like a fish that took the bait, I was hooked.

I can abide most indignities but getting played for a sucker really hurts.

What was once the world’s greatest technology is joke today.

The current geniuses that run phone companies are great at offloading the family jewels to fund purchases of shiny things. With no shortage of insane ideas, they spend dollars to earn nickels.

Just yesterday I read about how AT&T is likely to lose more than 35 billion dollars on a non-telecom asset that they bought in 2015.

Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in a few generations is a proverbial saying about how quickly hard-earned wealth can be squandered by those that inherit it.

It even happened to Ma Bell.

About the author: I am Stephen Kennedy, an experienced photographer with more than 2500 completed sessions in all 50 US states.