But we need one for those realtor appointments... So, I spent a good amount of time figuring out how to actually USE my bare bones cell phone. In 3 years I've only used about 300 minutes on it (and that's mostly from when we use it out of town), which gives you an idea of how ignorant I am. After becoming an expert I realized that Tracfone does not have a call forwarding feature. We used my cell phone as the contact number so I would get notice of appointments wherever I was. Seems reasonable, right? Wouldn't want to come home and find out a realtor was coming in 5 minutes. So what's the problem??
When someone leaves a message, unlike an answering machine, you can't hear it. Over shabbat we don't use the telephone. If a message was left, but we didn't hear it, someone could show up on our doorstep without us realizing they had made an appointment. So instead we added call forwarding to our home phone, so that we could change that to the main contact number and I could forward calls to my cell phone whenever we left the house. It cost almost the same to add voicemail, which we did, which is a bit of a waste but our answering machine is not sounding so good anyway... But of course, when a message goes to voicemail you don't hear it either. I'm going in circles.
So, I just figured out that I can record the Friday/Saturday message to realtors explaining that we have limited hours available then, leave the answering machine on during shabbat, then turn it off afterwards. I won't have to change the message every Friday to explain the shabbat rigamarole. I can't believe how many hours I've spent on TELEPHONES. OY. I was wishing we could plug in the corded phone, dump it all, and have people talk to us when we're home, which is often. But people - especially realtors and their clients - expect instantaneous contact availability. And of course I would hate to miss an appointment with someone that could be THE person who buys our house. On the other hand, if all of this instantaneous communication weren't available, then it wouldn't matter at all. On the other hand, I do like having my $9/month cell phone for those occasions when it avoids great inconvenience. Oy. I need shabbat! Baruch hashem, it's only hours away. I have no idea what I'm cooking, but there's plenty of time... unless a realtor calls! :) Shabbat shalom!