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Cell Phone Madness

Do you become cell-phone obsessed toward the end of the billing cycle? Should you?

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This story appears in the December 2000 issue of HomeOfficeMag.com.

I was talking with Scott Blum-founder and former CEO of buy.com and a real New Economy heavyweight-when snap, crackle, POP, my phone connection snapped and we were disconnected. "What happened?" he asked when I managed to reconnect with him. "It's raining up here," I mumbled, and mercifully, he didn't pursue the point: Since when does a sprinkle blow out a phone line?

The truth was simpler but harder to say: It was nearing the end of my cell phone billing cycle, and with 200-plus minutes left in my account, I was making every phone call on my cell phone, trying to chew up those minutes because, hey, I'm paying for them and it's plain crazy to waste them. Right? Or is it crazier to make calls to heavy hitters like Blum when I miss 20 percent of what he says because the connection is weaving in and out, and signals persistently "drop," which is cell phone speak for terminate? Face it: Cell phone connections are dramatically better than they used to be but they're still no match for a landline connection.

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