Over the weekend I opened my latest phone bill and it was a shock to my newly recessionised system. It seemed that during the last few months while I had made great efforts to cut back on spending I hadn’t managed to compromise on my talking. It had to be a mistake I thought as I leafed though many pages of numbers. Deep down though I knew it were true and that while trying to adopt more frugal habits I had somehow dialled myself further into debt. When I first switched from credit to bill phone in 2007 I was like a shopaholic with a new visa card. Not having to top up on credit meant I could chat away for hours without fear of time running out.
Until that first bill landed through the letterbox with a heavy thud. I tried to reason that at least I was good at keeping in touch but, as subsequent bills piled up I knew I was in trouble. I pleaded with the network for better deals despite their insistence I was already on the best plan for my usage.
I bought add-ons and text bundles, cheaper roaming and upped my free minutes and texts but I just couldn't contain my talking to the generous limit of the package. According to my family I was talking at six weeks old. Those who know me and my equally vociferous siblings will have witnessed the many random and pointless phone conversations that regularly take place between us. If a Hopkins wants to know something they have to know it now. With a laptop never far away, between us and our mobiles we always got the answers to our trivial questions, answers for a pub quiz, a name that was bugging you or directions in another county.
While caught in the rain in San Diego a few years back I decided I'd go to the cinema - I just needed to find one. Within minutes of expensively texting my brother back home he had replied with directions to the nearest cinema and a list of viewing times. Money wasters of equal measure, it was these kinds of texts that have landed us both with shamefully expensive bills. Short of my fingers falling off or texting myself into orbit, I gradually managed to get my communicating under control.
Now I'm more likely to leave my phone out of sight and on silent after a day of constant chatter in work. That is until something unexpected occurs, news that I’m bursting to tell everyone about - instantly. Something like losing my job due to recession, securing interviews, and finally being offered a new job resulted in instant calls to everyone who mattered.