Susan Dennis (susandennis) wrote,
Susan Dennis

Thank you, earthquake

I lived and worked in south San Jose when the Loma Prieta earthquake hit 25 years ago. I was the Communications manager for a 5,000 employee IBM software lab. The post disaster action plans laid out in the weeks that followed included my being asked to always carry one of the newfangled portable phones with me at all times.

My first reaction was NFW was I going to haul that monster around. And then I got to thinking... my deal was 'ok, but as long as I can make all the personal calls I want.' Management agreed and so I hauled this puppy everywhere. It was huge. And it's charger was even huger.

The reception, most often, sucked. I could rarely hear it ring. Calling out was a bit better and I loved loved loved calling my friends from weird places.

The people at work mostly forgot I had it and if they needed me after hours they would just leave a message on my answering machine (yep, it was the dark ages) at home.

About that same time, Motorola executives came to meet with my boss - the lab director - about a colaboration with some database software we developed. The head guy was nice and fun and over lunch, he pulled out his latest toy to show off. It was a 'pocket sized' mobile phone that flipped open. It was soooooo cool!!!

It wasn't for sale yet but I do remember understanding that it would be way more expensive that I could ever afford. I was sitting next to him and he let me play with it and make a call. And get my buddy to call me back so I could hear it ring. It's was just magic.

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