Day 302 | on the phone in Esperance: actually, just a bit too much phone for one day

Esperence Day 4

It’s now time to work out a way to start money flowing in instead of only out.

Recently it’s been only one way traffic: after all I’ve only had the 2 half days work at the Katherine show in the last 10 months.

First thing needed is a way for me to be contacted by prospective employers. That means the phone has to work and it’s been switched off since Adelaide back in March.

I finally switch it on: it doesn’t register any network and has reverted back to the old carrier Optus. There is no Optus signal here. I have been using the terribly expensive Telstra, (the old phone monopoly), prepaid system but it works out well if you don’t make calls.

To resolve this lack of connection I decided I might as well change to the new mobile number you get with each prepaid starter pack. This will also have the benefit of eliminating any rogue calls from my ex-partner or old clients which can only mean trouble. I suspect they wouldn’t be ringing because things are going well.

I haven’t had an easy relationship with my telcos over the years but at least I had managed to transfer the carrier from (the cheaper but only in the main towns) Optus to the more ubiquitous Telstra back in Melbourne before I left. That was no easy business, let me tell you, the wandering back and forth along Elizabeth Street resolving the paperwork between Optus and Telstra and finally getting that signed release form from my Optus account.

Today there were some hilarious situations in trying to get an “old” phone connected to the System. After all, the phone is probably all of 2 or 3 years old. Complicating matters the complete Telstra System was down for an upgrade. For all Australian new connections. Call back later. Eventually I connected and spent 3/4 hour standing out in the wind on the public phone pressing maybe 100 digits and waiting for a human voice but when I finally connected it was the wrong department unable to transfer me and it’s return to Go. It wasn’t much better in person because Espy, with only 15k people, doesn’t have a local Telstra outlet, you have to go to an agency.

I head over there, this will be resolved today.

No, I haven’t used my phone since March, (assistant completely dumbstruck), and I’ve never actually sent a text message on this phone, well, ever in fact, (assistant now with eyes glazing over and a look of like what species of dinosaur are you).

I’ve discovered that there are quite a number of special numbers associated with a phone: the old and new calling numbers are obvious, as is the security code to use the phone each session you turn it on. There’s also the almost understood “puk” number for when you get the security code number wrong a few times. I had a pin number issued with my new chip but the phone worked without using it for some reason. What I needed was some other “registration code” that no one had ever heard of here. And that required the use of some other 15 digit code buried deep within the phone. Neither of the phone shops could help me much.

Eventually, the long day of frustration nearly at an end, someone took the battery out to check something and suddenly, without anyone knowing why, the old phone was working with the new number.