Back when I was working for Bob Powell @ B**** Security, we had the latest technology.
I was an assistant guard supervisor. My job was to patrol the guard posts and make certain our security guards were both present and awake.
This didn’t always happen. Sometimes, they’d call in sick. Sometimes, they wouldn’t call in – just not show up.
As such, my job was to try to connect with the guard, determine why he wasn’t at work, and get another
minimum wage sucker warm body guard to come in to cover the shift. By telephone. This was before cellular phones existed.
And, because we had contracts we needed to fulfill, I got to race to the guard post and fill-in for the missing guard, until a replacement could be found. I worked many seven days-in-a-row, many of my days off. Many lonely guard posts, located at
BFE the middle of no-where. With no telephone.
I carried the latest in communications technology. A beeper. Not just a beeper, but a voice pager! This meant Bob or the office could call me and speak a message to me.
drones answering service would often call. They had a standard message, “Call the Office! Call the Office!” What was the point? Why not just a beep?
And sometimes, just like the cell phones of today, you wouldn’t hear the message. Just static.
Regardless, you had to find a pay telephone and call in.
Bob liked to play jokes. One of his favorite movies was Close Encounters of The Third Kind.
I was filling in at a construction site West of Buckeye (30 mi. W. of Phoenix). Freezing to death in the desert.
Even in the car with the heat on, long underwear and heavy jacket, I was shivering. It was in the 20’s.
And my beeper/voice pager goes off. “Beep – SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH”. Nothing but static.
This, of course meant I had to go to the nearest pay telephone, about a mile South of the site, and call the office. It might be important. At least actually driving made the engine warmer, and the car’s heat worked a little better.
I arrived at the phone booth (that foreign-looking contraption pictured above), and called the office. Finally Bob is on the end of the line.
He says, “Did you get my message?” chuckling. I say, “No, static, what’s up?”
And he tells me how he qued up the (in)famous Five Tones used to communicate with the aliens in Close Encounters, and played them into the voice pager for me! John Williams ‘Close Encounters’ 5 Tones
At least I was warmer during the ride to and from the site.