It is perhaps the single telling factor of a generational divide; if you own a landline, it is likely you are not a millennial. Or from the generation just before, or even the one before that. You are probably from the generation sometime within the timeframe of “just after” the Korean War and around the end of the Vietnam War. It is the remembrance of unreliable “bag” phones and cellular connections that barely became audible; but more than that, it is the evidence of who one is based upon the generational divide that naturally occurs between sets of population growths.
Can there be similarity of morals, ethics and behavioral patterns merely because one is born into a designated generation, as opposed to other such assignations of identifiable features? Is it really true that one generation has a characteristic trait that is identifiable, recognizable and with imprints that define it with clarity of traits? Are there “lazy” generations, “psychotic” ones and those that are mere sheep in a fold of followers? Does owning a landline betray such a characteristic, anymore than being a hard worker, a person who always attends to one’s responsibilities and never turns away from obligations ensconced in the conscience of one’s being?
Yet, at some point, we all become adults, make decisions separate and apart from a “generational identifier”, and go on to become responsible for the pathways taken, the decisions undertaken and the consequences wrought. Can it be so difficult to abandon a landline, to cancel it, to unplug it? Or is it the imprint of a generation, so steeped in regularity and reliance that the youthful days of one’s generation cannot ever be completely severed and forgotten?
Owning a landline is like the Federal or Postal employee who comes from a generation where filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits is almost unthinkable. It is that characteristic trait that you have to continue working, striving, contributing and making it into work “no matter what”.
Yet, the silliness of such a thought process is about the same as paying for a landline despite the fact that you no longer use it, never rings and sits in a corner silently except for the occasional caller who happened to ring up the wrong number and got a hold of another occasional individual who, upon picking up the receiver, realizes that it feels somewhat strange not to be using one’s cellphone as opposed to this “thing” that you have to put back into the cradle of a time long forgotten.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal worker from performing one or more of the essential elements of one’s Federal or Postal job, the point always is not to allow for some silly notion of a generational identifier to keep the Federal or Postal employee from doing that which must be done for the sake of a higher calling: One’s Health.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire