Missing: Pager

Hands holding pager.

This weekend while riding, a terrible event happened. I lost my pager. Yes, that’s right, I said pager. You probably thought those things no longer existed thanks to the advent of the cell phone. You’re not alone. First of all, I should back up. I do not wear a uber-cool pager 24/7. I only wear it evenings and weekends while I’m on-call at the local hospital. I know what you’re thinking- hasn’t medicine advanced far enough to eliminate the need for pagers? Won’t cell phones suffice? – I agree completely and can’t believe I have to wear the thing.

Wearing a pager is almost like having a puppy- everyone oohs and ahhs and marvels over its small size and uniqueness. Using the pager in public is just shy of entertaining. Either folks have never seen one before or the nostalgia brings them back to their big-hair high school days. I actually get a lot of questions and attention while wearing it; comments like “oh my god, is that a pager?! I haven’t seen one of those in years!” or as my brother-in-law likes to joke “I thought only the thuggish-ruggish drug dealers used those.”

However, while the pager might be awe-inspiring, the exclusivity has other disadvantages. For instance, my sister, with her college education and impressive IQ can’t even figure out how to use one. She had to call me, the little sister, when she was going into labor and therefore needed to page her doctor. The conversation that ensued went something like this, “Pam, I have a random question for you. My water just broke and I’m trying to page my doctor but it’s been so long since I needed to use a pager that I’ve forgotten how to do it.” After my hysterics were over and I explained how to use the pager I came to the conslusion that pagers should be eliminated and we should really think about transferring over to cell phones (there’s a novel idea!). Another drawback to pagers? Because pagers are hard to come by they are consequently unbelievably expensive to replace. So when I lost it this weekend while biking I was a bit upset (mind you, not distraught, just upset) but I was too tired to retrace my steps over 35 miles and find it.

I have a friend, Leah, who loses her pager quite often. But unlike Leah’s, my pager did not reappear on the alternate side of my waist while I wasn’t looking. No, it’s out there somewhere in farm-country Ohio. So I ask all of you who might be out and about in the fields these upcoming weeks to keep an eye out for my pager. It’s 1”x2”, black, and gives off a vibration or beep every now and then. And while you’re bound to be flabbergasted when you come across the pager, please don’t be tempted to turn it into the local historical society or ship it off to the Smithsonian. I need that back and I don’t have an extra one-hundred bucks to spend on an archaic piece of technology.