This afternoon I spent 3.5 hours attempting to attach my phone to the wall. I wanted to do it when I moved in, but a kind person pointed out to me that I had the wrong type of jack plate. I needed one with things that stick out to hang the phone on. So, a trip to Radio Shack, get the plate, I’m ready. I unscrew the old plate, and over the next three hours learned the following:

  • The $60 that the phone company charges for doing these things is worth every penny.
  • There are 9 wires attached to the existing jack. This is a mystery as I only have a single phone line. They are in three different cables.
  • There are an additional 4 wires attached to nothing. I’m glad, I’m going to ignore these.
  • Radio Shack does sell wire cutters. But, contrary to logic, they are not next to the wire.
  • Don’t try to switch the wires from the old jack to the new one by moving all wires from one screw at a time. The problem: The part of the cable that is stripped is too short, and the last wires won’t make it to their new home. Thus, it is necessary to undo all previous work, carefully marking each wire, drawing a graphic in Visio to be sure to remember, strip the cables, and re-do the connections.
  • Matching the colors together works until you get to the blue wire. There’s only one blue wire, and no indication of where it should go.
  • The brown and orange wires can be ignored – they were going nowhere to begin with.
  • Screws are bad. They never go where you want them to. They also mis-thread.
  • Only the cruelest of people would make a phone jack plate with two different types of screw – one Phillips and one Flathead.
  • Home Depot sells Flathead screwdrivers. But, contrary to logic, they are not next to the Flathead screws.
  • If you ignore the vast majority if wires, the phone will not work.
  • Even though the guy from the phone company will giggle, shake his head, and then spend five minutes connecting wires in the correct places, it’s still worth the $60.
  • Once the phone is hanging happily on the wall, the Caller ID device will continue, defiantly, to sit on the counter top. It will be necessary to run a phone line from the phone to the caller ID and back, thus making the whole phone hanging procedure pretty pointless.

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