When starting a new endeavor, I like to go into it with a clear a mind as possible, Which means tying off loose ends of unfinished tasks. One of these is the sustainability of my neighborhood payphone (as written in a blog post on Oct. 31, 2020). It's not a growth industry, and I looked at options ranging from microgrants to forming an endowment consisting of telecom stocks. The solution came to me in the form of a different coin-operated machine: I could buy into an equity share in a local and established car vacuum business. The return on investment would support the phone operation. In fact, the vacuum business had started as a payphone operation, and according to records, he still maintains a couple of phones in his hometown.
The second loose end was the phone bill. For the past year, my neighborhood payphone was treated as a general business line instead of a payphone. My local service provider has 132,000 employees, and finding the responsible party was like finding a needle in a haystack. In the past decade, its coin-operated telephone division has moved long distances. Now it is no longer an office of its own, but a group email address. It was in Bloomington, Illinois; a part of the country where state governments have sought to maintain payphone service; then in Garden City, New York, a suburb of New York City, home to 1 out of 5 payphones in the USA. Finally, the "department" found a home in Silver Spring, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, DC, where federal telecommunication regulations are made. Once I found my point of contact, my service issues were resolved quickly.
Of course, I have other "want to do" and even a few "need to do items". But I do feel that the pressure has lightened.