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Lines Down

Cartoon Phone : Illustration of a yellow emoticon holding a mobile phone isolated on a white background Stock PhotoAnother bugbear that you will have to face is a thing called “Lines Down”.


“Lines Down” also known as "Ops Min" = "Operations Minimised" is when all of the phones and computers are disabled. The reason could be due to unrest with the civilians or with the enemy. If there are critical injuries or if the camp is having difficulties then this is put into operation too. They pull out all the stops for safety as no messages or news can be sent out. This may continue for several days until everything can be put back to normal. Security is paramount so that nothing at all is leaked accidentally.


If you get no contact then do not start running around like a Newsaholic.


It’s just not worth glueing yourself to the television or radio, anxiously waiting for some unpleasant news bulletin. Checking and rechecking is a waste of time. Your mind can go berserk wondering if something could have affected them.  Could they be in hospital with injuries? Is that why they haven’t called? Your head is buzzing with so many outlandish reasons for not hearing.


Looking at your phone to see if there is a missed message on it is quite a common occurrence. Could it have rung while you were in the loo or having a bath? You might search in your e-mails just in the vague hope that all of a sudden a message is now there for you. As a last resort you may phone a few relatives or friends to ask if they have heard anything. Whatever is the reason? You are getting desperate now. Out come the tissues again. Staring at the phone is useless.


Now amidst all of your erratic behaviour do take all those reasons into account although it could be a simple reason that the phones themselves are not working properly.


Rest assured that they will contact you as soon as possible once the restriction is over. They must hate it as much as you do. They must be so frustrated with no way to let you know they are fine and put your mind at ease. It can be really tough, especially if you are stressed. It’s the not knowing that stresses you out. This is another piece of the waiting game that you must come to terms with. After it has happened a few times then you will get more used to it.


It’s awful to think about, but do remember that, God forbid, anything awful has happened, you will hear about it before it’s in the media. Next of Kin are the first to know and until they do then its restricted information. This is where the saying "No news is good news" originates from. Take heart in that in some small way.