Why I Miss The Rotary Phone
Just so you know what to look for: Laugh: Boo: Applause: Crickets:
I was going to publish a live reading of this post in stand-up comedy format, but after several attempts and still not liking the sound of my voice, I nixed the idea and traded my microphone in for a keyboard.
I hope it reads like stand-up comedy, I even added a few interactive buttons for you to play with as you read along. So, please, sit back and pretend I’m on stage. I hope you enjoy the show.
Please welcome to the stage, Valerie Morrison. Applause:
How many of you remember the rotary phone? When the phone was just a phone. I think one of the reasons I don’t like the phone is because it’s complicated.
If the phone was a test, I would get an operator, a zero. I liked the phone back when all it did was make and receive phone calls, but now it has evolved into a call center. It can do things.
I think the phone has too many features, take for example, call waiting. When I was growing up there was no such thing as call waiting. Back in the day, call waiting meant using a rotary phone and waiting for the dial to come back around so that I could dial the next number. There was no clicking over, and for what? To tell the other person that I was on the phone and would call them back.
Personally, I liked when there was security posted at the door better known as, a busy signal. If someone called me and they got a busy signal, they had to wait. Of course, there was that one person who could not and dialed the operator with an emergency and interrupted my call. There was no real emergency, but an impatient person who never grasped the true meaning of call waiting.
The other feature I consider a useless overkill is three-way calling. Does anyone even use three-way calling anymore? It seems so high school. In my childhood home, three-way calling meant there was one line and two phones. One in the kitchen and one in the living room.
When a call came in two people picked up the phone at the same time and talked to whoever was on the other end; or until someone yelled, “I got it, hang up.”
And there were no games with phones without features. No screening calls and no avoiding people like there is today. The only Caller ID we had was, hello, who is this?
Now phones come with 100 features and voice mail. The phone has options. Press 1 for new messages, press 2 for voice mail, press 3 to set up your mailbox.
If you don’t know, I suck at following directions, that’s why I never took aerobics class at the gym. My brain shuts down. I can’t process certain information quickly and I start to panic. It’s the same panic I feel when I’m inside an elevator and I see someone running toward the closing doors.
Even though the buttons are clearly marked, open and close, I never press the right one. I panic under pressure and usually end up yelling ‘sorry’ as the doors close shut. Once, I pressed every button, but open, and had to stop on floors, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10. When pressed for a decision made under a time constraint, I can’t cope and usually mess up.
Now a question for the audience. What is it about cordless phones that make people want to pace the floor? It’s like an exercise program with no jump rope. The cordless phone should come in a box with ankle weights.
Someone could be resting on the couch, but the minute that phone rings, and it’s for them, they start pacing the floor with the phone. I’ve watched people on the phone go from room to room – just walking – and I’m only getting bits and pieces of their conversation. It sounds like this: and she said…….never came home…the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. Nothing makes sense! Not that I’m listening.
I’m just saying, I liked the phone better when it was attached to a cord. I could walk two feet, aaaand that’s it! Anything past two feet and the phone was snatched back and smashed up against the wall.
The cordless phone is never where it’s supposed to be anyway. It used to be when the phone rang, you reported to the wall to answer it. Now when the phone rings, if it’s not on that handset, well try and find it. The cordless phone was made to get lost. It says so right there on the base, find handset.
So not only is the phone lost, but after you press the find handset button, you have to locate the beep. It’s the same disorientation I get when I play pin the tail on the donkey. I don’t like it because it sucks.
I know this is a little long, so I’m going to wrap it up, but before I go I have to share a phone story.
A few weeks ago my computer at work was switched out and I was given another one, I guess you could call it an upgrade. Everything was basically the same, except one of the programs I use was not properly configured, the Message Manager.
The Message Manager handles voice mail message, it’s very simple. I launch the program, I click on the message, it rings my phone and it plays my message. I like it because it does not talk to me nor does it ask me any questions.
So my message light is red, indicating that I have a message. I launched the program, but it’s missing an IP address and can’t access the server. Basically that means for two days I did not check my voice mail. There is a way of retrieving voice mail messages using the phone, I’ve heard people do this, I’m just not smart enough to do it.
Eventually, I got tired of looking at my message light and I dialed a co-worker who is used to my nonsense and whispered:
“I don’t know how to retrieve my voice mail messages, from the phone.”
“Val, what are you talking about? You press the little envelope that says messages.”
“There’s an envelope? Oh, right there. There’s 300 buttons on this phone, but I see it now.” So I pressed the envelope and this woman started talking. She greeted me with a welcome message and told me to enter my extension and the pound sign. I entered my extension, 2177 and #.
Next she told me to enter my password. My password is my extension backward. This seems simple enough, but to an instructionally-challenged dyslexic, it’s numerical musical chairs and I needed a minute to think about what she was asking me to do.
After several attempts, maybe I was nervous or stupid, I could not type 7712 and the woman on the phone kept telling me that I had the wrong passcode and to please try again. After three tries I decided I didn’t like her tone and hung up on her.
I know I’m not phone literate, but darn it if I don’t know how to work a computer, so I sent an email to the HELP department. Unlike most people, I can’t send a normal email asking for help, I have to write a little ditty explaining my situation. My last email message to Help read this way:
Thank you for the new computer, I hope my old one is not being used as evidence against me. I would like to retrieve my voice mail messages using the program on the computer, and not the phone, mainly because the woman on the phone talks too much, I can’t follow directions, but I’m down with clicking. Thank you.
That’s my time for the evening. Good night.
Laugh: Boo: Applause: Crickets:
In: Brain Damage, Computers, Disabilities, Humor, Technology, WTH · Tagged with: Comedy, Phone