Sunday, March 31, 2013
Phone Fun. (GBE 2 98)
I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with the telephone. Is it useful? Of course it is. But as I have gotten older it is more of an annoyance. It never fails that I will sit down to eat supper when… “RINNNGG”. ( Mine actually makes a weird electronic noise, but I digress.) I always respond: “Now what?” and then go pick up the handset and look at the Caller ID. Do I know the number? No? Talk to voice mail. And most of the time the machine at the other end will recognize its brethren and promptly hang up. I’ll then be like Grumpy Cat and go “Good.”
I wasn’t always like this. When I was a kid, the phone was a source of fun. When my family moved to Orlando in the late 1960’s, our phone number was a transposition of a local restaurant. Family dinner was interrupted more than once by diners wanting to make reservations. My brother and I were always happy to oblige, my mother usually being too drunk to notice. It took the owner a little while to figure out and he offered to pay for our number to be changed. But we moved back to Atlanta before that happened.
Later, I had a phone number that was shared by an Asbestos Removal company in Miami. I had an answering machine in those days and I would get calls from Schools and Government offices asking if I wanted to bid on projects. I don’t do construction, and especially don’t do construction in South Florida in the middle of summer. So, I had that number changed.
The best number of all was my work number when I was a Payroll Supervisor for a large government agency. It was one digit off of: 3 other government offices, the local HIV clinic, and the Middle School I attended in Orlando. How’s that for the past catching up with you? But I really didn’t mind these calls. It was a nice break from the angry employees calling about their paychecks. I would just route them to their correct places and go back to my coffee.
I think that is what is missing. There is no fun in a misplaced call anymore. But I think I may have come up with a solution. A phone app that will automatically route the miscreant call to a number where “It’s A Small World After All” is played on a closed loop. And to make it better, make a number that will not disconnect. So when the snarky bill collector calls, all he can do is put on his ears and join in.
It’ll be great.