Sunday, June 12, 2005

On phones

The local Police responded to several 911 calls made from our phone in the last months. Our phone was made by idiots who are also jerks. The "push-button" dialing is confusing for our phone. I wouldn't make a fuss about it, except other people's phones seem to approach this "push-button" dialing so straight-forwardly. On our phone, you can push a button, any button, and it might work; and that is the best feeling in the world. On the other hand, you can push a button and it either doesn't respond, like some lifeless sea urchin, or it does respond multiple times, with eagerness. So, if for example, I want to dial the number: 914-555-4432, I might get a range of results, such as these:

914-555-5--sorry, now it's wrong. No backspace? Sorry, that is too confusing.
914-4--sorry, now it's wrong
9 (no response) 9 (no response) 9 (no response) 9 (no response) 99--sorry, now it's wrong.
914-555-4433--this is the most frustrating. Notice: I am ONE digit away from a successful call. All that work for nothing.

And of course:
911--sorry, it's wrong, and it's the emergency number. The police will be visiting momentarily.

I live in area code 914, this means that I don't even need to use this pre-fix. Technically, this means that my calling 911 was careless in addition to ill-founded. Imagine how many times I would have dialed 911 if I lived in a different area-code but frequently called the 914 area code!

We have been discussing the need to get a new phone for maybe 10 months. I hope that, someday, we will.

Which is more stupid: a stupid phone, or the stupid people who keep using it?


  1. Gabrielle12:22 PM

    Yeah, we should get a new phone and I know why we haven't. Shopping for this kind of item is so painful for me. There are so many questions: Where should I go? Which phone should I choose? Does it include all the pertinent functions?

    Guess what percentage of my time I like to save for researching electronics?


    So why don't I use Consumer Reports? Well, guess what percentage of my time I like to save for reading Consumer Reports?


    So I end up buying most of our electronics at Costco. I like to assume their buyers have done the appropriate research and narrowed my choices down to one or two good phones. This works for me most of the time. I guess the real problem I'm having replacing this phone, is that I bought it at Costco. And clearly, they have lost my phone trust.

    Where can I turn now?

  2. A story about the phone in my old office made the Tonight Show. Someone was working very late at night. He went down to the bathroom (in the basement of a pioneer-era house). Right when he sat down in the bathroom to take care of business, the phone rang. He got up to answer it, and it stopped ringing. Odd. He again went about his business. Right when he sat down, the phone started ringing. He got up; it stopped. This happened about 10 times, and he got freaked out by the exact timing of the phone calls.

    After an investigation, it turned out that the phone line was close enough to the toilet that the weight of him sitting on the toilet caused the line to fire and the phone to ring.

    We use this story in promotional literature for the firm. To save space, though, we say that the firm has "received positive national media coverage for involvement in unique telecommunications/privacy issues."

    By the way, on your candy blogging, Almond Joy??? To each his own, but yuck. Call me old school, but it simply doesn't get any better than Baby Ruth.

  3. Gabrielle,
    You could have used the time you spent blogging to check them out. Frankly I do not know that phones have really made leaps and bounds in the past three decades. I guess that is what is so depressing about Ben's post. Here are some suggestions:

    Where should you go?
    Try Radio Shack

    Which phone should I choose?
    You should probably go cordless. That is one of the technological developments in the past three decades. Other than that it's really not a huge expense. Do not spend more than $50.

    Does it include all the pertinent functions?
    Um, for starters make sure the numbers work. I think that will solve most of your current problems. Flash and redial are great! The only other thing might be to have caller id, not necessary, but good if you get it.

    That's about it. I hope this saved you some time!

  4. Gabby: It sounds like we should get a cordless phone from Radio-shack.

    Steve: Love the story. I first thought it would be a good movie scene, but I don't know if you could ever make it believable. That means it is a great story.

    Salem: Dude: We have a cordless phone. The buttons did work when we first got it. It has flash, redial, caller ID etc. You don't get phones at Radio Shack. Radio Shack is where you get adapters to make a speaker jack expand to three speaker jacks and such. We are stupid idiots, but we're not dumb.

  5. Ben: Are you certain this is the reason so many 911 calls are being made from your place?

  6. Ben, it seems that you must not have gone to Radio Shack(Shaq) lately. Radio Shaq is THE place to get phones. It's the NEW Radio Shaq!

  7. I have this recurring dream that I'm in some sort of stressful situation frantically trying to dial a long number but keep messing it up and having to start all over. I'll dial 9 numbers and then get the 10th wrong and have to start over. It really is a disturbing dream, but luckily I haven't had it in awhile. I'm never using your phone.