You're Very Important ... Sorta
I hate to sound like an old fart, but since I’m headed more toward than away from that direction, I might as well practice. This sound-off stems from a phone call I received from my sister who lives in the city. It was about a week ago and since we don’t talk too frequently nowadays, I was happy to have this chance to catch up.
I don’t care for the telephone anymore. It almost seems intrusive. My cell phone, on the other hand, is a most welcomed device, always coming in handy while I’m on the road. I don’t use it for social visits because no matter how hard I’ve tried, I cannot seem to comprehend all the hidden charges, so I keep to my free calling and rarely, if ever, give out the number.
Before the days of my home computer, I was an avid telephone user on my days off from work. There always seemed to be someone I simply had to call - had to connect with for whatever reasons, and more often than not, much of my leisure time was spent with a receiver protruding from one ear or the other. Things are very different now as most of my connecting is done via keyboard. I like it better this way and feel less vulnerable to interruption.
Here is a brief sampling of the profound conversation that took place between my sister and myself last week:
She: “So what’s been going on there lately?”
Me: “Well, SJ’s doing well and making more money than I am, Ed’s doing fine and is enjoying his promotion…”
She: “SHIT. Wait a second. Call waiting.”
Me: (to thin air) “Oh. Okay”
Series of clicks …
She: “You there?”
Me: “Still here.”
She: “Good. I thought I lost you. That was the local clothing drive – they’re coming by next Tuesday and I … SHIT… hang on a second, this might be important.”
Me: (to thin air) “Yup”
Series of clicks …
Me: “That’s me.”
She: “So anyway, what’s new in your life?”
Me: “Well, not a whole lot, as I was saying, we’re all doing well and waiting patiently for springt …hello?” (upon hearing annoying click in my ear again)
She: “Dammit, let me see if this is the call I’m waiting for.”
Me: (saying nothing now, just tapping foot in seriously aggravated fashion)
Series of frigging clicks…
She: “Good, that was my call. Now, I’ll have to cut you off in about 10 minutes to run an errand, but I’m so glad we had this chance to talk.”
Me: “You’re joking, right?”
She: “Oh hell, I have another call … do you want hang on a minute?”
Me: (with eyes up to God) “No, I’ll call you next week.”
Me: “Hello? Helllllllo?”
I hung up and wondered what the hell that conversation was all about and returned to my computer where I could feel secure and cozy. I was SO glad I had heard from my sister.
Now, what slays me is this ~ we pay EXTRA for the call waiting. Why don’t they just call it by its proper name, “Annoying-Ass Call Intrusion?” Maybe then we’d think twice about having it installed at all!
I cannot recall the last time either myself, my fiancé, or my daughter was on the telephone, received a call waiting signal, and was at all happy about it. Seriously. Most often, I’ve witnessed people swearing at the confounded service and being pissed off at it for having the audacity to kick in. Come on, you’ve never heard anyone say “Damn” or “Tch” or “Crap” when they get that call waiting signal? We all do it!
Talking to someone then rushing off to call waiting sends out a pretty significant and clear message … “You’re important enough for me to talk to right now … kinda sorta.”
What ever happened to the world I used to live in when the busy signal was enough to prompt a second or third attempt? Is it really necessary to have to TELL people, “Oh, I’m on another call right now, call me in 20 minutes (or tomorrow, or never afuckinggain)?” Have people truly grown that stupid? The busy signal would upset them so much that they’d chalk you off their Christmas card list ~ or worse, out of their will?
I’m thinking if someone is going to go out and get a voodoo doll and stick pins in it for the sake of getting me back for issuing them a busy signal, they probably weren’t much of a pal in the first place. The old fashioned busy signal sends the message faster, easier and in a much less personal fashion. And if it’s really an emergency, the operator (remember them?) can interrupt. I know this. I used to be one.
Just think of all the telemarketers who would no longer have to take it personally because I’ve told them to eat shit and bark at the moon. What a beautiful world it would be.
I’ll have to talk to Ed about getting rid of call waiting. I’d call him now, while it’s fresh on my mind, but I’m afraid I’d get interrupted and become homicidal before the conversation was finished.