18 March 2009

Phone rage

God I hate phones.

I can tolerate my own one a little bit, because it’s not really a phone, it’s a little computer that I can talk to people on if I want to, search the interweb, take photo's to upload to Twitter, or find my way to the nearest pub in a strange town– but God forbid you should want to talk to me, because I probably won’t answer it.

Just to be on the safe side, I prefer to leave it on silent in case it goes off during a meeting at work. And just to be doubly safe, I leave it on silent on the way home, as I probably wouldn’t hear it with my head phones in.

I might turn it on during the evening – but what if someone dialled a wrong number overnight and woke me up because I forgot to silence it again? I had a call last night at 1am from ‘Jonny’ looking for ‘Eddie’ about a job. Fortunately the ringer was off, so I slept through it.

No, best to just leave it on silent all the time.

I wonder if Jonny found Eddie? Any ‘job’ that needs doing at 1 in the morning is probably highly suspect. I don’t know if Jonny sounded like an East End gangster, as I didn’t listen to the message, I read it, thanks to a nifty but of software called Spinvox, that takes your voicemail, and turns it into a text message. Not just another handy method of call evasion – it’s far easier in a meeting to check your voicemail if you can read it under the desk rather than quite obviously holding your phone to your ear. That’s my excuse anyway.

It actually works very well. The punctuation and grammar are generally correct, and you’d suspect it was just some guy in a call centre somewhere manually typing it out if it wasn’t for the odd wildly inappropriate guess at words. ‘Myleene from Autoglass’ turned into ‘my Informotor Glass’, but other than that, job done.

Call me old fashioned, but I liked the good old days where if I was down the pub, you’d have to wait for me to get home to speak to me, and I can control that. What I can’t control is other people using their phones to crowbar into a conversation that you were already having.

How many times have you been speaking to someone, only for their phone to go off, and suddenly you’re the second class citizen?

Yeah don’t mind me, I only dragged myself out of the house to see you, bought you a pint, and was halfway through an amusing anecdote, and now some fuckwit’s pushed me out the way, and you’re going to let them? Cheers.

If they’re the sort of person that will drop anything for a phone call, ring them while they’re still talking to the other person. They’ll probably apologise to them, saying there’s another call coming through (which is more than you got), and when they answer you, just call them an ignorant cock and hang up.

And if it’s not the phone of the person your with, it’s every other fucker in the pub. Why do some people find the need to have some shite polyphonic imitation of some risible Garage/Soul/ R&B bollocks that they insist on listening to all the way through before answering so everyone can see how cool they are?

You are not cool.

You are a cunt.

Please fuck off.

And the phone that I hate the most in the whole world? It’s the one that sits on my desk at work.

If I sat in an office on my own I would happily ignore it to my hearts content, but because other people can see me, every once in a while I feel obliged to pick it up. It's not because I'm lazy, but for a multitude of other very valid reasons.

Firstly, the whole rudeness thing. I have email. People email me in an orderly fashion. Lots of people. I can look through them, prioritise them, and make sure that every thing that is still what I consider low priority gets dealt with in a reasonable time scale. Stop trying to butt in.

I've got an answerphone. Leave me a message, and if I think it's so important that I have to drop what I'm currently doing, I'll ring you straight back.

Hell, if I recognise your voice and I like you, I might even pick the phone up. But do not expect to jump the queue just because you managed to mash 5 keys on a phone, rather than several on a keyboard.

Secondly, how can I prove how busy I am if I have no proof of what I'm being asked to do? Mail me, and I can log it. I'm certainly not going to write down every phone call I get, and even if I make notes, I probably won't be able to read them, or they'll end up buried under more notes from the next call.

And most important, and most likely – I have no idea who you are. There is no caller ID, no screening, and there's a very strong possibility that you just might be as thick as shit. I can spend 20 minutes explaining to someone how to type their name into an application, and still they don't get it.

I have spent the same amount of time trying to explain how to open Task Manager to someone who swore there was no ctrl key on the bottom left of their keyboard. Apparently all it said there was Start. That'll be your monitor then love. Keyboards the thing with the keys on it.

When your password no longer works, I haven't changed it you numpty. I have better things to do than deliberately generate calls from fuckwits who cannot remember their own name.

And no, you can't log in with your NI number as a password, because that's not what I asked you to do. Read the fucking email properly before you ring me.

And yes, If I sound like I'm being patronising when I speak to you, it's because I still have the 4 previous emails I've sent you when you've forgotten your password. If you go through life with the apparent IQ of a brain damaged donkey, then I will speak to you as such.

So please don't phone me. I won't answer it. Email me so I can pull stupid faces at the monitor to express through the power of performance art just how stupid I think you are.

Unless it's you dear reader. I'll always pick up for you.

That is as long as you haven't forgotten your password.

Then you can fuck off.

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