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The Daily Post — Going obsolete Telephone calls ruled by androids

“The phone is an instrument of intrusion into order. It is a threat to control. Just when you think you are alone and safe, the call could come that changes your life. Or someone else’s. It makes the same flat, mechanical noise for everyone and gives no clues what’s waiting there on the other end of the line.”
Janice Galloway, The Trick Is to Keep Breathing

 

The telephone in the living room rang on Tuesday morning at 9:02 a.m. I was in the kitchen sipping on my second cup of coffee and was nearby to intercept the call. I have caller Identification (ID) so I can tell at a glance who might be trying to contact me.

The illuminated face plate on the phone revealed the number and nothing  else. I was curious as to whom it might be. I picked up the receiver and awaited the sound of a human voice saying “hello” to me.

I answered and then heard that familiar clicking and whirring of an Automated Intelligence Activated machine click into service. There was a few second pause and then a robotic- like voice informed me that a very important message was going to follow. The tinny voice kindly requested that I stay on the line and then informed me matter-of-factly that “the waiting time for this call will be two minutes”.

After the exact amount of time the recording chimed in again to relay the same urgent nature of this message but now the waiting time was five minutes. At that precise moment I realized that this was not that urgent a message and not necessarily directed to me. But my curiosity tempted me to wait online for the requested interval.

At the end of that waiting period there was a loud click and a human voice bade me good day and asked me my age. The call was only relevant for people of a certain market sector.

I have experienced enough of these “fishing” expeditionary type calls to know that this was a sales scheme. I told him “I am 97 years old.” The person on the other end of the line hung up abruptly. I guess they can’t take a joke. Too bad.

There was a time in the history of the ever popular contraption known as the telephone when common sense, courtesy and privacy were the most important elements governing its ever increasing importance in the realm of interpersonal communication. 

When the telephone rang you knew outright that the call was important: a family member calling home to tell you that they would be arriving home late from work; a neighbor asking you for assistance; a chat line wherein two people could kick back and share a day’s gossip or local news update.

 The rotary phone and its offspring the push button unit still respected a person’s right to privacy and the calls a person received at his/her place of residence were governed by the laws of logic and not economics.
 
The new telephone morality is disrespectful of one’s privacy as well as time of day. The sacred can easily become the profane as unwanted and unsolicited telephone calls flood the communication lines.
 
I recently attended the wedding of a friend of the family. The church was filled with members of both the bride and groom’s family. The ceremony had reached that point wherein the minister asked that usually rhetorical question “does anyone here object to this man and this woman being joined in holy wedlock?”
 
A deafening silence ensued as everyone waited for the minister to continue the ceremony. Just before he spoke again the groom’s cell phone rang loudly and frantically in his tuxedo pocket. Embarrassed the young man scrambled to scramble the phone from his pocket and turn it off.
 
The minister, trying to lighten the mounting tension in the church, asked the question ” doesn’t that person know you have to be here to object?”
 
This humorous one liner brought a roar of laughter from the people in the pews. The groom was embarrassed. The bride furious. The caller disconnected.
 
I miss the days when human beings actually made their own phone calls. Texting and automated calling machines have done their share to lessen the communications process. The thought of actually chatting with another human being when you answer a ringing tone is now a gamble more than a fact.
 
 
 
About gc (570 Articles)
Quote of the week: “What is true is already so. Owning up to it doesn't make it worse. Not being open about it doesn't make it go away. And because it's true, it is what is there to be interacted with. Anything untrue isn't there to be lived. People can stand what is true, for they are already enduring it.” ― Eugene T. Gendlin, Focusing

9 Comments on The Daily Post — Going obsolete Telephone calls ruled by androids

  1. He didn’t silence his phone as he was about to get married?! Oh, Gerry…..! And by the way, I do love your sense of humor (I’m 97 years old)! That response was not in his script! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Lois. I should mention that I have been bugged by one airline whose marketing department gets overly exuberant as far as offering unique flight opportunities are concerned. For the past four months they did call my phone once every three weeks with that dreaded pre recorded message of a unique opportunity.

      I was desperate to have this stopped. So out of desperation I decided to let the people know who were calling me my age. I told a few of their reps that hey, I’m 97 years old. That got them to hang up the phone abruptly and then quit calling me altogether.

      You’d figure that an airline company that wants a customer’s return business would try not to alienate them. But some folks are just thick headed and can’t get the message. I did threaten on a number of occasions to personally sue the person calling me but that approach did NOT stop them. The 97-year-old ploy worked. Whew

      Enjoy the weekend. Happy July 4th!!

      Like

  2. Long gone are days of the whole family rushing to grab the phone when it rings. I can remember the pure joy we all had when the phone rang and all hoping it was a call for us personally.

    When ever I see the “unknown number” flashing on the dipaly I answer the call “Red Dragon Take-Away, can I have your credit card number, full name, and your full phone number please.” If that doesn’t stop the calls then I answer “Brighton Police Station”. That usually does the trick.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bravo! I like your approach to these pesky telephone incursions into our privacy. It seems that the more high tech these gizmos go the more inventive the person on the receiving end of the call has to become. I guess it gives the answerer a chance to flex his/her creative muscle. If ONLY the caller could finally get the message and leave people alone. Thanks for your helpful comments Hugh. Enjoy the day.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with you 100% about how the phone has become device used disrespectfully and is ruled by economics rather than communications. Hence I no longer have a land line in my house. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good for you. I discovered that I was probably opening the welcome mat to some of these nuisance telephone calls by printing my telephone number on my bank checks. When I ordered my newest set of checks that number was removed . Sometimes simple acts can result in major complications. Enjoy the day Amanda. Take care.:)

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Many folks feel that their personal information, like telephone numbers are safe from unwanted, prying eyes. How wrong they are. Many times the firms we deal with as customers farm out and sell this data for a profit. When you readily provide the information you are putting money in another person’s pocket.

    Consider this Amanda. I used to include my account number of checks that were destined for merchants such as Sears, Wall Mart and the like. I was then told that there are cases wherein the person registering your payment copies the number and then uses it for fraudulent purchases. Just giving you a heads up as to NOT do this.

    Enjoy the day Amanda. 🙂

    Like

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