Sorry, Wrong Number

Sooner or later, it had to happen: We’ve been nailed by a New York Times trend piece.

Not by name, of course. The New York Times would never lower itself to source us on a story. (Except for that one time it did.) No, they just identified something Everybody Is Doing, and we got caught in the net.

Or rather, something everybody isn’t doing: The telephone is dead.

Dead, that is, for people who once used it. We’re already a generation into a demo for whom it never really existed, except as something you text and tweet and Facebook on. Those of us who once engaged in its original Ma Bell function are now disengaging.

And why? Because it’s fucking annoying.

Especially, say, if you work for yourself, and you’re in regular contact with people who work for a salary. Dear gawd, do they know how to waste your time! We’ve been training clients for years to scribble it in an email, because it takes just a glance to determine what they want, instead of pleasantry-pleasantry-weather-pleasantry-request-pleasantry-sport-pleasantry-bye!-recover.

We can’t afford to talk, and that’s been going on for fifteen years. Nice of Manhattan to finally catch up with us.

Don’t Call Me, I Won’t Call You [NYT, via Kottke]

I’m not much better than the NYT. I had my balls/chops busted because I work in the wireless industry and was pretty much the only person in it who didn’t have a cell phone (because I was cheap, I didn’t need one and I didn’t like the idea of microwave radiation baking my brain.) It wasn’t till last year when I had been brow beaten by my GF, and two friends who I was going to visit on a West Coast jaunt that I finally broke down and got a cell phone.

The majority of the phone calls I get on my (shared) landline these days are usually from telemarketers who I either ignore, lie (I’m not home) or hang up on if they’re persistent.

I get the odd call on my cell phone, but I prefer to text… less microwaves to my skull.

In a totally unrelated note:

Badass of the Week.
Hideaki Akaiwa

Absolutely amazing story – dude basically did an IRL Gordon Freeman after the tsunami.

@ManchuCandidate: I set my ringtone on my cellie to be that classic brrRINNNNNNG of the old Ma Bell hardshell phone, but it rarely goes off. I much prefer the soothing “ding” of the Tibetan chime that signals a text message.

But I also work in an “industry” that much prefers to talk things over on the landline before committing anything to digital ink, so I’m still a bit of an outlier.

ADD:@al2o3cr: /awesome/

the only calls I ever get are credit card companies when I am over the limit.

and I have not had a land line in more than 10 years

my phone “barks” and it endlessly amuses me. Bella, not so much.

@Capt Howdy:
wow. that is truly awesome. rat would rather have me drown than get his ponytail wet.

@baked: Mine plays the first 40 seconds of Dexter Gordon’s “Three-O-Clock In The Morning”.

Whenever I look at the most recently used applications on my phone (it shows the last 8), one is almost never the phone. Angry Birds on the other hand…

I am t-minus 24 hours from being airborne on my way to San Francisco and a mini-Stinque up (more like cocktail party) with SFL. My desk at work is currently giving me hives. Get me outta here!!!

@baked: Mine plays Tubular Bells (aka The Exorcist) whenever somebody I don’t know calls.

I’d much rather mock people who misuse the word literally:

“I literally never use the phone,” Jonathan Adler, the interior designer, told me. (Alas, by phone, but it had to be.)

I’m decidedly pro-phone anyway. Although emails are important at work so we have our all-important “paper trail” to prove the client screwed up and not us, we need to be on good terms with the clients and that usually entails connecting by phone occasionally and, yes, making chit-chat. Emails just don’t have the same capacity to be personable without seeming unctious. It’s natural for me to begin a phone conversation to a client with a comment about the crappy weather, but it looks stupid in an email.

I would also contend that texting instead of calling is not necessarily a timesaver–several times, I’ve spent 10-15 minutes trading texts back and forth with a friend in an effort to finalize plans when we could’ve easily covered the same ground in a 2-minute phone call.

In short, call me!

@homofascist: Perfect example, darling: If we had made our dinner plans for last night via phone, chances are we would’ve figured out who was bringing the wine instead of being tragically alcohol-free!

@flippin eck: Ouch, that is a bit tragic. No emergency flasks in evidence?

@IanJ: I think HF was content to save up his drinquing capacity for his trip to Es Ef, and I made do with a Thai iced tea. But I appreciate your consideration, as it was indeed a bit dicey there for a few minutes!


funny to think that movie basically created Virgin. Tubular Bells was first thing they released.

@Capt Howdy: Really! Wow. As I said on a previous thread, I always tested speakers with Tubular Bells. If the pedal bass doesn’t shake the glasses out of the cabinet, it’s not good enough.


yep the reason I know that is I was working in a record store when the movie came out. from wiki:

Tubular Bells is the debut record album of English musician Mike Oldfield, released in 1973. It was the first album released by Virgin Records and an early cornerstone of the company’s success.


then for years the released all this really odd cool stuff from people we never heard of but learned to love.

The first release on the label was the progressive rock album Tubular Bells by multi-instrumentalist Mike Oldfield in 1973. This was soon followed by some notable krautrock releases, including electronic breakthrough album Phaedra by Tangerine Dream (which went Top 10), and The Faust Tapes and Faust IV by Faust. The Faust Tapes album retailed for 49p (the price of a 7″ single) and as a result allowed this relatively unknown band to reach number 12 in the album charts. Other early albums include Gong’s Flying Teapot (Radio Gnome Invisible, Pt. 1) (V2002), which Daevid Allen has been quoted as having never been paid for.

@flippin eck: Yes, but you and I always run into that red vs. white problem. It is tragic all of the way around!

@homofascist: I was also still hungover from my weekend Irish Catholic premium open bar wedding…

@flippin eck: @homofascist: Darlings!! Has Mommy taught you nothing? Always bring wine (red AND white for the indecisive) or beer to any social occasion. It will never go amiss, and you might just save the day (or evening).

@homofascist: I think we work best, alcohol-wise, when we split a 6-pack of variety beers from In Fine Spirits…as long as none of the beers costs $9 a bottle!

@Mistress Cynica: Obviously, we are both in need of further instruction, so you better come to Chicago asap!

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