Business, Gadgets, Language, Tech, Work

There’s No Answer to That

Image by Here and now, unfortunately, ends my journey on Pixabay from Pixabay

The answerphone has been around for a while but I’m not sure that giving some people the ability to record their own answer message was a wise idea.

There are the ones who think it’s cute and sweet to get their kids to record the message – a real example, they sang “mummy and daddy are not at home, leave a message after the tone” really, slowly.  The rhyming is just about acceptable, the high pitched whine, not so.  Its OK if it’s nanna ringing but when you’re having to ring them three, four or eight times a day to try to arrange an installation or to try to get payment from mummy and daddy the little darlings’ singing gets irritating real quick. 

Though not as irritating as the man who was trying to sound like some kind of nineties “dude” –  please brace yourself – “Yo! Yo!  You’re through to Karl. If you wanna leave a message then you can, it you don’t then…” suddenly sounding like an eighties local radio DJ “…juuust hang up!”  I stifled my laughter, left a message and hung up.

The “insert name here” automated message can be interesting.  “Welcome to the telco messaging service…” the softly spoken woman intones, “DAVE” a gruff male voice barks, then the woman’s back”…cannot take your call, please leave a message after the beep”  One user completely missed the point and it went like this: “Welcome to the Sky messaging service, hi, I’m not available to take your call, leave a message after the beep, is not available to take your call, please leave a message after the beep.”  Hmm.

The telcos are not always so much better – one which shall remain nameless tries to be a bit ladish and overly informal by saying “…when yer done, just hang up”.  Picky, I know, but such things grate with me sometimes.  The other network issue is the overly lengthy message, “…please leave your message after the beep.  When you’ve finished recording please hang up (no shit, I was going to wait) or to change your message press hash” by now the person I was leaving the message for is trying to call me back and I haven’t even got as far as leaving a message.

Society, Tech

Tweeting 999 – No Laughing Matter

Texting on a qwerty keypad phone

Texting on a qwerty keypad phone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recently in both the USA and UK emergency services have announced plans to allow people to inform them of an emergency via other modern communication methods like texting, Facebook and Twitter.

Cue howls of laughter and derision from writers about how it’s typical of our lazy society that people can’t be bothered to look up from their phones for thirty seconds to phone 999 or 911.  For once I partly disagree.

Normally I too would think it’s another example of people’s disconnection from others, that they wouldn’t want to actually speak to someone, they’d be happier texting etc.  And for some that may be true.  It could also be open to abuse by those who already troll the existing services using fake accounts, names and addresses.

But consider someone who can’t use a voice service – someone in peril and hiding; someone unable to speak or hear whose only form of communication at that moment is a mobile or a computer; someone who has no phone available but does have, for example, a 3G tablet; even someone who for perhaps psychological reasons can’t talk to someone on the phone.  Any communication would be better than none.

The emergency services have said that this is an attempt to enable communication with them through modern technology – this forward thinking should be admired not laughed at.  Or maybe we should abandon the new-fangled phone too and go back to bells and whistles.