Tag Archives: Telephones

It was the new generation of “techies” who decided that the world needed to upgrade its communication systems. These young college drop-outs set up a workshop in a garage in California and went to work. As a result we have WiFi systems so our computers work faster, we have digitized medical test results from the HMO, we can do our banking and traveling online, our children walk about with cell-phones plugged into their ears and our grandchildren are born clutching cell-phones. We, the members of the Golden Age generation are not impressed. We are mostly beyond this new communication stuff and our stiff, thick fingers cannot press the microscopic buttons on these new gadgets, so we launched a counter-offensive to hit back at these new developments.

What better way to retaliate than to use the system we built in our garages, the lowly telephone system? We invented Call Centers followed by Automatic Call Distribution (ADC) systems. The hi-tech youngsters laughed at us: “Who needs it?” they shrieked. We all know our new systems. In the Call Center operation you call up to order a pizza, speak to an old lady in Mumbai and end up trying to help her with her knitting problem.

The ADC is no less frustrating. You lift the receiver to call the local hospital to make an appointment with a doctor. You dial and get through: “Press 1 for Heart Department, 2 for Urology, 3 for Gynecology, 4 for the Skin Department,” and so on. The voice is soothing and you know this call is going to be easy.

You are now in our clutches. This is payback time for all the little gadgets you youngsters invented, for the ease at which you can text, or listen to music or send and receive emails. Pressing a number on our system is never going to get you to your destination! If you get through on the first number you press, you will be in what we call the secondary menu. “Press 1 for heart attacks, press 2 for heart surgery, press 3 for pacemakers,” and so on. If you do get through on that button you will move to the third level menu: “Press 1 for emergency, Press 2 for the transplant department, Press 3 for …” and so on. This call is not going anywhere! It is our infinity program which will keep you busy pressing buttons for days.

We have now added the eternal ring where your call will result in a ringing tone. Our latest tests show that this can go on for weeks before the wires burn out. We are also working on new Apps for our phone systems. You will meet them shortly.

So who exactly was it that upgraded the communications systems?


A Senior’s Glimpse into Hell

I had to have a form filled at my HMO office this morning. “No big deal,” I told my wife, “I’ll be back in 20 minutes.” I found parking and ambled up to the office. There was no one in front of me at the reception desk and I mentally corrected the 20 minutes to 15. I dropped into the chair, handed over the papers to the smiling secretary and explained what I wanted. She nodded and I was pleased that she understood my request. As she entered my number into her computer, the phone rang. She ignored it and went on with my work.

After another minute her mobile phone rang and she ignored that too. I was impressed. The door opened and a little old lady entered, voicing her request as she came into the room. Another phone began ringing and the old lady simply raised her voice so she would be heard. At this point the secretary lifted her mobile phone. “It maybe my daughter,” she said. She spoke for a moment and put the phone down. The two office phones were ringing out of sync and off-key and the little old lady was still trying to make herself heard.

The secretary asked me for my ID number and I started calling out the nine digits over the noise of the phones. She motioned me to keep going with the number. I gave her the last three numbers of my ID, the door opened, a man came in and the mobile phone rang again. She picked it up, held it to her ear and muttered something.

“Excuse me,” said the man who had entered. “I have a question.”

“That number you gave me is wrong,” she said to me. Two phones were ringing.
“I’ll come back later,” I said standing up.
“What’s your hurry?” she asked.
“You’re never going to get the number right with all this,” I said gesturing around the room.
I left. All the way along the passage and even in the parking floor I could hear the phones ringing.

And this is only 2013. Imagine how it’s going to be in 5 years time…


A Senior’s Glimpse into Hell

I had to have a form filled at my HMO office this morning. “No big deal,” I told my wife, “I’ll be back in 20 minutes.” I found parking and ambled up to the office. There was no one in front of me at the reception desk and I mentally corrected the 20 minutes to 15. I dropped into the chair, handed over the papers to the smiling secretary and explained what I wanted. She nodded and I was pleased that she understood my request. As she entered my number into her computer, the phone rang. She ignored it and went on with my work.

After another minute her mobile phone rang and she ignored that too. I was impressed. The door opened and a little old lady entered, yelling her request as she came into the room. Another phone began ringing and the old lady simply raised her voice so she would be heard. At this point the secretary lifted her mobile phone. “It maybe my daughter,” she said. She spoke for a moment and put the phone down. The two office phones were ringing out of sync and off-key and the little old lady was still trying to make herself heard. I was amazed at the callers’ tenacity.

The secretary asked me for my ID number and I started calling out the nine digits over the noise of the phones. She motioned me to keep going with the number. I gave her the last three numbers of my ID, the door opened, a man came in and the mobile phone rang again. She picked it up, held it to her ear and muttered something.

“Excuse me,” said the man who had entered. “I have a question.”

“That number you gave me is wrong,” she said to me. The first phone began ringing.

“I’ll come back later,” I said standing up.
“What’s your hurry?” she asked.

“You’re never going to get the number right with all this,” I said gesturing around the room.

I left. All the way along the passage and even in the parking floor I could hear the phones ringing.

And this is only 2012. Imagine how it’s going to be in 5 years time…