The Daily Ping

The 1st Ping was published on January 6, 2000.

October 11th, 2002

Why I Hate Phones

Give me e-mail over the phone anyday. Not necessarily at home?I don’t mind talking to friends and family?but at work. My job has me sitting in front of a computer all day long. I switch between windows like a master, popping up my Eudora window as soon as I see the little mail icon in the system tray. E-mail is “integrated with my workflow,” to steal some lame corporate speak.

But getting a phone call is disruptive. It causes me to look away from what I’m doing, take my hands away from the keyboard, see who’s calling on the caller ID, determine if I want to take the call (I actually have a list of “Yes” and “No” phone numbers next to my phone), and then either answer the phone or ignore the call. Quite frankly, though, I’d rather have an option on my phone to only allow calls through from Huyen (perhaps using a special code to identify herself since she often calls from different phones) and send all other calls to voice mail, which would have the message, “Hi, you’ve reached Ryan. Please send me an e-mail at …@… for quicker response. Thanks. And, yes, this goes for co-workers, too. Steve, I’m talking to you.”

I’m much more prompt about returning e-mail and most importantly, it gives me a record of our conversation. I have every non-spam e-mail I’ve received since I started working at my job, obesessively filed away, and there’s not a week that goes by where I’m not doing a search over some large subset of folders, looking for a message from 1999, recalling an old project I worked on.

Help me help you. E-mail me instead of calling.

Posted in Everyday Life

FROM: corey [E-Mail]
DATE: Friday October 11, 2002 -- 12:28:47 pm
speak it my brotha!!!

phones and meetings give me the heebie-jeebies. and then there's the touch of death... the "conference call".


FROM: Ryan
DATE: Friday October 11, 2002 -- 12:43:50 pm
Conference calls. That could be a whole 'nothing Ping.

Like how no matter how hard I try, I'm always the first or second person on a conference call which means I'm forced into uncomfortable banter with someone I barely know.

FROM: Chris [E-Mail]
DATE: Friday October 11, 2002 -- 2:34:56 pm
I kind of like conference calls. I often can get more done via a 15 minute con call than if I drive an hour into town for a 30 minute meeting on the same subject.

FROM: teeinep
DATE: Friday October 11, 2002 -- 3:44:41 pm
e-mail is a great way to do business, but what about those business people who perhaps haven't embraced the technology. I'm talking about plumbers, appliance repair people, cable installers, you know, the ones who really dig calling you on the phone. These are the people who REALLY need email, more specifically, wireless email. But they aren't onboard yet. Like the roofer who shows up at your house, does your estimate on his PocketPC, then zips you the estimate using wireless email. Or the cable guy who emails you from his truck, saying he'll be at your house in an hour, please get your ass back home. We've got to get these folks web enabled, and quick! They still depend on the phone way too much. Trades people are the real email enemy.

I'm still waiting for the email enabled snail mail mailbox. The one that emails you when "you've got mail" and you've really got mail in the mailbox out by the street.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Friday October 11, 2002 -- 3:53:05 pm
teeinp -- I had a similar mailbox idea, except with a webcam... I'd like to be able to see if anything (specifically, packages) is in my PO Box, so I know whether I need to make a stop at the post office.

FROM: Logic 3:16
DATE: Saturday October 12, 2002 -- 10:12:59 pm
I always preferred writing letters (be it e-mail or snail-mail) over using the phone. Even when typed on a computer, it's truly an art and not just a utilitarian form of communication. It seems to put a professional and formal amount of distance between strangers, which allows each party a little more time to think before they speak, and allows fewer chances for misunderstandings.

FROM: Steve, the dissed co-worker
DATE: Wednesday October 16, 2002 -- 3:47:39 pm
Yo, monitor boy... I'm really sorry that my calls force you to snap out of your pixel-induced stupor. But, long before there were computers (an era you might have read about... or seen photos, since it's clear that you got your current hairstyle from a story on the Roaring Twenties), people learned to multi-task, moving easily from phone call to typewriter, from project to project.

Let's face it: it's not like you're some productivity king and the time wasted deciding whether to answer your phone prevents you from completing your work on time. If you were in a deadline-oriented job (e.g., a reporter or newsletter editor), I could see the phone being a distraction. But even then, most grown-ups learn to "balance" all of the things seeking their attention.

God help you when you have kids.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Wednesday October 16, 2002 -- 5:10:55 pm
most grown-ups learn to "balance" all of the things seeking their attention

Exactly. When I grow up, that's when we'll talk.

DATE: Saturday July 15, 2006 -- 8:50:35 pm
S-a va fut anal pe toti! sa-mi faceti felatii
I also hate phones

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