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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

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