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Pet Peeves While Using the Phone

Paul has been using all kinds of telephone since 1959. Lately, he has been using a smartphone in Thailand.

Telephones Used in My Lifetime

Phones Used in My Lifetime

Phones Used in My Lifetime

Pet Peeves While Using the Phone in My Lifetime

Since 1959, I have used rotary, touchtone, cell, and smartphones both at home and in offices. Beginning with rotary phones in the late 1950s up until smartphone use at the present, I have encountered several annoyances. They have ranged from sharing party lines to not paying attention while driving and using a smartphone. In this article, I list my pet peeves during the use of phones by myself and others.

Being on a Party Line

Party Line Etiquette

Party Line Etiquette

Being on a Party–Line

We were on a party line when mom and dad first got phone service in 1959. A party line is a local telephone circuit shared by more than one person. Each person had a sequence of rings to announce incoming calls. I think we had two rings on our party line. We were on a party line with about three or four neighbors and hated it. There was no privacy and sometimes you had to wait a long time to make a call.

A close elderly neighbor used to talk on the phone for hours. When we needed to make an important call, we had to come on the line and request that she hang up so we could use the phone. Also, when we were talking on the phone, we could hear neighbors pick up the phone and listen in on our calls.

Poor Audio Quality

There was often static on our line in the late 1950s and early 1960s. In addition, the audio was sometimes very low when making long-distance calls.

Having to Book an International Call

Up until about 1980, it was difficult to direct-dial an international call. Instead, you had to book a call through an operator by telling her the name and number of the person you wanted to call. This took time and once I had to wait almost one hour for a call from Taiwan to the United States to go through.

People Yelling on the Phone

I have always hated it when people shout on the phone. It is very hard on my hearing and extremely difficult to understand the call.

Talking Too Softly or Rapidly

It is also hard to understand someone who isn't speaking loud enough or talking a mile a minute on the phone. Time is lost by having to ask for repeats.

Disconnected Calls

Up until the present, disconnected calls have been very annoying. It is especially troublesome when it takes a long time to re-establish a connection.

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Being Put on Hold for a Long Time

Many times when I call a government organization, I am put on hold for a very long time. I called Social Security in the United States about two years ago and was put on hold for almost one hour!

Reaching a Voice Mail

A voice mail is used when a person is unavailable to take a call. When you reach it, you usually have to wait for a beep and then leave a recording. I would rather talk with my party than leave a message.

Reaching a Recording with Options to Select

Whenever I call government organizations or many businesses, I reach a recording with options to select. Sometimes there are five or six options that I must hear before making a selection. I would prefer to be immediately connected with a person.

Talking with a Computerized Voice

To save time and money, many organizations use computerized voices to answer calls. The problem is that the computer will not correctly hear what I am saying. This is extremely frustrating.

Leaving a Cell Phone on When Away from It

When teaching at a private school in Bangkok, some teachers often left cell phones on their desks when out of the office. It was extremely annoying to hear the loud and unusual ringtones of unanswered calls.

Turning on the Speaker When Engaged in a Call

Some teachers in my office would turn on their cell phone speakers when talking with others. This made a lot of noise when I was trying to do work.

Looking at a Smartphone While Driving or Walking

It is amazing to notice so many young people looking at their smartphones while driving, riding a motorcycle, or walking. This can be very dangerous when you are not paying attention to where you are going.

Looking at a Smartphone While Walking

Looking at a smartphone while walking

Looking at a smartphone while walking

Having to Often Charge an iPhone

I have a used Apple iPhone that often requires charging. Whenever I have to read articles on the internet, it seems like the phone quickly loses its charge. The result is that I am recharging my phone every hour or so.

Looking at a Smartphone Instead of Helping Customers

My final pet peeve is seeing salespersons looking at their smartphones when they should be serving customers. I see this very often in Thailand while shopping. Sometimes it takes me a long time to get a salesperson's attention to get served.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Paul Richard Kuehn

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