Friday, February 19, 2010

On A Need To Know Basis

Has Caller ID created an insatiable need to know everything?

Ed and I just had this conversation today when he got a call from an "Unidentifed Number". He didn't answer it. What that unidentified number did though, was prompt him to look up ways one could identify the number, typically through a computer program, before it ever even gets to your phone. What he found, in addition to an extremely difficult Linux based program to do what he was looking for, was a company who for five dollars a month will do the very same thing.

I told Ed that he could give me five dollars a month and I'd answer the calls for him. What a concept, huh? A human screening a call?

This conversation reminded me about when I once worked at a large resort hotel. I knew people in all departments and would often go hang out in the switchboard room with one of the girls up there I was friends with. She told me that she'd often get calls from people saying, "Uh, yeah...your number showed up on my Caller ID and I was wondering who called me?"

"Well, we have over a thousand employees here and over four hundred guest rooms; do you know anyone who works here or who is a guest at the hotel?" she said.


"OK...well then I'm sorry, but I can't help you." Click.

Imagine that happening several times a day. Maddening. If I were to call back a number on my Caller ID and I got a hotel, I don't think I'd be asking the hotel operator who called me. Because that's just plain stupid.

And why do you need to know who called?? If they didn't leave a message, it probably wasn't all that important. And if it was something that looked as if it might be important, like a number on there from the police department or the IRS, would you really call back? Maybe they misdialed. Maybe they decided you weren't the person they wanted. Why stir the pot?

You don't always need to know. And if you do, I'm sure you will.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Something Has Gone Terribly Wrong
Flying Into The Sun
Riding The Rails
Keeping Me Quiet With A Chocolate Snap

1 comment:

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

We don't have caller ID on the house phone, and I only answer it if it rings at a time when my mom would call; I figure if it's really important, they'd have my cell number and their name would come up there. Win win! ;)