Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Channelling Andy Rooney

Have you ever noticed that when you make a phone call to a local number but dial a 1 first (as if it were a long-distance call), you get a message saying that you don't need to dial the 1, but then you have to hang up and dial again? Similarly, if you dial a number without a 1 that is long distance, you get a message saying that it's long distance and you need to dial a 1. But in both cases, your call does not go through. Why the hell not? If they want to give me a nastygram telling me what I should or should not have done, fine, but then put the damn call through. The technology exists. It's not rocket science. That's what happens on a cell phone, so why can't they do it on a land line?

The other day, I was making some phone calls at work to local businesses in the K-W area. Since I don't live in K-W, I don't know where I can call locally and where is long-distance, so in a few cases, I added a 1 when I didn't need to. Every time, I got the "You don't need to dial a 1" message, so I had to hang up and re-dial the number without the 1. Very frustrating.

When I call home with my cell phone, the call display stores the number with a 1 for some reason. If I then display the number, click the "dial" button, and then pick up the receiver, it dials "1-905-...", and then I get the message saying I didn't need to dial the 1. At that point, I need to hang up and dial the number manually. For our cell phone numbers, that's no big deal, but if it was a different number that I don't have memorized, I have to write the number down on a piece of paper and then pick up the phone and dial it. So much for modern technology.

This posting is yet another example of the hard-hitting hold-no-punches journablogalism that you'll find on Cut The Chatter. See, Whimsley, I can invent words too! Though yours kind of rolls off the tongue better than mine does.

Aside: Can you "channel" someone who's not dead?

Update: Just to prove that I invented this word myself:


Anonymous said...

I do kind of like journablogalism.

But really I wanted to agree with you about the phone calls. I've had the same irritation myself.

Along the same lines:
- at a command prompt, type "python" to start a python interpreter session.
- type "quit" and python tells you 'Use Ctrl-Z plus Return to exit'.
Meaning it knows full well you want to exit, but it just IS NOT GOING TO DO IT until you type Ctrl-Z plus Return. I hate being told what to do by uppity machines.

Unknown said...


You need to hook yourself up with some VoIP telephony goodness. Deborah and I have Vonage at home, and Vonage is smart enough to parse phone numbers and do what I tell it. It's totally awesome.

Tom S.,

I've heard talk on the internets that the whole "uppity python interpreter" is a symptom of one of the reasons Python really didn't ever take off as the new hotness (namely that the Python community is full of people who are, well, uppity).

Anonymous said...

I too get annoyed at the "you have to dial 1 blah blah blah...", or the "its not long distance, dial again without dialing 1...". If you know that I have to do it, just tell me what I should do next time and then do it !.

Tom & JP: Just switch to using Perl :-)

Anonymous said...

"just switch to using perl"

- but my brain can't read any perl code I wrote after a break of more than two days.

Anonymous said...

"can't read any perl code I wrote"

Then you are writing too complicated perl code... stick with basic C'ish-type constructs and you will be able to read your perl code as easy as you can read C code.

I think this must be a common problem that is going around because I hear this comment about perl a lot... and although perl does give you several ways of writing the same thing, its up to the writer to choose the syntax and style used, so if you write code that you can't read, don't blame it on the language but rather on the writer!

Yappa said...

Greetings fellow journablogalists,

I was journablogalating today and...

Wow, that's awesome.

(I have recently been annoyed by that phone thing too.)


John said...


Switch to using Perl? That's akin to saying that if your foot hurts you should saw it off. CRAZY TALK, in other words.