Saturday, August 25, 2007

this is the transplant unit, your new organ has arrived

So yesterday, I'm in the bathroom at the office and I hear a phone ring in a stall. This is not really unusual but the person actually answered and started talking. Is this really necessary?? Unless you are expecting a call from the transplant unit to tell you that your new lung has arrived or your loved one is making the one allowable call from a satellite phone in Antartica, there is NO reason to answer your phone in the stall. None. The aforementioned call did not fall into one of these two categories. It was the 'Hi, how are you. I'm good. Yeah, I'd love to see a movie, what time' kinda phone call.

dear bathroom-stall-phone-answerer: I'd like to introduce you to something called voice mail. It's this handy new thing that lets people leave you a message. I know, crazy. Use it. Love it. Own it. Plus, don't tell me you don't have caller ID, 'cause I know you do. I'm sure you could have waited 3 minutes to call this person back.

It gets worse. Just after these niceties, I heard this: 'I'm in the bathroom and I'm just going to flush the toilet so if you hear some noise, that's what it is'.


So it's not enough that she answered the phone in the stall in the first place, but she actually had to tell the other person that she did. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe cell phones have mute functions. If it was necessary to answer the phone in the stall (and it wasn't), couldn't she at least have muted the call when she was flushing? Does the caller really need to know? Is this so difficult? Clearly, it is.



RainyBow note: We've got these wireless headsets at work that allow everyone to roam quite freely around our floor. This is a great thing when you're stuck on a long and painful conference call far away from the water cooler. But it's also a great thing for people who like to paypee and talk, which is not so good for the rest of us. For two years there, every time we had a full team conference call, I would brace myself for the inevitable flush.

I'm no Miss Manners, but if I really had to go and my call was showing no signs of an imminent end, I would just put the headset down, run to the bathroom, run back, then put the headset back on. Other people I know undertake a similar sequence in a less radical way; they substitute the removal and replacement of the headset with muting and unmuting. I still find this odd but at least some effort is being made to spare others from having to listen. Still, apparently someone on the team continually felt no need to complete two crucial steps in that sequence, both involving the headset. I spent two years ensuring that every member of the team knew how to use the mute function on his or her headset.

Just when I was beginning to wonder if my instructions sucked big time, strangely, one week the flushing just stopped. Coincidentally, one member of the team switched positions internally to take on a totally different role. I haven't actually checked in with anyone on that team, but I'm willing to bet that some mysterious flushing began on their calls...


SunnyShine note: OMG, you totally have to tell me who this is.

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