Praveen's Blog

An Eternal Quest for Incremental Improvement

Modern Phone Features

Would the invention of the telephone ever have gotten off the ground if Alexander Graham Bell's first call had gone...

Bell: Mr. Watson, come here; I want you.

Voice: If you know Watson's extension, press 1 now. If you would like to leave a message for Watson, press 2. If you need further assistance, hold the line for the next available representative....

The telephone, which was satisfied for a century or so simply placing and receiving calls, has become a different animal in recent years. These days, everybody has an answering machine, a speakerphone, and a slew of other telecommunication doodads. Call waiting, caller ID, and last-number redial are fine, but here are some options that can't be far behind.

ON-HOLD DISRUPT: When someone puts you on hold for more than 15 seconds, a digitized voice blares over his or her speakerphone, "Hey! Remember me? I don't have all day!" (This option also shorts out Muzak if it's being played.)

CALL SCHMOOZING: Stuck listening to a long-winded acquaintance? Call schmoozing activates a speech-synthesized voice that sounds just like you and repeats "Uh-huh...I see...right" while the other party babbles on. He or she thinks you're hanging on every word, when you're actually getting your work done.

CALL SCHMOOZING PLUS: Your phone places calls to important contacts, trades pleasantries, probes for career-enhancing information, and ends by saying, "You're beautiful. Let's do lunch. Don't ever change."

GOSSIP NOTIFICATION: Company rumors are automatically broadcast to selected voice mailboxes. Time once wasted circulating gossip translates into increased productivity.

CALL TERMINATE: Imagine being able to fire troublesome employees just by dialing their numbers! An excellent feature for executives with poor confrontation skills.

NETWORK EAVESDROP: A must for the paranoid manager. Whenever anyone in the company mentions your name during a phone conversation, a voice-activated tape-recorder stores the call so you can review it later and hear what people are saying about you.

SELECTIVE CALL DISCOURAGING: Program the numbers of people you really don't want to speak with. When they dial your number, your phone transmits a mild electric shock through their receivers.

CELLULAR CRANK CALL: On command, your car phone can dial any other car phone within a 30-mile radius and tell the driver his muffler looks as though it's about to fall off.

CALL REMINDING: Store the birthdays and anniversaries of loved ones in your telephone's memory. On the appropriate days, the phone automatically calls them and relays heartfelt sentiments in a digitized voice simulating your own.

CALL INTERRUPT: When you need to end a conversation quickly, a button on your phone causes a fake operator to break in and announce that you have an emergency call on the line from Steve Jobs.

SUBLIMINA-CALL: Periodically during a conversation, the phone plays subliminal messages to the other party, such as "Say yes" and "Increase my department's budget."

CHARGE-FORWARDING: A quick push of a button charges any long- distance call to the person you're calling or to friends who don't look too closely at their phone bills.

Courtesy: GNU Humor