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The Cody Blog: Patience and Manners in the Communications Revolution

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Patience and Manners in the Communications Revolution

As I felt my blood pressure rise and even escalate to internal anger as I was forced to wait four minutes for the elevator this morning (apparently one was out of order), I wonder what the hell are the Internet, Wall Street, my career and my life doing to me?

I find I can hardly call anyone any more, because I hate waiting for them to answer. And even worse is waiting for the voicemail greeting to finish. That usually takes a good 7 seconds out of my life.

And if the person I'm calling uses Sprint? I'm either happy if I know that fact beforehand so I can just hit "1" and get right to the voice mail box. But I usually don't listen to the message so if I don't realize it's a Sprint receiver beforehand I end up waiting forever more to leave that message. Wait, who's that rapping, rapping at my door? Anyway, what the hell is Sprint thinking in making us wait that extra three seconds between when the greeting ends and the voicemail beeps?

Heck, you want some irony of my impatience? I couldn't even finish "Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell because I thought the beginning was unrigorous and I didn't have the patience to keep reading.

So I'm now, I guess, running on Internet time. Real time. Just in time. No time.

Face to face meeting? Takes too long to get to.

Phone call? See above...that ringing's a bitch.

Email? Nah, man, that's not fast enough.

Instant message? It's okay, but you still have to type it. And dammit if the window doesn't blink and you miss the ping entirely.

Cell phone text message? At least I have a qwerty keyboard on my phone (let's face it, I'd never be able to sit and tap the 3 button 3x to get to F when I talk trash to my buds...), but it STILL takes too long to get those thoughts out.

There are exceptions to hating the wait for voicemail, I suppose. For example, I love it when someone puts a crazy greeting, such as my friend Cammy, who changes hers often and is totally random on what she says, darnitall, I'll have to remember the most recent one and come back to post it...I suppose I could call and if she picked up I could just tell her I wanted to quote her greeting, but wouldn't that be a strange thing to say? Which leads me to my next point...

You know what else kills? Protocol, manners, etc.

I mean, what's standard way to greet someone on a text message anyway? And on IM? And who decided what "good manners" are in these venues? Is there an Emily Post of the communications revolution? Maybe I should fill that void?

And you know what else, while I'm on the manners topic? Even though my mom actually used to read Emily Post to us after dinner on Wednesday nights for about a year when I was a kid (and so much of it did stick in my head), I still don't know how to eat, say, pate. We don't have that stuff in New Mexico! Reminds me of when I was so embarrassed for trying to buy John Rutledge a glass of wine at Union League Club the first time I met him (he was so gracious, but that's another story).

Anyway, patience, anyone? It's a virtue, right? Certainly manners are virtuous? Right? Right?! Tell me now dammit!


Blogger RDS said...

take the stairs next time.

2/28/2006 04:36:00 PM  
Blogger dusko said...

I actually purchased a second phone (blackberry) so that i wouldn't have to tap the key three times or when it comes to the letter "s" FOUR TIMES in a text message... and the "suggestive" typing on the non-QWERTY phone is useless because it takes a good 3 seconds for the phone to suggest the word... Instantaneity is BLISS!!!

3/06/2006 10:28:00 PM  

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