I Hate Desk Phones, Too

Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Posted in category Progress

In reference to Lew Rockwell’s post on hating the desk phone, I despise this ancient device, as do many of my colleagues. Since I am very often not at my desk during my workday – in meetings or running around to other offices on our campus – I hate coming back to that silly red light on my desk phone. I figure that I have my hands full with a portable electronic device and email, and that’s enough to deal with, so I have left a message on my voice mail that states: “Since I am mostly away from my desk, please do not leave me voice mails, as there may be a delay in response due to using this medium. Email or instant messenger will be your quickest route to communication with me, so feel free to contact me via either medium.”

Mostly, people do respond accordingly, and they follow up via email. Still, the old-fashioned crowd leaves me old-fashioned voice mails, and there they sit, sometimes for days or weeks. I made my point, so it’s up to them to either adhere to my wishes or take their chances with waiting for me to find the time to sift through multiple, blabbing voice mails.

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4 Responses to I Hate Desk Phones, Too

  1. Ken says:

    May 22nd, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    My “desk” phone is now a skype line and it can ring through to my cell phone. When people leave voicemails, it comes to me by email and I get a text transcription of the voice mail. The text transcription is often horrible, but it tells me enough to prioritize the followup.

    For those I’m quite sure that I don’t want to talk to I give my old desk phone #. It goes to a voicemail abyss. I don’t even remember how to retrieve the voicemails.

  2. Edwin says:

    May 23rd, 2013 at 6:54 am

    Well, I have a desk phone where I work, but since I am a temporary employee, it was provided, and it will probably stay there for the duration.  But since I don’t have one of these Ipods or whatever all these new gadgets are (I do have an old fashioned cell phone), I am content to use the desk phone when I need to.  I have also noticed that the sound quality of an old-fashioned land line is usually quite better than most cell phone connections.

  3. Otaddy says:

    May 23rd, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Oh gosh, I cannot stand people who insist on calling when an email or IM would be so much faster–and less intrusive.

    It’s just so inefficient.  First comes the obligatory small talk, then eventually you get to the reason they were calling.  But now, I gotta write it down or ask them to send me an email reminder.  They say, “ok yeah I’ll send you an email.”  Then why didnt you send me a damn email to start with?

    Heck, as it is, it is harder for me to even have a conversation on a cell phone.  With the narrow band codecs, the cell phone companies have things dialed down so tight so as to send as little data as possible, that the voice quality suffers.  With VoLTE, there will be a return to a more wide-band codec and so intelligibility should improve.

    Bottom line, most phone conversations are a waste of time.

    PS:  I never initialized the voicemail on my deskphone either.  It drives the IT guys nuts.  I tell them: “Don’t you think its stupid that we have desk phones considering we work for cell phone company!”

  4. liberranter says:

    May 27th, 2013 at 2:55 pm


    The thing I detest most, whether with desk phones or cell phones, is people who leave State-of-the-Union-type speeches lasting five-plus minutes that quickly clog up your vmail box. The kicker is that people who leave such messages almost ALWAYS have absolutely nothing of importance or substance to discuss. It’s as if leaving long-winded ramblings are the high point of their day, as if they’re captivated by the thought that leaving their voice for posterity somewhere will make a life-altering difference to someone.

    Just one more manifestation of today’s dysfunctional workplace.

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