I don’t like working in the office. I’m there now, trying to do a column, and all I get is lots of people yelling on the phone, in their cubicles, in my cubicle. I can’t believe that once I used to write stories in an open-plan newsroom. I suppose it’s a skill worth working on, but when I’ve got a great set-up at home (or even in the hotel, where I’m esconced at the moment), why should I give that up?
Anyway, that’s not the point of this post. I overheard one colleague trying to converse with someone on a bad line (she should have used Skype!). In the end she tries to give or get an email address to continue the transaction. But that’s no good over a bad (land) line. The chance of getting the email address right is remote. By now she’s given up.
So why isn’t there a way of doing this? Shouldn’t it be possible to key in a message via a touchtone phone, a la SMS (3 times the ’4’ key for ‘i’, for example)? The phone translates it to letters and displays it on the screen? (Even easier, of course, would be to SMS the address, but we’re assuming both ends are using a landline for this example).
So, anyone want to set that up? All you need is an LCD display on the recipient’s phone, right? Or am I missing something? Why does this bit have to be so, like, 1990s?
If I’m not mistaken, PCCW has a terrestrial phone SMS service using phones with large-ish LCD displays.
Not to pick on those with challenges with the english language, but this is even funnier to hear when two non-native english speakers are trying to pass along their email addresses via phone.