How Do You Answer the Phone?

Alden Library 10-24-2013_8977I’ve touched on my negative love for cell phones in the past. I carried two-way radios on my belt for 25+ years and never minded that because they were designed as communication devices to be used only when you wanted to exchange important information.

When I became telecommunications manger and had to ride herd on hundreds of wireless devices, I was convinced they were the spawn of the devil.

When I was working, I carried two cell phones, each on a different carrier, because I was the Fone Guy. After I retired, I put all my eggs in one Verizon HTC Droid Incredible basket. The model served me well until just recently when it started misbehaving. Today it locked up, requiring me to pull the battery to do a cold boot. It flashed some debug code on the screen, popped up a couple icons, one shaped like a tombstone with RIP engraved on it, and died. It eventually rose from the dead, but I decided 2008 to 2014 was a pretty good run and maybe it was time to get a new phone.

If you wonder what the photo has to do with the story, it’s something I noticed when I was at Ohio University’s Alden Library last fall. It was striking how many students passed by with a glowing screen cradled in their hands.

I now own a Motorola Droid Ultra

Baker Center 10-24-2013_8997Here are more students with their electronic nooses. The guy on the down escalator at Baker Center looks like he’s holding a tablet, but he’s actually a dinosaur: he’s holding – Egads! – an actual sheet of paper. I showed in another post how more folks were interesting in texting and taking selfies than watching the OU football game they were attending.

The folks at the Verizon store on North Lake Blvd. in Lake Park have been a pleasure to deal with. Michael Valerio patiently showed me what devices were available. He actually listened when I told him I didn’t really care about taking photos, playing music, texting or putting something on my belt that was the size of a TV tray, and pointed me to the Motorola Droid Ultra. The price was right – Free, except for a $30 upgrade fee and the need to buy an Otterbox Defender Series case to protect it.

Getting all my old aps back was a lot simpler than the first time I went through the drill. It’ll take some time to get stuff where I’m used to seeing it, but I’m pleased with how many things things come built into the phone that I used third-party aps for in the past.

There was one problem, though. I had the phone charging behind me when I heard a strange noise. I hadn’t set up the ringtones yet, so I didn’t recognize that a call was coming in. When I picked up the phone, I could see it was Curator Jessica calling, but I couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out how to ANSWER the bleeping phone.

That was never a problem with my old Motorola MX340 two-way radio.

10 Replies to “How Do You Answer the Phone?”

  1. Aloha…
    and as life would have it, I am looking for a new phone for my wife and I today…T-moblie has a $40.00 for her and $60.00 a month for me. I think I will get the Samsung BIG one( have Note II now, so I like a big Phone). and Droid is fine for me, Apple is always foreign language to me. So you MAC guys can keep all your wonderful stuff for yourselves, I am happy in droid land.

  2. We seem to have something in common. I was the Telecommunications Analyst(fone guy)for the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority(MOHELA)for 20 years. We serviced student loans nationwide.

    1. I morphed from photographer to director of photography to editorial operations manager at The Palm Beach Post. In 1991, the IT manager said they were going to create a new position – telecommunications manager – and thought I’d be a good fit because of a track record as project manager and an ability to work with other departments.

      I went home that night and told Wife Lila that I liked what I was doing, but had pretty much automated my job and that it was going to get boring in another couple of years. “I have another 20 years to work, so here’s a chance to make a complete career change, but still stay with a company I like.”

      I never regretted the move. I had a great staff and some interesting projects to work on. I also appreciated how nice it was to work in an area free of office politics and maneuvering. When you are working in the realm of phones and networks, the stock answer is, “Sure, we can do anything, given enough time and enough money. Which are you willing to contribute?”

  3. Legend has it Thomas Edison came up with the “Hello” greeting as opposed to Alexander Graham Bell’s proposed greeting of “Ahoy Ahoy”. Thanks Tom.

    1. I’ve told this before, but…

      When Son Matt was about two years old, Wife Lila said, “You’re going to have to change the way you answer the phone?”


      “Because Matt was playing with his toy phone this afternoon, and when it rang, he answered it by saying, ‘Oh, BLEEP! Hellow.'”

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