The Essential, Indispensable Appendage – The Phone

It's like an appendage, almost. Men don't leave home without their cell phones the way women have never left without their purses. Remember when you used to say, "If that phone rings one more time, I'm going to scream," while rising once again from the dinner table to pick up the extension in the kitchen. Or the hallway. Phones are great. We live in a great society in which we can "connect" with anyone, anywhere, any time. We are in the advanced age of communication technology, and we like it. It's so much easier to get things done,more quickly and efficiently these days, especially when we have a cell phone (or two). You probably want one for your personal calls and another one just for business. And most people like one by their side all weekend -- kids, too. There's also usually no limit to the amount of calls you get to make, because phone companies are all dashing around, lowering prices to compete for your business. You can drive and be on the phone at the same time. If you're at the movies with a friend or your spouse, it's so reassuring to have your phone with you so you can check on the kids, see if the dry-cleaning you dropped off earlier is ready, and call your home phone to check the messages you missed while you were watching the movie. And the array and style and shape of phones are just out of sight! They can come with either all the bells and whistles you could ever wish for, or they can be really simple, like those white cordless phones with the really huge number pads on them, just for the elderly. This business leaves no one out! Who ever thought shopping for phones would become an interesting, fascinating pastime? Phone trade shows get national recognition; they're even featured on TV news programs now. But why is it, then, when you go to the office, your eyes bulge every time the phone rings? We like the phone. It's a GOOD thing, because it CONNECTS us. Still, there is an underlying resentment at having to obey an inanimate object that makes a periodic, shrill sound. No, we don't like the phone. We hate the phone. We turn our speaker phone on at first so we won't have to keep picking up and putting down the receiver. Then we just hit the "Do not disturb" or "Busy" button featured on most modern office phones and just let the voice mail pick it up. We can't be bothered with any more calls! We have work to do here! What do these people think we are, the operator? No kidding. And what a great feeling you get when you slide into the driver's seat for your commute back home, relaxing slowly from the day, and taking out your cell phone to call someone you WANT to talk to. Now, that's different. Phones are absolutely vital to our existence, and they are here to stay, in one form or another. We love our phones, but we hate our phones: It's an emotional kind of thing. But don't worry: You know it's just a matter of time, and then they'll have support groups for that.

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