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So then did the American yum yum clown monkey also represent the FCC?

I got another comment on a journal entry today (http://jeff.squyres.com/journal/archives/000341.php). Man, I'm cool now. 2 total comments -- that's almost one per year!

Did you ever notice how some people put their hands on the phone while it's ringing, but will distinctly wait for at least a second or third ring before they actually answer it? Sometimes they're even looking directly at the phone -- distinctly not doing anything else. So it's not that they can't answer the phone -- it's that they won't answer the phone. For another few seconds, that is.

And this isn't just limited to land lines -- I've seen people do this with cell phones, too.

I don't understand this. I always answer the phone either right away, when I finish my current thought (i.e., allow myself to be interrupted), or not at all (don't want to be interrupted).

So what is the reason for this ridiculous behavior?

  • The person doesn't want the caller to think that they're sitting right there, ready to answer the phone. But they are. Sitting right there. Ready to answer the phone. Hence, you're already a loser -- do you really think that the caller doesn't already know that?
  • The person doesn't want the caller to think that they're not busy. But won't that be determined by the conversation? i.e., unless the entire conversation is going to be "yeah... yeah... yeah... look, I gotta go, I'm really busy...", then what's the point? (i.e., you wouldn't stare at the phone for 10 seconds before answering it if you really were that busy).
  • Let's not forget that the ringing sound heard by the caller is totally unrelated to the ringing sounding on the telephone. Both ringing tones are solely for convenience, and may even be played by two entirely unrelated pieces of equipment (e.g., each party may hear a ringing tone generated by the local phone system -- although the called system acknowledges to the caller some kind of signal indicating "the phone is ringing", the actual audible ringing tones may not be transmitted, and may be generated locally.

    <rant>This is why sometimes the caller is surprised when I pick up when my phone rings the first time, "Wow!" they say, "it didn't even ring!" No, bozo, it just didn't ring for you. On, no, sorry, what I meant to say was: yeah, that's because I knew you were calling. I'm a just a friggen' genius that way.</rant>

    So even though the caller may or may not have heard any rings at all, you are sitting there, waiting for you to hear two rings. For no reason.

I have a solution for this idiotic behavior. All people who wait for at least the second ring to answer the phone (hitherto referred to as "second ringers") need to be directly wired to the ringer in their phone. Then, let's see how many rings it takes them to answer.


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