(I’m ad-free again. That failed experiment yielded exactly $5.92 in a month — hardly worth slowing down my blog and selling my soul. Google will owe me that for the rest of my life because they don’t pay until the balance reaches at least $100. Now my category “I Wasn’t Paid to Write This” won’t become a painful reminder of my dismal ad click numbers.)
I don’t rant much. Here goes.
I pick up our home phone and dial the number for the guy who’s supposed to start pouring our patio on Tuesday. In this ridiculously large metro area, it may or may not be long distance, and I throw caution to the wind and dial without a preceding “one.” Three rings later a recorded voice interrupts and tells me, “We’re sorry, you must first dial a ‘one’,” when placing a long distance call. She finishes with the familiar, “Please hang up and try your call again.”
I pick up my work phone and dial a number, this time with the “one.” As soon as I finish dialing, those three annoying, ascending notes play and a recorded voice interrupts to tell me that it is not neccessary to dial a “one” when calling that number. “Please hang up and try your call again,” she says.
In this age of modern telecommunications, could the phone company not set up a system that 1) can tell me before I’ve waited through three rings that I’ve screwed up, or 2) just ignore the “one” if I don’t need it and patch the call through? How about both?
Would this be difficult? Has nobody ever complained? Maybe it’s time.
Let’s keep millions of land-line users from falling victim to one-plus paralysis. Write to your congressional representative today. In fact, let’s ask the presidential candidates how they feel. With the two of them neck-in-neck in the latest polls, a firm position on this issue might just make the difference.