Saturday, November 03, 2018

Very right moments and the phone

Vatican City State's phone book
I want to channel the Dowager Duchess of Downton, who views the phone with suspicion. I want to crisply tell the person who called me fifteen times — every 30 minutes — on three different numbers yesterday that they should cease and desist. What was so urgent? Thankfully they left me a voicemail the first time so I would know.

"...this call is to inform you about some legal enforcement actions filed on your social security number. We have got an order to suspend your social at very right moment because we have found many suspicious activities on your social before we go ahead and suspend your number. Kindly call us back on our number which is ..."

Any awkwardness in language is not the fault of Google Voice's transcription, I note. I did listen to the message, which was in a synthesized male voice. This is a scam of course, "socials" don't get suspended, at very right moments or not.  They called, I blocked, they called me at a different number, I blocked again.

But it made me think about how few phone calls I get these days that are not scams, political calls or cold sales calls for one thing or another. Given the choice to give up voice or text, I'd give up the voice functionality of my phone in a heartbeat. Math Man calls more often than he texts and a colleague calls from time to time, but other than that, I have returned to the era of asynchronous written communication.  Delivered through the offices of the elves of the interwebs rather than the Dowager's minions, but nonetheless, passed from one (virtual) hand to another, I have control of my interruptions. The phone assumes I'm free to drop whatever I am doing to answer it, that I am interruptible. It's rarely a very right moment!


  1. I agree. I don't answer my phone, letting everything go to voicemail. I am particularly vexed with calls to trusting and vulnerable people who do not always recognize the scams. Email, too, is subject to a lot of scams, unless you have a very good filter on your server. Thanks for this reminder.

  2. These scam artist should at least know how to speak good english, before trying to scare someone into thinking someone is really going to interupt your social security. What a messed up world we live in!