Friday, April 23, 2010

The cell phone can either be a wonder tool or

a real pain in the ass.

I wonder how much longer the basic issue land line will be around.

The other day I went into the office and saw that 4 people were on the phone, and that all 4 were on cell phones. Not person one was using a land line. When I went outside, I saw that one of the people there had taken his work outside to do while enjoying the sunshine. He was filling out some sort of report or something at the picnic table.

His phone went off and he answered it and dealt with whatever headache he was handed and went back to his paperwork.

The cell phone opens up a lot of opportunity for an office type to unchain himself from the prison of a desk.

Mine, on the other hand, is scientifically programmed by some evil conspirators somewhere to go off when I am either on the john or in the shower or driving too fast through a switchback turn or in the middle of a complicated traffic situation at high speed.

When I went for my Stearman flight a while back, I was pretty careful to out and out turn the damned thing off before I even got into the cockpit. No use giving the conspitators the chance to nail me on final approach when I was trying to focus on landing the damned thing. I turned it off because I'm not completely stupid.

I wonder if the guy landing the space shuttle turns his off for landings. Probably. I sure as hell would. The last thing he needs is somme keyed up nervous engineer type calling him on final approach to call him and ask him if he filled out the all-important inventory of the space shuttle's Kleenex supply.

My cell started as a work only tool, that was only supposed to stay on the boat and has evolved into another thing I am chained to 24/7. It was supposed to be so that if I went ashore for something, there would be a way to get ahold of me if something came up,period.

When I upgraded recently, I could not go cheap and get a basic, primitive phone; it had to have a camera so I could send pictures to my port engineer when something breaks.

I've gone from about 10 minutes a month to almost a thousand.

Work eats a lot of this because the people in the office know that if I'm away from the ship's phone, I have my cell with me unless I am actually on deck. They seldom use the ship's phone.

The other thing that uses up the minutes are people that yak.

I use mine as a simple communication tool to convey basic information. It annoys me when I have to hear about what kind of fish someone caught at the fish market and had for dinner last night.It's said sometimes that I'm pretty curt on mine, and I guess I am. When I had Tracfone, I used to answer it with 'This is costing me money. What do you want?'

It kept most of the conversations short and fact-filled, which is what communication at work is all about. We're here to do a job, not share our inner fears that the hometown sports team might lose the big game.

I guess the cell phone is just another double edged sword.

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