Doing the Two Step

You are all familiar with the Corridor Two Step?

You know – that dance when two people try to pass in opposite directions in a corridor or passageway?  Facing each other, you both step one way and then the other way while smiling apologetically, until you or the other flattens themselves against the wall and says "for fuck's sake, GO!".

There is a modern version of this and it involves mobile phones.

It happens to me quite a lot, and it happened again this morning.

I checked my phone and realised that as usual it had died the death through lack of battery.  I switched it on with the intention of charging at and it asked me for my security number.  In the middle of prodding the screen it died the death again.  I plugged it in and switched it on once more.  It lit up all right and made its irritating noises but the little card wasn't activated and there was no way to reenter the security code,  I had to switch it off and on again which is a pain in the arse and typical of the useless piece of shit.  God only knows why I bought the fucking thing in the first place.

Anyhows, none of that has anything to do with the Mobile Phone Two Step.

That started when my phone warmed up and informed me I had missed a call.  It showed the number and told me I could return the call if I pressed "Dial".  The only snag is that my phone doesn't have a "Dial" button – it just has a little icon that I have to repeatedly thump, but the icon wasn't on that screen, and if I went to the screen that had "Dial" I would lose the number.  I wrote the number down.

I dialed the number.  There was no reply so I disconnected.

A short while later the phone rang so I answered it.

"Hello!" said the voice, "You rang me?".

"No I didn't." I replied "You rang me."

"I know I did but you rang me before that."

"Ah!  So I did" I replied.  "That was because I was returning your call, after you rang me."

This was beginning to confuse even me.  I decided it was time for the "for fuck's sake GO!" moment.  I explained how he had phoned and I had missed the call.  I had then phoned him and he had missed the call and that he was now ringing me to find out why I was ringing him to find out what he had being ringing me for in the first place.  This didn't really help as it confused me even further, and God knows what he was thinking.  We decided that it was all a mistake and one of us at some stage had dialed a wrong number [but it definitely wasn’t me].  There are times when it is better to cut one's losses.

Now none of this would have happened if it wasn't for that little display telling me I had missed a call.  If it's so fucking smart why can't it recognise a wrong number and ignore it?  That's the trouble with these fucking so called "smart" phones – they try to be smart but they aren't really smart enough.

None of that would have happened with a good old fashioned bakelite phone with only a dial on the front.

Bakelite phone

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Doing the Two Step — 13 Comments

  1. My rule is   "NEVER RING BACK" 


    It works every time.   If they really want me then they will ring again;  if they don't ring back it, obviously, was not important.

    • The problem is that I get quite a few calls from delivery drivers looking for directions to the house.  Sometimes they leave a message and sometimes they don't and if I miss them they feck off out of the area and I don't see them again for days.  One of the joys of rural living!

  2. Well I said I'd never get a smart phone but someone has gone and bought me one for Christmas.

    A nokia Lumia. I hope it don't do things like that.

    • Mine's a Samsung Somethingorother.  It has no keys- just a slidy screen that has to be thumped to work.  It's a pain in the hole.  Best of luck with the Nokia!

  3. When I was a lad, our phone didn't even have a dial. You had to pick up the receiver and wait for the girl (it was always a girl) at the exchange to answer. You would then tell her the number you wanted, and she would dial it and patch you through. That was pretty 'smart', I thought. You could even make long-distance calls! Our number was the town name followed by 413. Not many phones around in those days…

    • The ones with the windy-up handle on the side?  I remember them!  My home was a posh one though in that our phone had a dial.  We used to make trunk calls by tapping the cradle.  Anyone else do that? 

      • They (the Vermont grandparents I mean) had the same thing in the old family farmhouse for a rather ridiculous amount of time–Vermont was always at least 10 years behind the times you see. You'd pick up the handset (the old bakelite type you mentioned), tap the the cradle a few times and yell into it something like this:


        Something like that anyway. Your post just gives me yet another reason not to ever purchase one of these so called smart phones.

  4. I think the answer phone on anything is the way that phone companies go running to the bank in jubilation at their profits.

    By the way, I like a load of your posts. But if I have no time to write and tell you, I would hit the "like" button – if you had one. Do you?

    • Thank you! [*blush*].  I do indeed have a "like" button but it is extremely well hidden – you'd have to follow the Farcebook link on the side and you'll find a few in there.  There's probably a lot of dust and cobwebs in there too as I very rarely visit it myself.  You have been warned.

  5. A few weeks back, I left my messages build up and didn't want to listen to them – an ostrich type failing.

    The message box became full and people were unable to leave messages – the ostrich won.

    If I have the patience to try to succeed through the various options, I am thinking of disconnecting the mailbox. If it is important, they'll call again, text or email.

    A (futile) little rebellion against the always available modern communictions age….

    • My problem is my Inbox.  I checked it the other day and there are messages there nearly a year old.  One of the many features [failings?] of my phone is that there seems to be no way of bulk deleting, so I would have to go through them one by one.  Maybe I'll get around to it tomorrow……..

  6. Back in the day, and out in the sticks we still had party lines. One number for up to 6 houses I think. You'd know if the call was for your household depending on the pattern of rings. Course we also knew what the ring sounded like for the cute teacher a mile down the road, so we'd pick up the handset very quietly.

    • Welcome Yokel!  I was denied the pleasure of a party line though I knew people who had them.  Somehow we managed to get a line to ourselves whether by chance or by bribery I don't know.  I led a sheltered upbringing.  

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