Of all the phenomenal and impressive things my iPhone Archibald (giving him an aristocratic boys makes me feel better about my life choice to spend 23 hours a day cradling him) can do, making calls and contacting people doesn’t seem to be high up on his list. Which is a little concerning considering that is the primary reason for which I have him. Another fine example of a woman giving her life to a man and getting nothing but disappointment back, but I digress.
You see Archibald’s main problem is that during a task I’ve asked him to do, such as accepting a call, he gets bored and then stops doing his task half way through. Basically, Archibald just ceases to function, as if Philip Nitschke had caught him in a bad mood.
Take for example the incident that occurred to me this past Tuesday. Whilst at Uni I ran into Joel the grad student, who upon seeing me, frantically bowed his head down, pretended he didn’t see me and started waking away at the speed of light. Given my mild penchant for schadenfreude (or masochism, depends which way you view the situation) I called his name out. He awkwardly stopped and even more awkwardly started explaining why he hadn’t called me back yet.
This whole situation was unfortunate for obvious reasons, only one of which included the fact that my phone started ringing somewhere in what I can assume was the middle of Joel’s monologue. I answered the call only to have it cut out 5 seconds in. Archibald was clearly preoccupied with his desire to continue listening to Joel’s excuses.
To be honest, whilst the phone call came as a well timed distraction and exit strategy from the situation I found myself in, it did leave me wondering why there was a lack of reception given I was standing in the middle of a large University in Melbourne as opposed to say, sub-saharian Africa.
I quickly concluded that in these harsh economic times, telecommunications companies have realised that they can significantly reduce their overheads if they just stopped wasting money on providing phone coverage.
And in the case of Tuesday’s incident, the telecommunications company obviously concluded they didn’t need to provide service to rural parts of Australia, such as the Melbourne CBD.
Now don’t get me wrong, this lack of coverage is often a good thing. But there are also times when it’s not your mother calling, and you want to speak to people.
I should also clarify that this post is in no way an exercise in blame and I am not going to name and shame my provider, Optus. The same way I’m not going to complain about iPhones with whom I’ve had a long and tumultuous relationship.
You see, I used to have an iPhone 4 which meant that phone calls used to drop out whenever I did something dramatic, like stand up. But fortunately, my new iPhone 5 has fixed that problem by rarely being able to make phone calls in the first place. These days I’m just grateful if the battery lasts long enough to even allow me to attempt to make a phone call.
We’re living in an incredibly technologically advanced society; can we please find a way to make and receive phone calls? Can we please just be able to communicate and share joy with one another? Can we please just be able to send drunken text messages at 2am and know they’ll arrive before we get a chance to regret them in the morning!?
As for Joel, maybe he did try to call but just couldn’t get through…?