Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Talk is cheap; some talk's cheaper

Sneering at mobile phone users appears to be waning. Perhaps most of us now have mobiles and have discovered that the sentence “I’m on the train” is not inherently funny.

I only experience mass phoning on my rarish trips to see Plutarch at the Blogger’s Retreat in London (as yesterday). And then it’s the quality of what’s said that disturbs me. Clearly it’s time to update Thoreau (“Most men lead lives of unfortunately audible desperation.”) since one can’t help worrying about the homes such utterers return to. TV commercials must come as a great comfort. Is that a sneer? I suppose it is.

The saddest call I ever overheard was of a salesman failing to make a sale. Since I depended on space salesmen to finance the magazines I worked for, I had some sympathy with this troubled fellow. But I would have wished him better selling technique. Too many responses started with “Perhaps if we… “

That’s why it was unexpected, yesterday, to hear the following from a bearded guy across the aisle who laughed delightedly throughout:

“That’s a philosophical question.”
XXX
“I’ll put you on the loudspeaker if you aren’t careful.”
XXX
“I hope some people ended up with bloody noses.”
XXX
“It’s good to hear from you; how are you in yourself?”
XXX
“That goes for my wife as well.”
XXX
“And didn’t your immediate boss inform him?”

Fill in the Xs and there’s a short story. Alas I have longer fish to fry.

2 comments:

Julia said...

When we're in the States, I notice salesmen on calls in airports quite a lot. Despite their booming voices, there often seems to be a desperate quality to those calls.

Barrett Bonden said...

Julia: I've said it before. Had I been forced to sell for a living I'd have starved to death.