Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Why can't I answer my phone?

You would think that after about 3 weeks of getting a phone call everyday after maghrib, and still expecting a call every night after maghrib... that I'd keep my phone handy.


Never fails. Phone rings, and I am not to be found. Twenty minutes later I start to wonder when the call is coming and find... it came, and I have voicemail. Now, voicemail is nice, but it would be nicer (I'm sure to the one on the other end!) if I could answer once in a while. It's amazing how these strange things happens.

Sometimes, I fall asleep. Yes, I don't always get enough sleep at night (although, alhamdulillah I'm able to get up on time now!) and occasionally take naps at 7pm--don't laugh. It usually starts with 'asr and a cozily warm bedroom, then snuggling into bed until after maghrib (prayer after sunset) which is now about 8pm. I think so far I've been able to wake up in time to make the salat(!!) but then I need to get on with things. Mind you, I fall asleep with my phone in my purse, and my purse in the living room (not bedroom) so I don't even hear the phone.

Sometimes, I leave it on vibrate by accident. And just miss it.

Sometimes I just don't hear it ring and it's not on vibrate and I'm not asleep. Mysterious! I've yet to figure that one out.

Sometimes I go to the mosque or a lecture last-minute and turn my phone off or don't answer. Or turn it on vibrate and then find the vibrating to be so loud, I open the phone (connect) then close it (disconnect.) This sends a mysterious message--did she answer? Should I call back? Huh? And then I try not to disturb the speaker while texting quick messages like "l8r" even though I said 8:45 would be fine the night before and now it's 9pm.

I wish I had some explanation for this morbidly embarassing behavior (when everytime I return the call I start with an apology...)

Is it spontaneity? Is it carelessness? I really wonder because I do hope to get married one day, and I'm worried that this little.. habit.. is going to get really annoying. Not for me so much... but him. I'm going to have to get used to telling people where I am and where I'm going I guess, but someone else is going to have to get used to delayed reception phone calls, or else staple my phone to my head so I can't lose it.

In the meantime, if anyone is calling me and wondering why I don't answer... it's nothing personal.


Yusuf Smith said...

As-Salaamu 'alaikum,

Over here, a lot of landlines now have something called BT Answer, which means that, if you don't answer after 6 rings, it goes to the answering service. This means that, if you're in when it rings, you've got to drop everything and run to pick it up if it's in another room. If it's a cordless phone and someone left it out of view, you'll miss it.

It's one of my most hated pieces of technology - I call this sort of thing an "irritating pseudo-feature" (IPF) because it's a feature which behaves like a fault. It is so badly implemented that it's more annoying than useful. I much preferred the old answering machines, which you just turned off when you were in the house.

Of course, during the day if you're not working, if you do get to it in time, you often find that it's a junk phonecall with some guy in a call centre in India trying to sell you something you don't want.

Amy said...

Well my phone goes to voice mail after a certain amount of time. I can't count rings, though, now with these musical ringtones that are like songs... I just have to know what time in the song it ends and goes to voicemail. My problem more so is that I actually don't hear it ringing. So at least it goes to voice mail and I get a message instead of... never knowing.

And it's my mobile so I don't get the junk phone calls. And you know, I never turned off the answering machine to the landline. In fact, we just... let it get all the calls and if it was someone important, then we'd answer.

But now my only phone really is my mobile phone. I don't use the phone in the apartment. Don't even have a phone connected to the jack because sometimes it would ring even though I didn't give anyone the number... mysteriously.