The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Is this the number I dialed?

There are times when I strongly believe that no one listens to me. I'm used to it. It seems to be related to my invisibility in restaurants (and, occasionally, my car becomes enshrouded in this invisibility). It's annoying.

For instance, yesterday after golf, we were sitting around talking about nothing much. You know, the idle chatter of men who are intent on drinking too much beer after spending a few hours in the midday sun wasting a lot of effort in propelling a small ball into a small hole. One of our number purchased one of those Magic Jack things. He's happy. He pays almost nothing per month. But the service is, shall we say, spotty? And the conversations sound something like this:

Joe: I ... a new ... iver ...eally feel ... ood.

Me: You bought a new driver?

Joe: Yeah .. at's ... ut I sa...

But that's not the only problem. You cannot simply dial the number they gave him. No, you have to dial "1 {area code} {phone number}" even though the area code is the same. I have to do the same when I call Lakeland which is about 50 or so miles away. I can call his number from my cell phone without using the "1". My cell phone number is the one I got many years ago when I was living in West Palm Beach. Any number I dial must be ten digits, must include the area code, but I never have to dial a "1", regardless. If I am in West Palm Beach, I can drop the area code but I am never there anymore.

Someone at the table said he couldn't call Joe's number at all, that he gets some kind of announcement. So, after 5 minutes of polling everyone at the table, we found that 3 people could not call Joe's number at all on their cell phones and one claimed he also could not call the number from his landline. 6 others (including me) said the landline required both the "1" and the area code (even though it is the same as ours) in order to get through. And one claimed he had to dial a "1" with his cell phone when calling anyone outside our area code but did not need the area code for numbers inside it.

This was all very clear to me. The person last mentioned in the previous paragraph was sitting to my immediate right (let's call him "Bob" since that's his name).

Bob insisted that he must use that "1". I said he shouldn't have to. I repeated what I had said earlier; 10 digits only, no "1" needed. Ever. He asked who my carrier is. I replied "AT&T". He said something to someone else, repeating his need for the "1" then turned back to me and said "you must have someone other than 'AT&T'".

Meanwhile, one of the three who could not reach Joe's number dialed it on his cell phone using the speakerphone option so we all could hear. The announcement stated that the number dialed was determined to be a local number so the area code was not needed. So Bob says, "prefix it with a '1'." That, of course, got the same announcement. Dialing without the area code (and without the "1") resulted in a "We cannot complete your call as dialed" announcement. It was then determined that his carrier was Verizon.

We then found out that the other two who couldn't call the number were also using Verizon's network.

Being a phone guy, I realized that the problem they were having was caused by the way Verizon was translating and routing the number. Verizon could fix it if they were told about it. I told them this.

Bob (remember that he was seated just to my right) then insisted that all these three had to do was add a "1" and everything would be fine. I repeated that I did not need to and dialed the number just fine to show this. Bob again insisted I must not be using AT&T.

At that point, I just shut up and dropped out of the discussion.

Sometimes there is just no point.


MArk Cowell said...

I completely understand the invisibility thing. For me it plays out primarily at home. Of course with our son, daughter-in-law, and two toddler grandchildren living with us, it is chaos anyhow. But I regularly get ignored even when I'm answering a question somebody asked me. Before I get through the first sentence, the subject has changed and people are asking other things. Hmmm. I might have to do a dialogue blog to illustrate it one of these days. As for cell phone systems...sorry...breaking up.

Douglas4517 said...

I suppose we all become invisible from time to time. I would think those
toddlers always see grampa, though.