my cellphone, the simplest i could buy at the time, has approximately 47 features i looked at once and have never used. despite this endemic featuritis, i would like to suggest one new feature for phones that i think many would find a great relief.

it’s very simple:

  1. when a call comes in, the phone should check the incoming number against its phonebook.
  2. if the number is found, it should put the call through right away.
  3. if the number is not in the phonebook, a recorded message should say “you have reached the cellphone of [click, followed by my voice] jeff covey [click]. if this is the person you wish to reach, please stay on the line, and i’ll connect you. if not, please hang up and redial the number you were trying to call.”
  4. after about five seconds, if the caller is still on the line, the phone should start ringing.

since small phones with small number keys became commonplace, i’ve received many more “wrong number” calls than ever before, and this seems to be true for everyone i know. just delaying the incoming call for a few seconds while the person on the other end decides if this is really what she wants could noticeably reduce the number of times each day we go scrambling to find the phone for no reason.

please mention it to your friend’s sister, the one whose uncle’s ex-wife’s stepson’s cousin’s roomate’s boyfriend is the godson of the ceos of all the major phone companies.

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2 thoughts on “sorry, wrong number

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