Phone Features

 [colorful rounded image of the Head of a GNU]

From: don (Don Levinstone)

Would the invention of the telephone ever have gotten off the
ground if Alexander Graham Bell's first call had gone...
    Bell: Mr. Watson, come here; I want you.
    Voice: If you know Watson's extension, press 1 now. If you
          would like to leave a message for Watson, press 2. If
          you need further assistance, hold the line for the next
          available representative....
The telephone, which was satisfied for a century or so simply
placing and receiving calls, has become a different animal in
recent years. These days, everybody has an answering machine, a
speakerphone, and a slew of other telecommunication doodads. Call
waiting, caller ID, and last-number redial are fine, but here are
some options that can't be far behind.
    ON-HOLD DISRUPT: When someone puts you on hold for more than
    15 seconds, a digitized voice blares over his or her
    speakerphone, "Hey! Remember me? I don't have all day!" (This
    option also shorts out Muzak if it's being played.)
    CALL SCHMOOZING: Stuck listening to a long-winded
    acquaintance? Call schmoozing activates a speech-synthesized
    voice that sounds just like you and repeats "Uh-huh...I
    see...right" while the other party babbles on. He or she
    thinks you're hanging on every word, when you're actually
    getting your work done.
    CALL SCHMOOZING PLUS: Your phone places calls to important
    contacts, trades pleasantries, probes for career-enhancing
    information, and ends by saying, "You're beautiful. Let's do
    lunch. Don't ever change."
    GOSSIP NOTIFICATION: Company rumors are automatically
    broadcast to selected voice mailboxes. Time once wasted
    circulating gossip translates into increased productivity.
    CALL TERMINATE: Imagine being able to fire troublesome
    employees just by dialing their numbers! An excellent feature
    for executives with poor confrontation skills.
    NETWORK EAVESDROP: A must for the paranoid manager. Whenever
    anyone in the company mentions your name during a phone
    conversation, a voice-activated tape-recorder stores the call
    so you can review it later and hear what people are saying
    about you.
    SELECTIVE CALL DISCOURAGING: Program the numbers of people
    you really don't want to speak with. When they dial your
    number, your phone transmits a mild electric shock through
    their receivers.
    CELLULAR CRANK CALL: On command, your car phone can dial any
    other car phone within a 30-mile radius and tell the driver
    his muffler looks as though it's about to fall off.
    CALL REMINDING: Store the birthdays and anniversaries of
    loved ones in your telephone's memory. On the appropriate
    days, the phone automatically calls them and relays heartfelt
    sentiments in a digitized voice simulating your own.
    CALL INTERRUPT: When you need to end a conversation quickly,
    a button on your phone causes a fake operator to break in and
    announce that you have an emergency call on the line from
    Steve Jobs.
    SUBLIMINA-CALL: Periodically during a conversation, the phone
    plays subliminal messages to the other party, such as "Say
    yes" and "Increase my department's budget."
    CHARGE-FORWARDING: A quick push of a button charges any long-
    distance call to the person you're calling or to friends who
    don't look too closely at their phone bills.

Other humor in the GNU Humor Collection.


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Updated: 8 Apr 2000 tower