A week or two back, a friend lamented "drowning" her cell phone
(accidentally, of course). I recounted this story to a few other
friends and was surprised at how many expressed similar events
(personally or among their family members).
By far, the toilet claimed the most victims. A couple lost
items "over the side" on (small) boats.
No one complained about dropping anything in a *sink* (perhaps
because few folks ever have a sink full of water?). And, no
one complained of "death in a snow bank" (I guess snow doesn't
melt quick enough to do damage?)
Cell phones are the typical victims. And, "falling out of
their back pocket" (while lowering or raising pants, "before"
or "after") was the typical cause. (Men's wallets seemed to
suffer similar fates)
I assume PDA's are too "yesterday" to make the list. And,
earpieces probably don't make it *into* the bathroom (site
of most malfeasance).
But, wonder how often this happens and, considering the
dollars involved in some of these devices...
Boat incidents are the most common here. Usually it ends up being a
canoe or kayak going over and everything in it gets wet.
#2 would be people jumping in the water with it in their pocket.
Some people have been caught in the rain and got enough water in the
phone to kill it.
Part of the problem is people can't seem to walk out the door without
having their phone with them.
How in the hell did we get along before the 21st century when a cell
phone would fit in your pocket?
BTW I do not feel the need to carry a phone and I don't.
The only phone my wife ever lost was in a dry bag. The top didn't seal
right and rain water got in. If it was out in free air, the water may
not have penetrated the case but soaking in the bag killed it
On 11/17/2015 10:43 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
That happens. An improperly sealed bag makes the problem worse by
collecting water and holding it around the phone.
That reminds me of a newspaper I got when it was raining. It was in a
plastic bag but the bag leaked and the paper was thrown in a gutter
(leaky end upstream). The bag helped to collect water and soak the paper
rather than protect it.
37 days until the winter celebration (Friday December 25, 2015 12:00:00
AM for 1 day).
My interest is in wondering if "being waterproof" is a worthwhile
characteristic for a device to have -- given that most "characteristics"
translate into additional costs.
I'm sure someone who "flushed" his $600 phone would say "hell yeah!".
OTOH, someone who would be unlikely to flush it would grumble at
*any* added cost! (i.e., can't you purchase an insurance policy
for these things? so, why not do so?? ans: cost)
I just do not feel the need to be in constant communication with
Even when my company was paying for a "car phone" I still had the
lowest number of minutes per month, by a long shot and they were
always business related.
I do carry my cell when I am on long trips but not in my daily life
unless I am sure I will need it. I use about 30 minutes a year.
On 11/17/2015 11:25 AM, email@example.com wrote:
With me it started when my kids were younger. They were old enough for
me to make a run to the grocery store, but having a cell phone with me
gave us both piece of mind that if they needed me they could get hold of
me. Now, I carry one because I don't like the idea of not being able to
get in touch with someone in an emergency.
On 11/17/2015 11:25 AM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
I hear that. I'm not real big on talking on the phone.
I would never take a company phone, although for years they tried to
give me one. I don't talk on the phone when I'm driving, even though if
the phone rings I can answer it with the button on the steering wheel.
From what I hear, employers expect to be able to contact you "at any time".
If I was given a cell phone, I'd store it in my desk -- "safe and sound"! :>
I have no idea if SWMBO's phone can be paired with the car's "phone interface".
I see no reason to find out! Given how infrequently the phone is used...
and, how little driving we do... it would just be one more thing to have
to remember how to use WHEN you wanted to use it.
[And who would want to expose their contacts to yet another place where
they can be "stolen"?]
My boss tried to promote the idea of my safety. I hike alone and never
tell anyone where I'm going. Half the time I don't know where I'm going
until I get there. I didn't have the heart to tell him most places where
I hike don't have cell coverage.
A couple of years ago I got a call at 20:00 New Years Eve by one of our
support people. A client decided they absolutely had to go live with the
system on 1 January. So there I am, standing on a street corner trying
to talk him through a complex configuration process.
I'm old and my memory ain't what it used to be. After that I tended to
forget to take the phone with me.
"If I'm concerned about MY safety, I'll take precautions to safeguard it."
SWMBO hikes pretty regularly in one of the national Parks, here. Cell
phone coverage is spotty, at best (lots of little canyons, etc.). So,
her "safety net" is telling me which trail she plans to hike that day
so I can have an idea of how long she'll be out and "where to go looking
for the body"! :>
I get my exercise walking around the neighborhood -- about a square
mile. As we're close to the center of it, I can use a "long range"
CORDLESS phone and still be within range of the house. So, can
talk to SWMBO via "intercom", she can "page" me if she needs to
talk to me, etc. As the phone ring and intercom ring are different,
I just don't answer incoming calls on it.
Ha! Exactly my point. If you want me "on call", then PAY me for that
privilege. Otherwise, my time is my own. Spending it solving YOUR
problems isn't high on my list of priorities.
Over the years, I've spent many late nights getting prototypes ready
for demos or trials. Or, even getting deliverables out on a preagreed
schedule. But, each of those was something I knew ahead of time and
could plan around. Being at your beck and call isn't part of the deal.
[I work late nights. Would you like it if I phoned you AT HOME at
4AM to ask you some technical question that is impeding my progress
at that moment??]
My last 9-to-5 employer would "remind" me every evening, "See you tomorrow;
and don't forget that tie!" Somehow, I never was able to remember to wear
"that tie" in all those years... :> I'm even older, now, so my memory is
Personally, I'm hoping the bears, wolves, and ravens get there first. I
don't file flight plans and I don't necessarily stick to trails, at
least not the human sort.
When I was a young engineer on my first real job my mentor said "They'll
give you business cards. Never, never give one to anybody." In my
present position, I hide behind a couple of layers of support and
operations people. Still there are a couple of clients that have sussed
out my email and phone info. Fortunately, both are people I can work
with, not the incessant whiners.
I'm hoping to get there before the body is motionless! :>
Folks tend to get lost/incapacitated here pretty regularly.
Take a tumble, fall down an embankment, twist an ankle, etc.
Most of the year, water becomes a problem so you want to find
folks in relatively short order to keep them from suffering
from extreme/fatal dehydration. Wildlife (except snakes and
insects) typically aren't a problem during daylight hours.
She hikes close enough to home (a few miles from here as
the crow flies) so I can get there and, knowing which trail
she took, expect to find her in relatively short order.
OTOH, if she opted to take a different trail -- or, start from
a different trailhead -- it would be a "search and rescue"
class of operation.
I have always used business cards as convenient bits of scrap paper.
Especially handy by the bedside: you can find the edges of the card
without turning the lights on and scribble a note "blind".
I've not been in a support role since my first job (back when dinosaurs
walked the earth). I primarily do development, proof-of-concept prototypes,
patent proofs, etc. So, it's almost always The Boss/Client who's looking
to tickle my ear. As such, pushing them away from phone contact (where
they want to shoot-the-sh*t and play "what-if" -- without thinking about
all those "ifs" ahead of time!) is the big savings. Force them to put
their thoughts and questions into words and most folks are too lazy or
unstructured in their thinking to be able to do so.
Those who *do* formulate concrete questions have now undertaken the
task of *documenting* their questions FOR ME! And, I can document
the *exact* response to those questions -- not what they choose to
selectively remember -- to remove much of the ambiguity and potential
An employer taught me that years before there was (practical) email:
get it in writing!
I always told people to put what they needed me to do in an email, too.
It means that I have a trail so when/if they come back later wanting to
know why I didn't do "Y", I can show them their email where they told me
to do "X".
Exactly. In my case, clients are often looking for "ball park estimates"
for future projects. But, they give "ball park requirements" and all sorts
of platitudes about "Just give me a general idea -- I won't hold you to it...".
Of course, when the time comes, they only remember the number you gave them
and not the lack of specificity on THEIR part:
"What???! You told me it would cost $3000 and now you're looking to
charge me $250K? (red faced, steam coming out ears)"
"Well, when I gave you the $3K estimate, you were looking for a 'tool
shed' in which to store your riding lawnmower. Now, you're asking
for a 4 bedroom house!"
(Ah, you forgot those "little details", eh?)
Good notes do more than cover your *ss -- they also help maintain
healthy relationships. ("Yeah, I guess I *did* ask for a tool shed
when we were talking about this back in July...") No one wants
to admit they have "selective memory".
One time I had someone blame me for something that never got done 8
months ago, so I went into my email archive and found the 5 emails that
were sent to them asking for instructions on what they needed done, and
the 2 emails of them telling me the client had not made up their mind,
yet, and they'd let me know when they found something out. After 5
follow-up emails inquiring if the client made up their mind and no
instructions from the boss, I GAVE UP because the time frame in which
the task would have needed to be done was 2 weeks in the past. The boss
just said "oh, ok" ...
Yes. You can't "win" -- show them proof and they get indignant
(as if you're calling them a liar -- even though they may have
But, if you make it "general knowledge" that you keep detailed
notes (i.e., archive emails), folks are far less aggressive in
pursuing an "opinion" when they hear you CONFIDENTLY stating
otherwise! ("Hmmm... he can probably pull up a written record of
this so I'd better not be TOO insistent as I may well be wrong!")
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