Hanging Up the Cell Phone
Posted: July 27, 2007
Cellular telephone technology has come a long way since I purchased my first cell phone in about 1993. In fact, with the exception of a few new features, my current phone is not that different from my original Nokia. The one obvious difference, though, is that my newest cell is a flip phone rather than the one-piece relic that I used for so many years. More about that embarrassing story in a bit.
I have a few friends in particular who will call me around 8pm on a weekend asking me to join them for some good cheer. At times, I have politely declined their invitation and began to hang up the phone. On more than one occasion, though, I was slow to disconnect the call and realized that the caller had not hung up her cell phone. At first, I thought this may be have my friend's way of hosting a conference call, but after yelling into my phone and trying to get her attention for a few minutes, I felt obligated to call someone else who I knew was at the same social gathering who could tell my friend to hang up her phone. (I never felt right about listening in on another's conversation).
On another occasion two summers ago, a friend picked me up to attend a high school graduation party. Apparently, he has just got off the cell phone with his girlfriend. Unfortunately, neither one of us realized that the cell phone had not been hung up until after we spent about 15 minutes talking about his "on-again, off-again" relationship with this particular lady friend. After a few days, he called to tell me that his girlfriend heard our entire conversation on the way to the graduation party. I am guessing that relationship is in the "off-again" status.
I had a business associate in my office this week when I received a call on my cell phone from a salesperson who has been trying to set up an appointment with me for some time. After a brief discussion, I told the salesperson that I would call him back to schedule a meeting. Upon ending the conversation, I relayed to my business associate how this salesperson has been rather persistent and sometimes annoying. I noted how he has now begun calling me on my cell phone to try to make a sale. It was then that I realized that I had not turned off my cell phone. I quickly turned the phone off and began to wonder how much of my personal conversation was heard by the salesperson.
Embarrassed, I called the salesperson the next day and set the appointment. It did not appear to me that he overheard any of my conversation, but I may never know. I do know that just because you flip down the cell phone screen does not necessarily mean the call has been disconnected. It is times like this that I wished I had my old Nokia.