Thursday, August 21, 2008

100 Dials and Runnin'

Hey, how ya doing. I'm sorry you can't get through. Just leave your name, and your number, and I'll get back to you
Ring Ring Ring - De La Soul

Imagine with me a scene that gets played out across America thousands of times a day. A man is relaxing with a cold beverage, probably something involving hops. As he lifts his beverage, a phone rings. Nonchalantly, he reaches for his cell phone. "Ah, that can wait. I'll call her back", After setting the phone to ignore, he resumes his intimate moment with his beverage. As the bottle hits his lips, the phone rings again. Looking at the phone he says "damn". Hitting ignore again, the moment with his tasty beverage is almost completely ruined. He thinks to himself "she can't call again. No, she just can't". With nervousness, the man again reaches for his drink. As sure as the sun rises every morning, the man's phone rings again. A precious moment with his beloved beverage completely ruined.

Now this may seem completely irrelevant to anything, but I challenge you to dig into your mental archive. Have you ever been interrupted from something super important by your cell phone? Of course you have. Well, there are two types of cell phone violations that I would like to discuss with you. Let's refer these as "the serial dialer" and their sidekick "text message recon".

I have to be honest with you, when I signed my cell phone contract, I didn't read the terms and conditions. (So as my brother put it in an earlier blog, I'll see ya'll on the plantation). However, there's one part of the cell phone/owner relationship that I don't quite understand. How is it that simply because I own a cell phone, I have automatically given permission to any and everyone who can dial my number to call me at any time. (Again, must be in the good T&C). Now I am not an anti-social individual, but there are occasions in which even a mild-mannered person such as myself can be pushed to my limit.

The Serial Dialer

The scenario played out earlier is the classic example of the serial dialer. A serial dialer is someone who calls frequently within a short amount of time. I'd say at least twice within 120 seconds. The reason this individual is dangerous is the fact that they mimic what is normally a special circumstance. When you receive two or three or more calls in rapid succession, what's your immediate reaction? "Oh my God, something bad has happened". Well not when a Serial Dialer has your number. See the serial dialer is aware of the fact that you're probably ignoring their phone call. So what does someone do when they really want to get you on the phone? Mimic an emergency! Ding, Ding, Ding! And how pissed off are you if you decide to answer that third phone call in 90 seconds, and the person on the the other end responds "What's Up"?

If you allow me to play amateur Psychologist, let me try and analyze the mind of "The Serial Dialer". See, when the average person makes a phone call, they may have important news to share with you, or information that they need from you. Probably no different from the Repeat Dialer. If the average person gets someone's voice mail, they either go ahead and leave a message or they hang up and figure "Ah hell, they'll see that they missed my call". It is this thought process that separates the Serial Dialer from everyone else.

When the Serial Dialer gets your voice mail, their immediate thought is probably "Damn, maybe they didn't hear the phone ring", or something of the type. So they decide that they should try you again. If that call is unsuccessful, and they get your voice mail, now they're probably upset. Again as an amateur psychologist, my interpretation is that the Serial Dialer has now been offended. The "maybe they didn't hear the phone ring" now becomes " how dare he (she) not answer my call". It is at this point and time that the Serial Dialer will try and make it their mission to achieve contact between themselves and their unwitting victim. Next is one of the Serial Dialer's tactical weapons.

Text Message Recon

It normally starts as something innocuous. Let's say a text message that comes in saying "Good Morning". Not bad. You say to yourself, "Oh, so and so was thinking about me. That's cool." So you shoot them back a text message returning the greeting. Well under normal circumstances that may be the end of the exchange. If you are dealing with a Serial Dialer, you've just allowed yourself to be victimized again.

Text Message Recon is a term that I have coined in which a person sends you a text message and once you have responded, they now know that you are in proximity of your phone. And shortly there after, the phone calls begin. Again amateur psychologist at play, text message recon is just another tool by which a serial dialer can gain access to your life. The only difference is that once you've responded to their text message, you now actually have some explaining to do if you choose not to answer the subsequent phone calls. All I can say is be very aware when responding to text messages sent by someone that's you've already deemed a serial dialer.

If this seems harsh, I apologize. We are all a product of our experiences, and to just let you know, I've always had a huge problem with Serial Dialers. It all started in the early 90's. There was a young lady who got my phone number. That's where the first problem arose. I never gave her my number! She got my number from her little sister who happened to be friends with my little brother. I guess her sister told her about me, and this chick was on fire to talk to me. So the calls started coming. My immediate reaction to this chick is "she sounds like a dude". But as normal, my problem is that I'm too nice. I should have snapped off on this chick and told her never to call again. (Its just not in my nature). So LaQuanna (her actual government) decided that I was her boyfriend. And when you have a boyfriend at the age of 14, what do you do? You call them all the time. LaQuanna would call so much that my equally mild mannered mother had to pick up the phone, and let this little girl know that she really need to stop calling my house. (Thanks moms, you were more man than I was)!

Well LaQuanna finally got the message. The phone calls tailed off. I never did actually get a chance to see LaQuanna. But as it turned out, I had a friend in high school who knew LaQuanna. Well lets just say that she informed me that the voice over the phone might have been more attractive than the rest of her. (Beaten repeatedly with an ugly stick was a term that I do believe she used in her description). As you can see, I have been victimized time and time again by serial dialers. I send this out as a word of caution to the rest of you. Serial Dialers are real.

If you're reading this and you know a serial dialer, be very careful to stay off their radar.

If you know you have potential to be a serial dialer, think of the impact you serial dialing has on the other person. If they're your friends or family, just take comfort in the fact that they're not going anywhere. You can call once! Eventually they'll return your call.

If you're already a serial dialer, get some help. Dialer's Anonymous or something.

Until next time...


P.S. Girlfriends/wives and mothers are always exempt from from the term serial dialer. Actually, they are the only people who have a vested interest in knowing where you are and what you're doing when you're out of their sight. You can hit me up anytime mom. Lol

1 comment:

Kitty said...

Too funny!! And so true. I'm glad you threw that last paragraph in there tho because I thought for a minute I was serial dialing the Big Man.