I Miss ‘POT’ Calls

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Remember way back when, when phone calls didn’t include video? I miss these days.

Unbeknownst to my clients — sans the occasional siren or Harley Davidson motorcyclist, there were many, many times where I would jump on a call with them and walk, and walk and walk while strategizing. I loved it. Not only was I outside as well as getting some exercise but, walking outside is inspiring, meditative and relaxing.

Don’t get me wrong here. As everyone knows, I am tech-geek. I love tech and everything about it. I am not just an early adopter, per Geoffrey Moore’s famous branding inside the best business book ever written, “Crossing the Chasm,” but, I think I may even be, in some cases, an innovator. If something doesn’t exist, I try to make it myself. I also love fixing old tech — for example, a good friend of mine in the industry, Melody Craigmyle, gave me her late 1970s remote control R2D2 that I WILL get working again — so far, all I get is this chirping noise; but, that’s progress as when I unwrapped it, it said nothing. More on that in a later blog …

Back to the phone.

All of a sudden, post-COVID, I find myself yearning for a simple, uncomplicated, spur-of-the-moment phone call. One where I can’t see anyone, just for a while. And, truth be told, I kind of don’t want them to see me. I liked wearing my semi-controversial T-shirts to spark discussions around the office. My once-coveted Star Wars collection is becoming hackneyed to everyone on Zoom — although my current fave is one that was custom-made by rAVe’s managing editor, Steph Beckett, that declares “I was there on May 25, 1977” for the opening of the original; as I was — at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood!

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Back to the phone.

Does anyone else have the “left ear feels no love” issue? It’s my phone ear. But, now it’s sharing time and space with the right one — not happy. Headphones all day, every day.

So, I went a few days sans video — aka audio-only. And, as expected, every single call I joined someone asked about my camera, “was it broken” did I “want to reconnect” or ”go to settings and …”

“Can you hear me now” has taken on a whole new meaning. The ad campaign made famous by the “Verizon guy” is now being used for Teams, Zoom, Meet and Pexip calls, too. By everyone who’s having a mic problem — is it muted, is it selected correctly in settings or is it even plugged in?

Am I alone here? Does anyone else miss POT (plain old telephone) calls?

Share your memories of the, apparently bygone, era. What do you miss since we entered Zoom World?