Monday, November 18, 2013

Social Networking

As the bus jostles me along, a loudspeaker overhead declares “Lake Street. Stop requested.”

On the train, the softer, more nuanced speaker exclaims “Entering Kendall/MIT,” as we pull into Davis Square. Underway again, I hear “Next stop, Kendall/MIT.” A few minutes later, the train again proudly pronounces “Entering Kendall/MIT,” as we approach Porter Square. Likewise at Harvard Square and at Central. Finally, the announcement changes to “Entering Charles/MGH,” as we pull into Kendall.

After a short walk to my building, I enter through the garage. The parking machine greets me warmly: “Please pay here before returning to your vehicle.”

The elevator also has a few choice words. “Second floor … third floor … fourth floor.”

After a few phone calls (“Your call is important. Please wait for the next available operator.”) … I finally reach the goal. “We’re sorry. No one is available to take your call right now. Please leave your name and number and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.”

Time for coffee. The espresso machine mutely demands decalcifying, so I resort to the single cup brewer which, after a series of snorting and burping noises, produces a hot black liquid.

I return to my station to attend to the 47 new emails, 23 chat messages and 5 appeals for me to download and install software updates and restart my system.

A co-worker stops by and mutters something about my weekend.



Bill Costa said...

Reminds me of...

"I go out to the producers building in downtown Los Angeles,and I walk into his elevator, and there are no people in the elevator, no buttons on the wall or anything. And I hear a voice say "Kindly call out your floors, please." And I look around, and I'm alone. And I panic, and I read on the wall, that is a new elevator and it works on a sonic principle and it's all sound. All I have to do is say what floor I wanna got to, and it takes me there. So I say "Three, please", and the doors close and the elevator starts going up to three. And on the way up I began to feel very selfconscious, 'cause I talk, I think, with a slight New York accent, and the elevator spoke quite well. I get out of it, and I'm walking down the hall, and I look back, and I thought I heard the elevator make a remark."

-- vintage 1960s Woody Allen standup...

Peter Davis said...

I guess I keep thinking of the elevators in ... oh, one of the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" books. I forget which one.