June 20, 1999 |
Some cutting-edge new telecommunications technology is coming soon to borough hall: Voice mail. After years and years when residents would find a live human being on the phone whenever they called the borough, officials are in the process of looking for a new phone system that has the sort of "press 1 now" commands typical of life in the 1990s. Or the 1970s, for that matter. "I think the biggest reason it took so long [to put in a voice-mail system] was that we really liked the concept of having someone to talk to, a real human being," Mayor Patrick Brennan said.
April 22, 2011 |
Are voice mails obsolete? Does anyone even listen to them anymore? With so many easier ways to communicate, leaving a voice mail may be like putting a message in a bottle. Someone might pick it up - eventually. Ask any young person. A few days ago at the Trader Joe's grocery in Center City, Surekha Sydney, 27, estimated that she received one voice mail for every 10 or 15 text messages. "The only people that leave me voice mails are strangers and my parents," she said. A couple of aisles over, Joe Cotsas, a sophomore at Drexel University, said he tells everyone he knows not to leave him voice mails.
April 11, 1996 |
If you hate voice mail, press one. If the mailbox is full, as it's likely to be, press two to reach an operator. If there isn't an operator, don't be surprised. You're stuck - again - in one of electronic America's most overcrowded but unpopular destinations: voice-mail jail. Officials of downsizing companies and government agencies have made voice-mail jails inescapable by slashing telephone-answering staffs to the bone. Tech-nerds made matters worse by assuming that every caller could spell out last names on a phone's number pad nimbly and correctly, maybe standing up, without glasses.
April 23, 1996 |
When police called Terrance Crowley at home a few minutes past 6 a.m. yesterday asking him to cancel classes at Kingsway Regional High School, it put him in a tough spot. As Kingsway's superintendent, he could all but hear the ringing alarm clocks of Kingsway's 160-odd teachers, custodians and bus drivers, even as police told him about a chemical spill near the school. Just two hours from the tardy bell, every Kingsway staffer had to be contacted. "First I called KYW" for a radio announcement, Crowley said.
October 31, 2002 |
Around here, borough business still runs through the answering machine in Mayor Charles Shagg's living room. Every afternoon, Shagg wades through personal calls about dinners and visiting relatives to get to the gritty mayoral stuff: queries about garbage-pickup times, gripes about borough taxes. And the mayor says he's had enough. In September, Shagg asked Borough Council to install voice mail in the Pennsburg offices. "Right now, we're like a 19th-century village trying to make it in the 21st century," Shagg said, calling the borough's current phone system "ridiculous.
July 27, 1997 |
Federal workers these days are, by and large, psyched to serve. They've got voice mail and fax-on-demand and more caller options than Detroit has car colors. But it can still be an ordeal trying to get a question answered. More than 30 million callers last year simply gave up, according to one government estimate. And that's considered an improvement. To experience what callers endure, two reporters put away the press credentials that earn them special treatment. Guided only by information operators, a standard phone directory, and the kindness of strangers in the bureaucracy, they started asking questions.
May 11, 2011 |
You know what they say about those best-laid plans, and a guy named Jack knows, too. But he probably never expected that abandoning his car, climbing to the ledge of the Golden Gate Bridge and jumping would be thwarted by a woman named Sue. So there he is, in Richard Raskind's The Bridge Club - a curious and slightly spooky 70-minute one-act being given a world premiere at Society Hill Playhouse - about to jump. He calls his live-in girlfriend to say that his health situation is far worse than he let on and that he is taking his own life, and goodbye.
November 16, 1991 |
The true cause of the recession has not been noted on Wall Street Week. Or even on Entertainment Tonight. The Wall Street Journal hasn't noticed. Nor has Bryant Gumbel or Regis & Kathie Lee. The real culprit? Voice mail. Think about it. Two years ago, millions of people had jobs in the nation's four largest industries: manufacturing, banking, insurance and video rentals. They had lots of money to spend on taxes, slap bracelets, light trucks, lottery tickets, taxes, accountants, Nintendo, honey-roasted peanuts and 19 percent interest credit cards.
February 6, 1992 |
"Hi! Welcome to the Philadelphia Daily News' story about computerized voice mail and automated telephone answering systems. "If you want to learn more about why voice mail makes you feel angry, press on. "To learn why businesses install automated systems anyway, push toward the end of the story. "To read this message again, push your eyes to the top of this column. If you have a rotary phone, please hold on. (We'll get to that, too). "Thank you. "(Click.)" There it is, perhaps the most audible proof that the Age of Aquarius has yielded place to the Brave New World: the disembodied computerized telephone voice.
March 18, 1990 |
Mr. Stallins and his seventh graders are on the cutting edge. "I hope all my students enjoyed dissecting frogs last week," the science teacher told the parents of his seventh graders in a recorded message. "We dissected 112 frogs in less than six hours, and it was very exhausting but it was worth it. " No, it's not squeamish students slicing open frogs that's new. Rather, it's the school's hotline. The Inman Middle School is one of the pioneers in what some high-tech gurus are calling the latest telephone revolution.