The First Minute of Every Phone Call Is Torture Now
added on 2022/11/04 @ 11:27:29 | 218 views| category: general-tech

During the worst days of the pandemic, we all used Zoom, for better and worse. It had its quirks—You’re muted, Cathy, and so forth—but it offered a necessary human connection. The rise of videochat also amplified the decline in telephony. Already spoiled by robocalls, phone calls receded, save for spammers and moms.

Then we got Zoomed out and became desperate for phone calls again. The telephone is back, and thank goodness. But something seems to have broken in the interim. In my experience, it’s no longer possible to answer the phone successfully.

Instead, this: Hello? … Wait, hello? Can you hear me? Okay, hold on. Ugh. Okay, okay, just a second. I have to get my earphones to connect. Damn it. Okay, never mind, I’ll just hold it up to my head. Hi, ugh, sorry about that.

The reasons are many. Often it’s the wireless earbuds, which won’t reconnect or are connected to the wrong device. Sometimes it’s the connection to the car speakers, via CarPlay or Android Auto. At other times, I answer the call on my watch, but it doesn’t transfer to my earbuds, and there I am, talking at my watch like some dim Dick Tracy. At still others, the call connects but puts itself on speakerphone (why?), ravaging my eardrum. Sometimes just pulling the phone out of a pocket hangs up on the caller. Sometimes the phone doesn’t even ring, but not for lack of service—instead, because I somehow set it to one of Apple’s new, complex “focus” modes, I’ve effectively silenced the ringer. Then a callback is necessary, returning us to the beginning. I’m sure you have your own versions, but the result is the same: The first few minutes of a telephone call are a nightmare.