The first time I saw someone talking on a wireless headset was back in 2003. I was in the bathroom at the Atlanta airport, waiting for my connecting flight, washing my hands. There was a woman standing at the sink, looking in the mirror, having a conversation with herself.

As a student nurse who spent half her time in the hospital dutifully putting in clinical hours, wiping butts and taking names, seeing someone have an actual conversation with someone who was not actually all that uncommon an occurrence. Even now, I dismiss that sort of behavior where other people might lock their doors and run, shrieking, the other direction.

Anyway, I whispered to my friend, “woah, looks like SHE went off her meds,” to my friend Jenna, who was taking this Spring Break vacation with me.

She, always more up-to-date on this sort of thing, just laughed and said, “she’s on the phone, Becks. It’s a hands-free headset.”

Sure enough, when I looked more closely, curious now, I saw the wire dangling down from her ear to the phone. Hm. Odd.

A couple of weeks later, I saw what appeared to be a man talking into his wallet while lunching – once again, with Jenna – at Panera. I eyed him suspiciously, even though he was smartly dressed in a business suit. When I saw he was wearing impeccably natty shoes, I realized that he, too, was probably not recently released from the psych ward.

“What. the. fuck? Why is that man talking on a fucking wallet?” I whispered to Jenna, pointing him out.

She laughed. She was forever explaining these things to me; a Pre-Prankster version of the Internet.

“That’s a Blackberry, Becky. It’s like a PDA with a phone.”

“That is the DUMBEST thing ever. Does he KNOW how dumb he looks? Fucking jackass.” I had a very small phone that I loved very much. I would have married it, but it was stupid (also: illegal) to marry something that had a shelf-life of two years.

Fast-forward.

I own an i(can’t use my)Phone only because I like Apple products. Had I realized how craptastic the “phone” bit of it was, I’d have gone with a Blackberry. My very own Talking Wallet.

Also: my new anti-depressants are working which means I’ve engaged in one of my favorite past-times: talking paint off walls. On the phone.

Now, because (insert hilarious joke) I have Neck Issues. I also have lots! of! energy! which means that when I am on the phone, I am also washing walls, doing dishes, waxing my cat, cleaning the garage, scheduling posts, watching dancing cat videos, and/or photoshopping pictures of myself into pictures of celebrities.

Okay, that last bit was a lie, because I don’t own photoshop. I can’t do that stuff! Gnomes can, though, and I’m TOTALLY not a gnome.

So, while I’m jabbering away, annoying whomever I’ve conned into chatting with me, I cradle the phone between my shoulder and my ear, like it’s a wee babe. Don’t think it’s helping my neck issues.

It was time to take! action!

wham!

bam!

pow!

robots!

I needed an ear thingy for my phone. Except, there are only two options (besides speakerphone, which makes everyone sound like they’re talking from inside a tin can which = bullshit):

1) Ear Penis, a.k.a  bluetooth headsets. I hate them. No, that’s not right: I loathe them. I loathe them so much that I should probably make up a new word for how I feel about them. I know, I know, they’re useful and you can’t live without yours and blah, blah, blah, squirt, squirt. Fantastic. Yay for you!

blue-tooth-blue-doucheThat guy is a Blue DOUCHE.

My second option:

B) McDonald’s Headset: you know, like the OLD SKOOL phone headset, with the plastic bits that go to your mouth and stuff? I had to wear one when I worked for United. It was pretty awesome, actually, but I think I’ve earned my comeuppance because every time I see The Daver use his, I walk up to him and try to order a “cheeseburger and a diet Coke, please.”

(be glad you don’t live with me)

Today, after agonizing over it for weeks (read: months), I finally broke down and bought an Old Skool headset. My neck deserves it, dammit, and hey, if all else fails, I can totally work at McDonald’s.

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

51 Responses to Technology Ennui

  • Meg says:

    Ear penis ROTFLMAO

  • Liz says:

    Haha. I know what you mean, though – sometimes if it’s a woman talking on an “ear penis” and she has long hair, or I can’t see the microphone, I think she is talking to herself.

    MAJOR PET PEEVE: people who talk on their phones in a public restroom. Unless you’re in the sitting/lounge area or whatnot, GET OFF YOUR PHONE. I AM TRYING TO PEE.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Isn’t that weird? Like, really, why would you do that?

    • andrea says:

      guilty as charged.

      but seriously, my little bastards won’t even let me shit by myself! even when i’m in public restrooms…

      …plus, if i DON’T answer my phone while perched upon the porcelain goodness, i would frighten old ladies with my ringtone of “let’s start a riot!” by three days grace.

      i know.

      i AM totally kick ass.

      in regards to the phone head set, it is soon to be illegal here in redneckville to talk on a hand held while driving…so i will unfortunately be joining the ranks of the “ear penis” users.

      *sigh*

    • tracey says:

      i feel sorry for whoever they’re talking to. because you KNOW that whoever they’re talking to was forced to listen to the other person pee.

  • Anna says:

    You sound like me – they switched me onto Abilify and I’m all over the map. Can’t stop! Gotta talk! Gotta go! Gotta talk and go and eat. But, beats the hell out of anxiety-filled days and nights on the couch.

  • Jessica says:

    Once again, I must profess my undying love for you. If I ever get a Bluetooth I am going to refer to it as my BlueDouche. Thanks for that Becks!
    Jess

  • Haha Ear Penis and Waxing your cat in one post. And because I am a 12 year old boy I will be laughing all day. Because I’m DIRTY like that. I can’t do headsets and or technology. Because I have yet to master how to type, grammar, and proper punctuation. So I will live in the stone ages. And laugh at DIRTY things to myself.

    Oh yeah and when I worked at Babies R Us what it was a Job hard to Pregnant woman are MEAN, and I was pregnant at the time so I was mega Bitch, anywho this guy came in talking on an ear penis and I carried on a conversation with him for like 3 minutes cause I did not know he was on the phone until he got all PISSY with me and was like I’m on the phone do you mind. And I did mind VERY MUCH TY.

  • yoshi pike says:

    MAJOR PET PEEVE: This guy, Loudmouth, was talking very LOUDLY at a resturant using his hands-free headset.

    My friend gets ticked off, walks over and leans in next to Loudmouth’s ear. Loudmouth stops talking and asks what the heck my friend was doing.

    My friend just answered: Since your sharing this argument with all of us, I wanted to hear the other side.

    Loudmouth left the resturant.

  • aubrey says:

    You could totally call me, because i too am known to talk paint off of the walls. Or text, its an addiction really. Also I am always photoshopping myself onto celebrities. Again. an addiction. Ok, well I am supposed to be working or something that resembles it so I guess I should get off the computer and actually do something. ps. totally planning on a trip up that way in a couple weeks!

  • dustbag says:

    Best solution for bathroom phone conversations is to have a loud and painful bowel movement, even if (or better – especially if) you have to fake it. Groaning, farting, grunts, exclaiming ‘OH GOD!”, or “NEVER AGAIN KRISPY KREME!”. Flush multiple times. All the while pretending to be on the phone yourself…

    Oh, and I will have a bacon cheeseburger and tater tots, to go, from Aunt Becky’s DIner Drive Thru.

  • My husband has one of those ear penis things. Only the penis part of his is much smaller.

    Which I would certainly never point out to him.

    I always ask him what his number is in the Borg collective when I see him wearing it.

  • Kristin
    Twitter: dragondream
    says:

    My hands free headset/earpiece broke and I REFUSE to wear an old skool headset. Instead, I bought this one from Jensen.

    Does this new oldskool headset mean I’m going to get a call from you soon?

  • I LOVE the old school head set thingies! At least it’s obvious you’re talking on the phone and not to your invisible friend. Plus, it makes a great headband to hold my bangs back.

  • VEG says:

    And here I was thinking I was the only person left on the planet who hates Blue Douche (GOOD ONE!) head sets with such a passion that I want to rip them out of random people’s ears and scream “YOU DON’T LOOK COOL, YOU LOOK LIKE A DOUCHE!”

  • I have been resisting all this new cell phone technology for years until my old-school, only dials, flip cell phone died. I was bequeathed a crackberry and have since begun my slow descent into hell. And every time I try to talk and hold it with my shoulder, I end up downloading a new app or something with the touch screen. Ergh.

    I also find it interesting that the ‘thing’ for phones was to be as small as possible and then all of a sudden we’re practically back to bag phones. I can hardly fit this thing in my purse, let along my pocket. All for what? To watch skateboarding dogs on YouTube? No thanks.

    Although I do have to confess that I love being able to access FB/Twitter all. the. time. Because I might die if I don’t read about my friend’s kid that went poo poo on the potty.

  • All that…and no picture of you wearing your awesome old-skool headset. What a rip-off!

  • Lana D says:

    I appreciate the ear-penises because now I can drive down the street in my car carrying on a conversation with myself and people now can reassure themselves that I’m not really a lunatic who talks to the voices – I’m just on the phone!

  • Kelly says:

    Waxing your cat, huh? Euphamism? :-) hahaha

    I totally agree about the bluetooth. In California we are required to have a headset or the bluetooth system in our car, so I get having to have one… but do people really need them permanently affixed to their heads???

  • Penbleth says:

    I’m always getting caught talking to myself, with no ear penis. I’d hate for someone to think I was actually being sociable. If I did it would definitely be old-school, why be subtle?

  • Alexia says:

    Love your blog!

  • Suzy Voices says:

    Thank GOD you chose B. The whole time I was reading about A I was shaking my head and screaming “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” in my head.

  • onecookieshort says:

    Lol… I hate bluetooth headsets with a passion. I own one and never use it because I hate it so much. Also, any of those earphones that you have to stick in your ears… ugh.

    Any way, glad your meds are working. It makes such a difference.

  • Melissa says:

    While I dont mind bluedouches at ALL because SAFE DRIVING people! What I do mind is when you try to start a conversation with someone who is on one and they give you the shut up hand and mouth “I AM ON THE PHONE!” then look at you like they want to add “STUPID!!!”

  • Lisa says:

    Aunt Becky why are you hatin’ on the accessories that came with the i(can’tgetreception)phone? Those earbuds with mic work extremely well (when you have service and can make a call, that is).

  • Boot~C says:

    Oh~ I’m sorry I didn’t need a soda & fries, I was looking for Judy, my Time-Life operator….

  • dufmanno says:

    Maybe I’ve had too much black tar heroin tonight but that blu tooth guy looks like preppy Henry Rollins from 1992.

  • Wombat Central
    Twitter: wombatcentral
    says:

    Now that you have your Mickey D’s headset you need to say my favorite line ever while on it.

    My friend was working the drive-thru at Mickey D’s in high school and she had a guy pull up and ask for a sundae. Being relatively new at the gig, she fumbled the standard Micky D’s reply to that order and ended up asking him, “Do you want fudge on your nuts?” {dissolve in to school girl fits of laughter}

    Now, I love me a good f-bomb, but ever since she told me that story, “Fudge on my nuts” has been my favorite substitute for when the f-bomb just isn’t appropriate.

  • Jayme says:

    I use a McDonald’s headset when I play World of Warcraft. How much of a geek does that make me?

    Also? I’ve learned the hard way to take it OFF before getting up to go pee, or you’ll give yourself whiplash because it’s still attached to your computer.

  • Dorothy (Adventures of an Only Child Mom) says:

    LMAO! So totally agree! I hate bluetooth. I bought an old school headset for my old phone, then got a blackberry and didn’t buy a new one yet. Funny post!

  • muskrat says:

    Headsets are gay. And not in the cool “I exercise, dress well, and take good care of my dog” way of gay, either.

  • Kana says:
  • Evan says:

    Oh my – I’m allergic to talking on the phone so can’t relate to cell phone related injuries, but I do want to smack the shit out of people who roam around with their ear thingy affixed to their head – even when they aren’t talking to someone. I don’t get it.

    Also? I definately don’t understand what people are talking about all the time. For example, a woman I work with comes in to work on her phone, is on her phone during breaks, leaves for lunch on the phone, comes back on the phone – ad nauseum. I can’t figure out who she is talking to and what they could possibly be talking about – when I’m on the phone, I run out of words in two minutes.

    AB – maybe you should hit me up and teach me how to talk paint off walls; clearly my introversion is slowly killing what little social skills I was born with.

  • Johi says:

    I was doing some creepy Crispin Glover laugh because I didn’t want to wake my children- but seriously funny shit here. Great post! “Blue DOUCHE” “ear penis” blahahahahaha

  • Cindy Bennett says:

    So glad you are feeling better! If you don’t mind telling, what did the Dr. put you on? I have been on Lexapro for years and I think I am becoming immune to it and thinking of asking for a change. I would LOVE to have the energy you now have. AWESOME!

  • JenniferB says:

    I teach online, so I am on the phone about 10 million hours a day. So I have one of those old school headsets for my house phone, plus the little earbuds (with wires) for my cell. I am cracking up that I could be taking cheeseburger orders instead and be much less stressed. Bwahahahahah!

  • CycleNinja says:

    And you haven’t called ME yet? Oh, wait, you have better things to do, like foraging for Uncrustables.

  • Sylvia says:

    I actually lol’ed. Gives me happies.

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