Monthly Archives: January 2015

Hang Up on Speaker Phone

Andrea Freedman

If there is one thing I find annoying when it comes to technology, it is by far the speaker phone. I don’t like talking on speaker phone, nor do I appreciate being forced to listen to others talking on speaker phone.

It is bad enough listening to someone speaking loudly on his or her cell phone. It is worse still when one also has to hear a loud commentary from the person on the other end of the call.

The frequency on speaker phone is just not the same as having a regular telephone conversation. The sound is often unclear, and it always sounds like someone is talking to me from far away or across the room. I find myself yelling or at least speaking very loudly in response.

When friends have put me on speaker phone in the past, I have voiced my irritation and felt perfectly justified in my protests. Like it or not, in most cases, speaker phone is rude.

If someone has other, more important things to do than talk to me, I would rather they call me back when they are able to give me their full attention rather than putting me on speaker phone so they can multi-task.

When I was working at my last office job, something that made it very difficult to concentrate on my work was when I had to listen to executives pontificating and grandstanding on their respective speaker phones.

Now that my husband and I both work from home, I find it next to impossible to focus on my own work if he is talking to clients on his speaker phone.

I don’t think it is all that professional to conduct a business call on speaker phone, unless there are multiple parties on either side.

Another exception to the speaker phone rule is if someone calls from their car. In that case, they should, for legal as well as safety reasons, use hands free. Having said that, I would just as soon someone not phone me from the car unless it is really important.

I find it mind-boggling why someone wouldn’t realize that others are not impressed by their speaker-phone calls. Furthermore, if I am put on speaker phone, I am sometimes not sure if anyone else on the other end can hear my conversation. Speaker phone can be yet another invasion of privacy.

Technology may have come a long way, but if someone wants to put me on speaker phone, I just hope they are not surprised when they hear a dial tone on the other end.♠


Copyright © by Andrea Freedman 2015


You Can’t Put a Price Tag on Good Taste

Andrea Freedman

Jeans have come a long way over the years from the traditional Levis that many of us grew up with. There are different cuts, rises and washes to suit everyone in the denim department. Still, while “nice” jeans can be part of a put-together outfit for a day out shopping or lunch with the ladies, there are some situations where they are simply not acceptable.

Take, for example, New York Mayor Bill De Blasio’s wife’s recent decision to wear jeans to a slain officer’s funeral. Her attire was seen as such a faux pas as to be considered newsworthy. She was criticized not because the jeans didn’t look good on her, but because wearing jeans to a funeral is seen not only as bad taste, but also disrespectful.

It is like the guilty denim-wearer doesn’t think highly enough of the person they are supposedly going to pay honour to hang up his or her jeans for one day and dress a little more appropriately.

In the work force, jeans are typically permitted only on what is considered “casual day” for a reason. People think nowadays that just because a pair of jeans cost in the hundreds of dollars and bear a designer label, that it is somehow okay to wear jeans no matter what the occasion.

It is almost as if people who insist on constantly wearing denim are trying to make a statement, when the main message that they are really conveying is that they somehow think they are above dressing in anything other than jeans, and that the expensive labels they display so proudly are a license to pretend those jeans are something other than what they really are – jeans.

The next time you wear your fancy pants – or rather designer jeans – where perhaps you should have thought twice about it, don’t be surprised when you see raised eyebrows glancing your way – and it is most likely not because they think you look that fabulous in your jeans – it is really that they think those jeans should have been left at home in your closet.

If you are ever unsure about whether or not to adorn denim, my suggestion would be this: When in doubt, don’t wear jeans. If you must, the least you can do is keep the price tag on, point to the label on your butt and tell anyone who looks at you strangely, “It’s okay everyone, they’re expensive.”



Copyright © by Andrea Freedman, 2015