You know what? I'm kind of an inconsiderate jerk. You know how I can tell? Technology.
A couple of my coworkers have replaced their old-school phone-company phone lines with Vonage. This is a nifty little product that lets you make your phone calls over your broadband internet connection instead of over a phone line. The quality is almost as good and it's lots cheaper, something like $20 for unlimited calls. For folks like us who work at home, and make toll calls for hours at a time, it's a big money saver.
The problem is that Vonage, or as I like to call it, the Jerkometer, uses technology (voice over ip) that is just a hair slower than regular phone calls. The end result is that there's a half second delay between when someone says "Have you tried rebooting?" and when you hear it.
"Only half a second?" you say, "That's not much. What could go so wrong in half a second that would illuminate your jerkhood?"
I'm one of those people who interrupts a lot. When a neuron fires in my brain, it's imperative that I inform everyone IMMEDIATELY.
"Hey! What if we replaced our entire business application with half a dozen minimum wage clerks?"
"Guys! Guys! I just ripped the NASTIEST fart!"
"BLAH BLAH ME BLAH BLAH NOW!"
I converse like I drive in traffic. When I'm ready to change lanes, and I change lanes A LOT, I wait for the smallest opening, and then I'm gone. Now, imagine that my car is sluggish, but I'm still driving like it's a sports car (those of you who know me, please humor the implication that my normal conversational abilities are Ferrari-like. I write my blog posts James Frey style). So, I see the opening, but by the time I change lanes, the opening is gone. I end up slamming my car into theirs. Blood and carnage ensues.
That's what my conversations are like now. I try to deftly insert my important conversational snippet about flatulence and I find myself talking over my coworkers, who are blabbing on about CPU cycles, or some such nonsense. In the beginning, I was annoyed by my coworkers ignoring me. Then, I was annoyed by Vonage, which was clearly causing these conversational collisions.
Then, after weeks of this behavior, I realized that I was the only one who kept doing this. It was always me talking over someone else and not the reverse. I'm the annoying one. I'm the inconsiderate jerk.
This is just one more reason for me to hate phones. Or be a hermit. They're both pretty good solutions.