Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Bluetooth Brigade

Home from the Southlands, what a relief - and not just because I'm off the laptop on onto the big screen. The drive back from Burford in Oxfordshire took me seven and a half hours, which was longer than the AA web site had forecast. The traffic on the M1 was horrendous and was not helped by the weather; it kept going from torrential rain to dry, a potential lethal combination when combined with road works.

I stopped at a Services, I think it was in South Derbyshire somewhere. In any event this turned out to be the bluetooth capital of Britain. It seemed like 60% of the men in the place had a bluetooth device in his ear. There's something very disconcerting standing next to a man in the lavatory who is having a conversation on his phone. I'm sure the blue tooth hands free device wasn't invented for this purpose. All in all it reminded me of a scene from the movie 'Bladerunner'. Afterwards as I was drinking my reviving cup of coffee I sat fascinated by the bluetooth brigade. I can report that about 70% of those that had them in their ears were men of a certain age - mostly had shaved heads.

I saw not one woman with a bluetooth device in their ear, nor, on reflection, have I ever. What does that tell us?


r morris said...

I've noted this phemenonon in the States, too. My belief is that wearing one of these is like a fashion statement screaming "I'm so important that I must be able to be reached at all times, even when I'm taking a piss". And it is men primarily. Women prefer to talk on cell phones while driving.
My own philosophy--I don't want to be reached without my consent. Call my land line (I don't own a cell). If I'm home, I look at the caller ID. If I want to talk, I answer. If I don't, I let it ring. And no, I'm not so important that I need to be reached at all times. In fact, I have no idea why anyone calls me at all!
Fun post, Richard.
Also, you note it took seven hours on your drive. If I drive seven hours from my home here in the Western United States, I can go approximately 500 miles. How far was your trip?

Richard Havers said...

The problem with working for yourself Rob is that if people don't call then there's no work. I have a sort of love hate thing with the phone. I like people, so I like talking to friends. However, I hate calls I don't want! The cell phone thing here in the UK is a cross between a fashion statement and a tool that allows people these days to never be on time!\

It was 347 miles....precisely! If the traffic had been easier, that's to say not a Friday, I would probably have done it in 6 hours.

r morris said...

You have a point, Richard, about the need of a phone when you are self-employed. I hope someday to be so employed, because then I would get along with my boss almost all the time.

Heather Yaxley said...

I hate my bluetooth device with a passion. I have it in the car because it is the easiest way of going handsfree (ie legal) and still being in touch (yes, I too am self-employed).

In the house, I forget where I have put it and it automatically answers when the mobile phone rings - driving me mad.

It is uncomfortable and pretentious - I would never walk around talking using it when I could talk into the phone.

I appreciate that it means my hands are free to do other things (as per your guys in the gents), but that is so distracting.

I find myself multi-tasking which is so rude to the person on the other end of the phone. I believe that if you are talking on the phone you need to concentrate on the conversation to be respectful to the other person.

I haven't yet given my bluetooth a name - my SatNav for example is called Tulip - but it irritates me so much, I'm sure it deserves an appropriate insult.

Anonymous said...

Women are not so daft and Richard you failed to point out, the men who wear them are usually small.