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Jan. 23 2010 - 10:36 am | 21 views | 1 recommendation | 1 comment

Life’s mysteries: Dialing 1

Large image of telephone switchboard. Photogra...

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This is probably the first of a series, because I can no longer suffer these mysteries in silence.

I just called a McDonald’s near where we’re headed today, trying to find out if it had an indoor play area for our son.

I forgot to dial 1 when I called. I got the usual message: “You must dial 1…”

The system knows I didn’t dial 1. It knows that I need 1.

Instead of telling me I need 1, and forcing me to dial again, and clogging the network with a second, needless call–why doesn’t the system just add the frickin’ 1?

As in: “I see you forgot to dial 1. I’ll add it for you this time, but please remember to dial it next time you call! Have a nice day!”

It’s a mystery.


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  1. collapse expand

    I had the worst time about a decade ago, back before cell phones, when Philadelphia made the area code mandatory…

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    About Me

    Paul Raeburn is a journalist, author and blogger whose stories have appeared recently in The Huffington Post, The New York Times Magazine, Scientific American, and Psychology Today, among others.

    He is the author, most recently, of Acquainted with the Night, a memoir of raising children with depression and bipolar disorder. His next book is Why Fathers Matter, to be published in 2010 by Simon & Schuster. Raeburn is a former science editor at Business Week and The Associated Press.

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