Note: If you’re looking for information on how to turn off the beeps in Outlook, go here (Google is just messing with you by sending you to this post)
I was going to write a profound message about work culture, but then my incoming email beeped at me and I lost my train of thought.
How many machines can we possibly need to beep at us during the course of a day? Think of all the lost masterpieces due to infernal reminders from inanimate objects.
These are the machines in my house alone that beep at me (in order of appearance): a watch that sits in a drawer somewhere that goes off at 5:10 each morning because I don’t know how to turn it off, or in fact where it is, the alarm clock (I know its sole raison d’etre is to beep, but that doesn’t mean I can’t resent it), the coffeemaker to tell me the coffee is ready, the coffeemaker when it alert me its turning off, (last chance to get 2-hour old overheated coffee), the fridge if I leave the door open too long, the stove to tell me it’s reached temperature, the timer on the stove, my incoming email, my cell phone to tell me it’s turning on or turning off, or has a low battery, or a voicemail, or a missed call, any reminders I have set in Outlook (I know I set them, but the default setting is to HAVE a reminder which I invariably forget to de-set), even the washing machine wants to to tell me it’s done its cycle or its load is unbalanced–it’s a very needy washing machine.
And of course the car has its own set of tweeting and bleating. And then, there’s the office–the mother-ship of beeping. Between the phones, the computers, the software, the photocopier, the printers, and all other various forms of communication devices–well it’s just a wonder we can get any work done at all. There must be study somewhere about the millions lost to declining productivity due to beeper-related stress disorder.
It’s really like living with a bushman–you know, the kind that communicate using all kinds of clicks and whistles.
Except I think somehow that would be quieter. And I wouldn’t feel quite so ordered around.