Do Not Disturb?

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April 10, 2018 by phicks2012

There are some features on my smart phone that I use regularly. I use it as a phone, of course. I send and receive texts and Facebook messages, when necessary. I check the internet for certain specific things — like my SCA Kingdom Calendar or the scores of some sporting events. I use it to check the time, weather reports and the business hours of shops I need to visit, and I use the Maps feature to navigate my way to unfamiliar locations. I use the camera when I don’t have my 35mm — hereafter referred to as “my REAL camera” — with me, I use my phone to read Kindle books while cooling my heels in boring waiting rooms — which translates to pretty much ALL waiting rooms — and I use the calendar to keep track of meetings, appointments and deadlines.

Conversely though, there are some features I have never had occasion to use. Some of them are simply (more or less) useless to me, since I have no desire to send or receive emails on my phone, have no interest at all in playing games on a small screen, and really prefer to confine my extensive web-surfing to my home computer. I simply don’t use Bluetooth, because my Bluetooth headset is old and its battery runs down after about a nanosecond, and The Beast (my vintage but beloved SUV) still has an AM/FM radio, a CD deck and a cassette tape player. For those of you not knowing what a “cassette tape” looks like, well that pretty much makes my point, doesn’t it? It certainly has no Bluetooth compatibility.

But there are some handy and useful settings and features I’ve simply never used, and one of those is the “Do Not Disturb” setting.

When someone calls me on my cell phone and I don’t (for whatever reason) answer, the call goes to voicemail where the caller gets a recording saying I’m not available and suggests they leave a message. Unually, they do so, and don’t keep calling over and over and over trying to force me to answer.

Texting, however, seems to be a different matter. In my experience, people who send me texts (most often rental tenants or my rental property manager) tend to expect an instant response, and the tenants definitely will just keep texting until they get one. They don’t seem to comprehend that there are times when it is inconvenient, impossible or illegal to reply to their text — like when I’m driving, or in the shower, or having a medical exam, or up to my ass in alligators trying to drain a swamp.

Typing in a message is a BAD idea while driving (even if it weren’t against the law), and even using voice-to-text requires that a message be proof-read before sending it (to avoid sending nonsense thanks to the auto-correct feature). You really have to stop, and I absolutely do NOT like constantly having to pull my car over onto the shoulder to respond to bloody texts!

There are other situations too (without going into specifics) when the timing is just BAD, and as far as I know there is no law saying I have to be responsive to texts 24/7. If there is, then it needs to be CHANGED, and maybe I need to start text-bombing my Congressman non-stop.

Fortunately, I just recently became familiar with the “Do Not Disturb” feature on my smartphone. “Do Not Disturb”, when activated, will supposedly stop texts (except those from people on a certain list) from coming in, and will send the person a text message telling them that I am unavailable, but that I will respond as soon as I can. As far as I can determine, repeated texting will then do impatient and persistent senders no good at all, since I will not see the texts or hear the irritating tone, and the texter will continue to get the same annoying message over and over until they give up. <Fistpump>

So, my phone is now set up so that when I activate “Do Not Disturb” I will only receive texts from people on my “Favorites List”, and that’s a VERY small list, confined to “Family”, “Close Friends”, “Fellow Shire Officers” and “Personal Proteges”.

Okay, I realize that some people will probably be just mortally offended if they are not on my “Favorites List” and therefore don’t manage to get through to me 24/7 via text message, but these categories are by necessity (and for the sake of my sanity) really narrow.

“Family” for example, includes my brother and his wife and kids. It does not include cousins or in-law-in-laws (even the cool ones), and I have no grandparents, aunts (okay, maybe one of those) or uncles still among the living. Besides, let’s be honest here and say that not all of my relatives would have been on this list anyway. Nope. Still, the only way to be on this particular list is to have been born on it, or marry onto it, AND be likable. Sorry. 😉

“Close Friends” includes only long-standing friends with whom I am in regular contact, not casual friends, or new friends, or friends who rarely call anyway — and not former friends who have burned their last bridge. Of course, those wouldn’t get through to me if their hair was on fire and I WERE available, because Last Bridges are Last Bridges.

“Fellow Shire Officers” includes just those people (aside from me) who currently hold local Shire offices — the Seneschal, the Herald, the Arts & Sciences Officer, the Marshal, the Live Weapons Marshals, the Chatelaine, etc. I might need to hear from them, and none of them would text-bomb me anyway.  It wouldn’t be chivalrous! 😉

“Proteges” includes my Proteges and Fosterlings, period. Want to get on that list? Become a Protege.

So, if you know me personally, and try to text me, and get a “Not Available” text in response, try not to be mortally offended, okay? It only means that the timing is inconvenient for anything other than an absolute dire emergency!!! I’m probably driving, sleeping, showering, or — draining a swamp. 😉

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I am an active, outgoing person interested in all sorts of things and all sorts of people! I'm constantly discovering new interests, and expect that to continue right into the grave!

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