Saturday, March 1, 2014

A Handset? Really?

News stories today reported that President Obama spent 90 minutes on the phone with Russian President Putin, warning him about the consequences of taking military action in Ukraine.  This is the picture that accompanied one such story.  Seriously, dude, do you want me to believe that you're dumb enough to spend 90 minutes on a important diplomatic call holding a handset?

Over the course of my professional career(s), I spent a lot of time on long-duration phone calls.  I will guarantee that if you do so, at some point in the call there comes a moment when you need both hands free.  Maybe you have to type something into the computer.  Maybe you need to pin the piece of paper down while you jot a note.  Maybe you just need both hands free because you can't say "Vladimir, you have no idea who you are f*cking with!" without appropriate hand waving [1].  The moment comes, and you can't do the proper thing if one hand is busy holding a handset up to your ear.

Before making/taking a call that was supposed to last that long, I had my headset on.  I still wear a headset even if I'm just calling my Mom, let alone making a business call.  And the headset is no doubt behind the times.  If I had the NSA at my beck and call, you can d*mned well be sure that I would have the world's absolute best echo cancelers in place, and I'm talking in the open air, hands waving the whole time, without benefit of a headset.

Let's get with the times.  A handset on a coiled cord is not the impression we're trying to make.

[1] Just so you remember why I couldn't get elected dog catcher, let alone something that requires even more diplomacy :^)

Photo credit: Official White House photo by Pete Souza

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