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Ask Slashdot: Do You Still Need a Phone At Your Desk? 445

Posted by samzenpus
from the dial-U-for-useless dept.
First time accepted submitter its a trappist! writes "When I started my career back in the early 1990s, everyone had a 'business phone' phone on their desk. The phone was how your co-workers, customers, friends and family got in touch with you during the business day. It had a few features that everyone used — basic calling, transfer, hold, mute, three-way calling (if you could figure it out). This was before personal mobile phones or corporate IM, so the phone was basically the one and only means of real-time communication in the office. Flash forward 20 years. Today I have a smart phone, corporate IM, several flavors of personal IM, the Skype client and several flavors of collaboration software including Google Apps/Docs, GoToMeeting. My wife and daughter call me or text me on the cell phone. My co-workers who are too lazy or passive aggressive to wander into my office use IM. My brother in Iraq uses Skype. I use GoToMeeting and its built-in VoIP with customers. The big black phone sits there gathering dust. I use it for conference calls a few times each month. I'm sure that there are sales people out there who would rather give up a body part than their trusty office phone, but do any of the rest of us need them? Around here, the younger engineers frequently unplug them and stick them in a cabinet to free up desk space. Are the days of the office phone (and the office phone system) at an end?"
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Ask Slashdot: Do You Still Need a Phone At Your Desk?

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  • Depends... (Score:3, Funny)

    by ericloewe (2129490) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @06:44AM (#42202041)

    Having a phone on your desk can be crucial if you have to pretend you're doing serious work when someone important walks by. Cell phones or IM aren't as convincing, even if you are working.
    There's something about text that makes it inherently less efficient than a simple call, and once you start using IM, you tend not to use video or audio.

    None of this means you need a phone system, just a phone that uses your cell phone for handling the calls.

  • by dintech (998802) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @07:38AM (#42202295)
    "When I started my career back in the early 1990s, every floor had a 'urinal' in the bathroom. The urinal was how your co-workers, customers, friends and family emptied their bladders during the business day. It had a few features that everyone used — upright pissing position, automatic flush, quick drainage, three-way pissing (if you didn't mind standing close together). This was before personal chamber pots or shitting at work was allowed, so the urinal was basically the one and only means of bladder relief in the office. Flash forward 20 years. Today I have a chamber pot, directors en-suite, several scented flavors of toilet stalls, the squat toilet for foreign visitors and several flavors of collaboration urinals including along against-the-wall ones, center circle ones. My wife and daughter pee on the chamber pot. My co-workers who are too lazy or passive aggressive to put the toilet seat down in the stalls. My brother in Iraq uses the squat toilet. I use the directors toilet with built-in bidet and heated seat. The old along-the-wall urinal sits there gathering dust. I use it for conference calls-of-nature a few times each month. I'm sure that there are sales people out there who would rather give up a body part than their trusty office urinal, but do any of the rest of us need them? Around here, the younger engineers frequently unplug them and stick them in a cabinet to free up desk space, it makes a real fucking mess of the floor. Are the days of the office urinal (and the office urinal plumbing) at an end?"

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