Sorry, I don’t get calls on this phone often

Raymond Chen

Many years ago, I was in a small meeting: It consisted of the project manager, me, and one other person. Just a quick little status meeting to discuss how things were going. We were a few minutes into the meeting when the project manager’s cell phone rang. Now, this was back in the days before cell phones were ubiquitous. They were pretty spendy gadgets; pulling out your shiny $400 Nokia 8810 was an ostentatious move, allowing you to demonstrate your alpha position in the social hierarchy.

Anyway, when the cell phone rang, the project manager answered it and started talking. After a little while, it became clear to me that this person was taking the call without so much as a “Would you excuse me for a few minutes?”, so I headed down to the lobby and read the newspaper for a while.

When I returned, the project manager explained, “Sorry, I don’t get calls on this phone often.”

I replied, “That’s okay. I don’t read The Wall Street Journal often.”


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