A few weeks ago, my place of employment upgraded its phone system. None too soon, I might add: I had had the same phone since I began working at the college, over twelve years ago. Now I have all the telephonic bells and whistles I could ever desire: Caller ID! A speakerphone! An online directory! Cool flashy lights! I am as giddy as a kid on Christmas--if that kid had had a very, very sad life up to that point.
Today I received an e-mail from the head of the college's IT Department, which I'm told stands for "information technology." Department. The e-mail contained information about where to dispose of the old phones. Relevant information, to be sure. I couldn't help but note an undercurrent of sarcasm, however, as the e-mail proceeded to give detailed information about how to disconnect the old phones, should they still be connected. I remind you: I work at a college--staffed, as you might expect, by college-educated personnel. I questioned the necessity of a paragraph in an e-mail dedicated to an explanation of how to, not to put too fine a point on it, unplug a phone! And then the e-mail concluded--I kid you not--"If you are not comfortable unplugging your own phone, please call the Help Desk so we can assist you." I would pay to listen in on those conversations.
"Yes, I need my phone unplugged, and I was hoping I could get someone to help me with it. I don't have any protective gloves, and I'm worried about getting bitten by phone-hornets."
"Hi, I tried disconnecting my phone, but I think I did it wrong, because I'm talking to you."
"I need some help with my phone. And my shoelaces."