Many years ago I purchased my first answering machine.  I really liked having an answering machine; you never missed a call, you could retrieve the message from anywhere and you could stay connected.  Life was good. 

Some time later I added Call Waiting to my phone.  Call Waiting was also a “must have” for a telephone addict like me.  Now I really never missed a call.  What I didn’t know at that time is that the more technology you have the more decisions there are to make. 

So how could an answering machine and call waiting possibly complicate my life?  In Dorey Storyland it’s all too easy.

One day I was calling my friend Ann about playing tennis.  The phone rang a few times and her answering machine chimed in with her recorded message.  That’s when my Call Waiting alerted me that someone was calling me. 

Decision time: Do I stay on the line and leave a message or do I take the incoming call?  I was immobilized with indecision for awhile but finally decided to take the incoming call.  I hit the “Flash” key and moved on.

Sometime later I received an unusual phone call.  A woman called me and said that I had left a really strange message on her answering machine.  I was puzzled, so she played the message for me.  It was the recorded message from my answering machine. 

Ohhhhhhh…… I finally figured out that I was speaking with Ann’s roommate.

Apparently, when I had decided to take the incoming call, Ann’s machine started recording and my answering machine started to give my recorded message.  I could never have done that if I had tried – the timing was perfect.  Also – I never heard a thing and that’s part of the mystery to me.

This happened a long time ago in the days before home computers.  Now my software acts like children vying for my attention with all the questions.  I don’t think that my decision making has improved one bit over the years.  Maybe it has but there are so many more decision that I still feel stuck at the same level of technological bondage.

I do know that I’ve had lots of opportunities to learn patience, perseverance and outright determination when it comes to slugging it out in the techno world.  I am forever swimming upstream, but that which doesn’t kill you “worketh character” I suppose. 

One thing that I did learned from this experience: When it comes to technology, two is one too many for me.