The move has been every bit as bad as everyone feared it would be. On four separate occasions this week, myself and three other coworkers have been on separate conference calls, it got so loud we could barely hear ourselves think. At one point my boss looked at me and shouted (he had to shout to be heard over the dull roar of my other two coworkers); I can hear you talking through my microphone on my call. Two of my non-offending coworkers have already quit and a third was hospitalized. This has forced us to take drastic measures… Ok not drastic measures, practical ones. I began doing my research on noise cancelling headphones; as it turns out you can get Bluetooth enabled ones for fairly cheap. But here’s the rub, our phones are not Bluetooth enabled. Back to the interwebz!
After many diligent hours of research I finally gave up in despair, no sooner had I found a convoluted daisy chain of adapters which would allow me to setup a pair of Bluetooth headphones to my desk phone than I discovered that at least two of the adapters I was planning on using specifically excluded the model of phone I was using from the list of compatible devices. I cannot believe how impossible it was to find a single adapter solution which went from an RJ-9 (phone jack) plug to a generic Bluetooth transmitter. This seems like a huge oversight, there is probably a niche market here that would allow someone to come in and make quite a bit of money.
Belatedly I finally decided to contact GE IT. I suspected I would not get much help from IT; in fact I suspected that once they discovered what I wanted to do they would very politely instruct me to stop pursuing this line of reasoning and use a device from an approved headset supplier. Side note, the cost and variety of wireless headsets for digital phones is ridiculous. Every set seems to be built off of a similar model with no options for different features (like over the ear or noise cancelling) and they are all outrageously expensive… $250 for a decent headset? No thanks, I could buy top of the line headphones for that, and they would have far superior functionality, quality, and form. Anyway, I contacted our IT department and told the problem we were having. Wonder of all wonders, not only did I wind up talking to someone knowledgeable (and sympathetic to my plight) of the systems we were using he actually promised to do some research and get back to me with a solution. Of course, it was not a great surprise when, upon discovering what model of phones we had, phones that had literally just been installed last week, he said, “Oh, those, we’re in the process of phasing that model out. Those are terrible phones.”
A day later the guy called me back and worked me through exactly what I needed to do; hint, it involved getting rid of our phones and requesting a new model). I expect my request to be processed this week, we shall just have to wait and see if anything happens in a reasonable amount of time; in the meantime I can only cross my fingers and hope that none of my remaining coworkers decide to quit. I’ve deliberated about working from home for a couple of days but considering that I now have three children running around the house who amuse themselves by having belching contests (I can neither confirm nor deny that I was the instigator of said contests, nor can I comment on the fact that said contest nearly ended in disaster for one of the participants as one of his expulsions almost included phases of matter that were not gaseous in nature) that might not be a significant improvement from the current atmosphere within the office space. I was going to end this by saying “to make a long story short,” but this story is already much longer than I intended. Adieu.