Call me an old fogey or whatever you want to call me (within reason), but talking machines are just weird.
Okay, I will concede that talking elevators are useful for people who are visually impaired. The days of elevator operators are over, which is good. That had to be a royally sucky job. But if you can’t see very well and there’s no poor, bored, underpaid working slob dying for a break … any break … whose job it is to let you off on the right floor, even though he’d probably rather toss you down the shaft, it helps to have an elevator that tells you where you are and where you are headed.
That doesn’t make it any less like The Twilight Zone when a disembodied voice announces, “Floor 11. Going UP,” with a little rise in pitch at the end.a But I’m willing to live in The Twilight Zone for a couple of minutes if it will help some of my fellow humans get from one floor to another.
But if I ever hear an elevator say, “Room for one more, honey,” I’m taking the stairs.
If anyone is ever thinking of getting me a talking watch for Christmas, DON’T. First of all, I have no luck with watches. If I don’t do something to break them, the battery wears out unexpectedly or the damned thing doesn’t work in the first place. This is beside the fact that I can’t get a normal sized watchband to fit around my big-boned wrist. So watches are not good gifts for me in the first place. Second, see the title of this piece. Enough said.
The New York City Transit Authority apparently decided to do something right for a change, so they installed train arrival information signs in various subway stops, alerting people to when they can expect their next train to arrive. Unfortunately, this also comes with pre-recorded, spliced together announcements that blare out over the platform, usually when a train is just about to arrive in the station.
I guess they figured that the approximately 102 decibels generated by an arriving train weren’t loud enough.a As if New York doesn’t have enough noise already, they decided to add more by broadcasting announcements over the PA system. So we get yet another disembodied voice telling people what they could easily figure out for themselves just by looking up at the nice train arrival information sign or asking someone else who just read it. Another great example of redundancy in action.
Don’t get me started on those talking fish wall plaques. They are worth a whole new post of their own, under “Redneck Interior Decorating.”
Aha! I think I have the title of my next post!
aI found that out here: One More Report On What Makes the New York City Subways Suck