Friday, February 03, 2006

Early Amazon: Pagers, pagers

I loved a lot of things about Amazon, but one thing I absolutely hated was my pager.

After the website split, I somehow became mistaken for an expert on the website. In that lofty role, I had to carry a pager.

Any time the website or tools related to the website had a problem, that pager yelled. Like a crying baby, the cause was not always immediately obvious, sometimes requiring hours of investigation. The screams of the Amazon website interrupted sleep, life, and happiness.

It felt like slow torture.

I began to hate my pager. I dreamed of hurling it into the ocean, smashing it under heavy objects, burying it deep never to be found. It became personal. This annoying, buzzing thing seemed determined to steal my remaining fragments of sanity.

I must not have been the only one to feel this way. A good friend of mine accidentally dropped his pager into Lake Washington. It sleeps with the fishes now. His delight at that thought makes me question whether it was no accident.

That pager, that irritating little demon, remained strapped to my waist for years, but I finally shed it in 2001. Ah, pagerless. Life was good.

With Findory, the pager had to return. But, I have finally learned the lesson. If the website never has a problem, the pager never goes off. And that's the way I like it.


Dimitar Vesselinov said...

Greg, you should write a book :)

Anonymous said...

here's a fitting photo essay to go along with your post: death of a pager