Emerging Tech

More ringtones to drive your co-workers crazy


No matter where you work, there's always at least one person who has a ringtone set on their cell phone that drives you absolutely bonkers. Well, I have some bad news for those of you who have little patience for stupid and/or annoying ringtones. Check out this news story: "Toons to make wisecrack ringtones."

According to the article, "Time Warner's Cartoon Network is planning to use the voices and personalities of its cartoon characters to alert mobile phone users to incoming calls. One choice for adults could be the cynical next-door neighbor Carl from Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Carl first growls 'Hey,' but if the call is not answered, he gets more irate and ends with 'Pick up your friggin' phone.' If the same ignored caller phones again, Carl eventually yells, 'You're lazy. That's nice. That's fine. Like you get paid by the government or something?'"

Can you imagine sitting in cube hell while your co-worker (who must have gotten trapped in a four-hour meeting) receives about 10 phone calls from his or her mother because the family cat, Fluffy, is 23 years old with a terrible case of irritable bowel syndrome and has to be put down. Of course, your co-worker didn't take his or her cell phone into the mega-meeting, so you're stuck listening to Carl over, and over, and over....

Cell phones are all the rage right now, and so it makes perfect sense that ringtones are a booming business. "Almost 40 million U.S. consumers spent $870 million on ringtones in 2006, according to Jupiter Research analyst David Card, who believes new variations could help maintain growth."

While I understand this fact, it's hard to stay rational when you hear a certain ringtone and want to crawl out of your skin. Pop songs that sound like elevator music - ACK!!!! Heck, even "true" ringtones get old after a while. When a song has lived its life (when it's off the top 40, or the radio has successfully over-played it), it should be mandatory to remove it from your phone. Don't make the people around you suffer. Instead, turn the volume down, switch the ringtone often, and try putting it on vibrate if you leave it at your desk when you're away.

About

Sonja Thompson has worked for TechRepublic since October of 1999. She is currently a Senior Editor and the host of the Smartphones and Tablets blogs.

15 comments
JackOfAllTech
JackOfAllTech

I only buy cellphones that support MP3 ringtones. I then find songs that remind me of my family and close friends and use Audacity to save the best 30 seconds as a ringtone. Right now, the default tone is the beginning of the CSI theme ("Who are you..."), my wife's name is Robin so her tone is "Rockin' Robin", and when my Boss calls me it's "Take this job and shove it". I have about 20 more but you get the idea. I instantly know who's calling me (even strangers) without having to look at the display. And the best part is, it's all free!

IT cowgirl
IT cowgirl

Never fails! I go to get a water refill or down the hall for a moment and the cell phone goes off. It never rings otherwise. Evil cell phone.

shermp
shermp

I don't know which is worse - the annoying ring tone that isn't answered, or the annoying conversations that I get to listen in on everywhere - and I mean everywhere. Why do people feel they have to shout on cell phones? Just got back from vacation - where I was fortunate enough to be standing on line for 40 minutes next to a guy discussing his recent breakup - loudly - on a cell phone. I'm fed up with hearing these idiots blare their banal personal issues out for everyone to hear.

wilko
wilko

More worryingly lots of people pay good money for this c**p.

jason.d.thomas
jason.d.thomas

I am all for making cube life more lively. But I must draw the line with ringtones. I can recall more times than I care to talking with a customer and having my neighbor's cell phone go off. Nothing kills a deal or calming down an irritate customer when you have explain your co-workers hindering habbits.

Dizzley
Dizzley

Jamster made a zillion euros from that cr4p and got fined a pittance for bending the rules somehow. Ringtone schemes in the UK often involve a monthly fee which gets you N annoying ring-things. Bee-ba-da,ba-da,ba-da,ba-da,bing! Die frog, die!

viruser
viruser

ThinkGeek.com this site helps me spice my cube life up. All IT gadgets you can think of are here.

GSG
GSG

As far as I'm concerned, cell phones should be turned off at work, in the car, in public... I hate being in a meeting and some idiot's cell going off with some ridiculous tone. No, you aren't cool. Everyone there has one, some of us just have the courtesy to turn it off and leave it at the desk. Then there's the guy who talks loudly on the phone so that everyone can hear how "great" he is.. YEAH, I'M CLOSING THE BIG DEAL TODAY. YEAH...A MILLION! Loser.

info
info

A noisy ringtone appears and you have to put 5 bucks in an office piggy bank. Enjoy the common meal at the end of some months sponsored by your ringtones...

AV .
AV .

My cell phone is on vibrate, but the person I share an office with has a screaming tasmanian devil sounding ringtone. He keeps his cellphone in his coat pocket and is never in the office to answer it. It goes off at the most inconvenient times. I would like to run it over with my car.

Dizzley
Dizzley

How often do co-workers leave cell phones on their desk while wandering? Sheesh! A favourite Dilbert strip: A cube-dweller returns to ask, "Anyone seen my cell phone?" Alice replies, "Was it small, metallic and flushable?" -- if this happens in our office, the offender is likely to find their cell phone dismantled and the parts hidden around the desk. They soon get the message.

AV .
AV .

The other problem aside from ringtones is just what you're talking about - people talking loudly on the phone no matter where they're at or who's listening. What ever happened to common courtesy and manners? Who wants to hear all the personal details of someone's life when they're out in public? I don't. Why on earth does anyone need to be on the phone every waking minute of the day? I used to work with a woman that was always talking on the phone when she was in the bathroom stall at work. How sick is that? It definitely doesn't belong at work. I'm surprised that many companies don't seem to care. Time is money, afterall.

Dizzley
Dizzley

...a kind of swear box. I have a guilty feeling I would end up putting in 20.00 by the end of the year. Some people would be down 200.00 or more!

GSG
GSG

I was on a concall to kickoff a HUGE project with a very well-known vendor (they make medical products, light bulbs...). The project manager was using the bathroom while she was on the call. She forgot to mute on her end so 20 of us on speaker, as well as various others in her company scattered across the world got to hear her go, complete with full sound effects. All I can say is that she must've had some serious mexican food for lunch.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

who [b]initiates[/b] the cell call from the toilet? There's nothing more disconcerting than doing your business in peace and hearing a seductive "Hi!" from the next stall over as the moron connects to his girlfriend/wife/significant other. My job requires that I be in touch 24/7/363 (Thanksgiving and Christmas off!), but I draw the line at answering the phone on the john. Even if it's my boss.