Unitasker Wednesday: Trellie

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

Imagine for a moment you’re at a hospital cafeteria having lunch with a friend you haven’t seen in years. This friend is a doctor and currently on call. Your doctor friend sits down at the table with you and asks if she can leave her cell phone on the table, in case an emergency arises and she has to run upstairs to save a patient’s life. You say, “that’s cool,” and don’t mind at all because this friend is responsible for the survival of humans, is on call, you’re at her workplace, and your friend asked you if it was okay.

Now, imagine a second scenario where you are out at dinner with your friends. All of your friends have kids and those kids are currently being supervised by babysitters. You don’t see your friends’ phones, but you’re pretty sure they have them in their pockets with their call notifications set to vibrate. At some point, a friend excuses herself from the table to go to the restroom. You don’t know it, but her phone vibrated in her pocket and so she went to the bathroom to make sure the incoming call from the babysitter wasn’t some kind of emergency. The call wasn’t an emergency, so your friend quickly answered the babysitter’s question, washed her hands, returned to the table, and stuck her phone back in her pocket.

Okay, imagine a third situation where you are alone in your apartment and not doing anything extremely important. Your phone rings, you want to talk to the person on the other end, and you answer the call.

The above scenarios are examples of polite phone etiquette. The example of the doctor shows the rare situation where a cell phone is appropriate to leave out on a table during a meal. The second scenario shows how a phone’s vibrate function silently alerts people they are receiving a call. The third situation explains how a phone’s ringer works and what you do when you have an incoming call you want to answer.

The above scenarios also explain why no one has a need for a call notification Trellie charm for a handbag, necklace, or keychain:

Unless your phone doesn’t ring or vibrate, the Trellie doesn’t do anything your phone doesn’t already do except for deplete your battery power quickly because it operates via Bluetooth. Also, since it flashes a light when you get a call, it alerts everyone near you that you’re getting a phone call, which is just as inconsiderate as your phone ringing in a silent movie theater.

What is so difficult about setting a phone to vibrate and discretely checking it when it vibrates? Nothing is difficult about that. Nothing at all.

I remember a time before cell phones when people could go for hours without knowing if they got a non-emergency phone call — and people SURVIVED! True story.

8 Comments for “Unitasker Wednesday: Trellie”

  1. posted by CanadianKate on

    Erin, unlike you, not all of my clothes, especially my dressier ones, have pockets. If my phone is in my purse on vibrate, I can’t feel it go off. So there is a use for a Trellie in scenario 2 for me.

    On the other hand, I tend to put my purse where I can’t glance at it when in restaurants so that still wouldn’t work. There is a very ugly watch that does the same thing (plus says who is calling) so that’s an option that covers my objection to the Trellie, but then again, I wouldn’t wear that watch when dressed up, so really, it wouldn’t work either.

    Best bet for me would be a nice little thigh holster for my phone on vibrate. Bonus thought, it could be placed in such a way that it adds extra thrills (I can picture it now – someone setting their landline on auto-redial so their cell phone keeps vibrating), thus moving the thigh holster out of the uni-tasker category!

  2. posted by Tiara on

    The product page doesn’t say so, but the only thing I can think of this being useful for is someone who is deaf and doesn’t keep their phone on them all the time to feel the vibration when it rings.

    But, yeah, that’s about it in terms of usefulness.

  3. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Tiara — The device doesn’t notify you if you have a text message, only if you are receiving a phone call. So, it’s not much use to deaf people since they don’t talk on the phone.

  4. posted by Brian on

    iPhones actually have an option to use the camera flash as an alert. It’s under “Accessibility” in the settings.

  5. posted by Mackenzie on

    Kate: for that matter, the ONLY clothes I have with pockets are jackets/coats. Well, this shirt has a tiny breast pocket, but there’s no fitting a phone in there.

  6. posted by NoAlias on

    but…but… it’s good for making you truly obnoxious while you pretend to be considerate. “See, look, I turned my phone to vibrate but you still know I am so important I can’t afford to miss a single call.”

  7. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Kate and @Mackenzie — I’m a huge fan of dresses with pockets. There is a Theory outlet store near me, and most of their dresses have pockets. (Discounted prices + super cute dress = win!) I stopped buying clothing without pockets when I became a mom and needed use of both hands. I’m not talented enough to carry a purse and chase down a toddler 🙂

  8. posted by Margaret on

    This is about 20 years too late for me, but I used to go dancing with a pager in my fancy little purse, and I would have to sit the pager beside my drink on the table so I would know if I got an emergency call from work. I was on call every weekend and calls were rare, but I had to answer them when they happened. The pager would clip to my pants most of the weekend, but not to the little black dress. I would have made a necklace out of this, but silver would have been my preference. 🙂

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