Phone lines bleed, and reveal secrets

Now. I am not a busy body. And I do resist temptation. But I froze one day in shock (and some amusement!) as I was dialing Pizza Hut delivery (who just weren’t picking the phone on any number. Why? Do they take a namaaz break, in which case I appreciate them?). All right now I am crossing thought #2 over thought #1.

But hey, this is just what’s happening with the phones. As the bell rang and rang and I held on – hungry and a little amused at the possible alien abduction of all Pizza Hut guys – I heard it: clearly and without a doubt, a lady discussed her post-marital plans with her husband-to-be.

I politely put the phone down, and dialed Pizza Hut phone #2. No picking, and the lady over the bleeding (data overflowing, I mean) phone line again. This time, the couple was done with discussing their mothers’ illnesses, and over to planning their normal days. And evenings. Ahem. By the time they started imagining their post-dinner activities, I couldn’t prevent the laugh, and put the phone down.

To tell you the truth, I was shocked and concerned. Have our conversations become of unsafe? Though it wasn’t the first time that I had to put up with two conversations – one ours and the other the bleeding one – this one caught my attention for its privacy violation.

Just yesterday, I heard the same girl chatting merrily away with her gal-pal while I tried to make sense of my own caller pal. They were talking about prayers and their religious inclinations this time. Well, good enough. But I’ve heard financial plans, uncles screaming at their sons, women complaining about their in-laws – and I’ve just one word for everyone out there: BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SPEAK OF. With regular pals, use code names. Discuss private personal and financial affairs face-to-face. In short, just know that somewhere, somehow, you are being heard.

P.S. Meanwhile, is there any explanation? I wasn’t on a cordless or cellphone, by the way. Just the regular PTCL line.

4 Comments so far

  1. Misha (unregistered) on December 23rd, 2005 @ 9:32 pm

    Oh yeah, this would happen to me quite a bit at one time. Somehow, everytime we would pick up the phone, we could hear the one sided conversations of our neighbours below as they were speaking to various people, who we could never hear.

    Also, with some regularity, whenever I would dial the number of a certain friend, the line would get crossed with a Punjabi family who, it seemed, would always be excitedly talking at full speed about something or the other to someone on their phone, while making our own conversation hard to hear. Neither party could hear us in return, despite a great deal of shouting on the phone to get their attention if they could hear us.

    Honestly, whenever I see those line repairment sticking phone reciever wires into exchange boxes on the roadside, I get mildly freaked out about how easily our phone privacy can be invaded.

  2. arslan (unregistered) on December 24th, 2005 @ 2:55 am

    there is a technical explaination of this
    but i think i would be difficult for you guys
    to understand (i know it becuase i have worked at PTCL for 1 year it is due to time division multiplexer fault).but you guys don’t need to worry at all about your privacy bcz the ratio of these kinda fault is 1 out of every 10,000 lines

  3. Ramla A. (unregistered) on December 24th, 2005 @ 4:23 pm

    Let’s see if we can understand a little maths, if not phone exchanges.

    First, the problem is when *we* are that 1 out of 10,000. Besides, I have to tell you this: our phone intercepts many families’ phones. And it’s not wireless/ cordless.

    It’s interesting that my exchange somehow has a concentration of this small ratio. What are the odds?

  4. Saadie (unregistered) on December 25th, 2005 @ 12:14 am

    not much in your favor :P

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