'And why do they call it dialing, anyway?'


This IT pilot fish working at a U.S. government research facility is also responsible for the phone system.

"I got a call from a new post-doc who was having trouble making an outside call," says fish. "At our location, we have to dial 7 to get an outside line. She was trying to make a long-distance call and it wasn't going through.

"I checked to make sure her phone had the required permissions for outside calls and long distance. Everything was set correctly, so I went to visit her to see how she was trying to place the call.

"It turned out to be a user error, and I started to feel old. The new researcher, being of the mobile phone generation, didn't realize that she had to dial 1 before the area code after she got an outside line."

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