A new telephone arrived yesterday, one that uses voice over the internet, replacing a 30-yr old system, but the new instrument is twice the size of the old one. And it was sitting quite prominently and inconveniently smack dab in the middle of my desk on top of the usual inch or so of papers. Examining the problem, the reason was immediately apparent, the cord from the data port to the phone was too short and that was a far as it would reach. Someone somewhere decided that connection cords only had to be 4 feet long because of course the data port is always conveniently located right next to the work area in your cubicle. Now you begin to see. A cubicle dweller made this decision, an OK decision for their world, but not mine because TPP occupies a 12 x 21 foot office (seniority does have some perks). And then TPP asked the installer about his lab where for safety reasons there must be a phone as well as for convenience. Now my lab is down the hall a few doors so for years the phone rang in my office, then rang in my lab, and then went to voice mail so you could leave a message since you didn't find me or a student in either place. What? They'd never heard about such arrangements. No one said anything about such connections. Groan. Yes, a great technological leap forward. Then another thought gave TPP some pause, and he checked his lab. Yes, there was another new phone sitting on the floor along the front wall in the back of the lab because the cord was not long enough. This is a large room and the working area, where people are going to be, is at the other end. Long ago there were supposed to be two data ports installed, one at each end, but then money got tight or something, and only one data port got installed and it was at the wrong end because no one asked which one to install. Besides would anyone have more than one computer accessing the internet from their research lab? The average was more than 3 actually, and the addition of wifi worked for most student computers. They just guessed or thought what does it matter anyways where the port is, so why ask? The combination of only one data port in the wrong end of the room and a too short cord leaves us with a telephone on the floor in the main path from one end of the lab to the other. Can you attach some longer cords? Well, they got one about 8 feet long for my office, so now the phone is on the same side of the desk as its user, but even 8 feet is too short for the lab, so no. Even before the system is declared installed tech help must be sought to get a longer cord. Gad!