Lied to Me – Again

Who’s to blame?  Government or media?

Or me, for believing either?

Yes, I knew the Presidential Alert system was being tested, and I knew it was to be at 2:18 pm EST.  I knew the text would be sent to all cell phones.

But on the way into work, I heard on the radio that older flip phones, like mine, would not be able to receive that text.  Only people with smartphones would be affected.

I liked that.  I didn’t want to be bothered at exactly 2:18 pm EST.  I didn’t want to be reminded of elementary school, when those emergency system messages were broadcast on TV and radio:

“Beeeeeep.  This is a test.  It is only a test.”

Sure, it is.  If it’s only a test, then why are me and all my friends standing in the school hallway with our faces to the wall and our hands over our heads.  Like that’s really going to protect us from those A-bombs.


It was a slow work day.  Both bosses were gone, and the other secretary had left for her usual noon-to- 1 pm lunch.  While she was out, I decided to eat my sandwich at my desk, thereby freeing up my 1-2 pm lunch period in order to run an errand or two.

I took along my trusted point-and-click camera (yes, the Nikon’s still in the shop), hoping to ply my trade craft hobby and maybe get a few decent shots.  Not to be.  The weather was crappy, I wasn’t feeling particularly energetic,  and the best I could do was this Fall display at the grocery store:

Wegmans on Amherst Street in Buffalo, New York

On the way back to the office, I did spot a sign outside an apartment building, which declared:

“Free pizza with this apartment!”

But traffic was too heavy to pull over and take a photo, and I was already running a little late.  So, as usual, I let the opportunity pass.

By the time I returned to the office after my lunch period, I had totally forgotten about the scheduled Presidential Alert text.

They lied.  Flip phones did get that text, along with a really loud, annoying emergency tone (rather than my phone’s normal musical tone for text messages).  And, of course, since I had forgotten about it, I jumped when the phone went off.


I so wanted to respond, but there was no “Reply” option on that particular text message.

Hopefully, it was a one-time test.  I hate tests.

(Were it a real emergency situation, I would be hiding under my desk with my eyes closed and my hands over my ears – ’cause that absolutely would protect me, right?)

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Images by Cordelia’s Mom

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25 Responses to Lied to Me – Again

  1. I had my phone in airplane mode so I wouldn’t get it. Except I got it anyway. I also got two more after I had resumed a cell signal…very annoying, and a little bit creepy.


  2. nickc324 says:

    I hope it’s only once, too. And I love the pizza with the apartment!


  3. I was at the mall shoe shopping with a girlfriend, and apparently the only one with a smartphone within 100 yards. It went off like a friggin’ fire alarm and everyone swiveled to stare at me like I’d grabbed the crown jewels and was making a break for the door.
    Lovely photo. Fall colors are so vibrant….
    But hey, can I admit that seeing you still have that ancient flip phone made me gasp?


  4. markbialczak says:

    Our work department was sitting together at a table and all our phones went off at once. I indeed jumped a bit, CM. I thought of those folks in Hawaii who received that erroneous message a year or so ago. Yikes.


  5. We had a flood warning by text, mobile, email and landline. Just covering all the contact bases apparently!


  6. Laura says:

    I knew it was coming, I reminded myself 5 minutes beforehand, and I STILL jumped. That noise is just grating!


  7. Even though I knew it was coming because the media talked about it so much, I also jumped when my phone blurted out the emergency test. Like you, I was annoyed. We have so few places to get away from all that noise don’t we? At the time I was writing on my computer with my phone close at hand. I always listen to classical music while writing, so I was shocked when five minutes later the emergency test came out over the radio station also. Like I said, we can’t get away from it! 😫


  8. joey says:

    I was annoyed, but glad my phone was on vibrate. Nice squash shot! 🙂


  9. Tippy Gnu says:

    Next time we have one of those tests, I’m shutting my phone off. It was rather unnerving, as I was backing up in my car and thought I had maybe hit something or the transmission was going out. This damn test is about as annoying as the Emergency Broadcasting System messing up a good scene in a TV show.


  10. Well, we are getting used to lies from that general direction! (Sorry if that’s a bit harsh!)


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