The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

Being Ruthless...

“What about this guy? He’s the solicitor who helped me with the paperwork when I sold my business.”

“When did you last speak to him?”

“About 7½ years ago.”

“Delete him.”

“But he might come in useful one day…”

I recently transferred to a different mobile phone network – one with better coverage in this corner of Scotland. It included a brand new fancy phone and a tariff with more inclusive minutes than I could possibly use without damaging my health. However, transferring all my contacts to the new phone has been beset with difficulties.

After many hours wasted and headaches induced, I eventually resorted to shifting them across one at a time via Bluetooth. And although this means opening every contact and running through about 6 different menus selecting options each time, it is still marginally quicker than retyping them all in by hand.

Of course when you are transferring each contact individually, it forces you to decide whether you need, or even want, to keep hold of certain numbers.

Most are obvious – regular friends, business contacts and family are all transferred without hesitation. And then I find, sadly, at least 2 of the people listed are no longer alive, while others have moved house and the number I have for them is redundant.

There are a handful who I have absolutely no idea who they are. A single name with no clue as to who Sharon or Nat might be. I'm reluctant to phone and ask in case it turns out to be a neighbour, relative or an old acquaintance I've spent so long avoiding I've finally forgotten who they are.

I've also transferred 2 different car recovery companies because I cannot remember which one I am currently with and can't be bothered to go and hunt out the paperwork.

But then there are the people I’ve not spoken to for some time. Older business contacts and friends that drifted away – people I’m not even connected to on Facebook. These are the ones where it’s not so clear-cut. Do I really want to let go of them for good or might they come in handy one day? It’s rather like going through the shed and finding a box of things you’ve never used and probably never will, but you can almost guarantee it will be exactly what you need to solve a problem within 2 weeks of discarding it.

Periodically I catch bits of TV programmes about people whose lives are wrecked by compulsive hoarding – never able to throw anything out without it inducing a massive panic attack. In this digital age hoarding information has become even easier as we no longer see physical space being taken up with detritus of past actions.

Of course each time we have to wade through the mass of useless digital files looking for the bit we want, we swear we will do a proper clean out and reorganisation of it at some point.

Perhaps I do need to be a bit more ruthless.

Let’s just hope I don’t need a solicitor in the next few weeks…

21 comments

Carole said...

Ruthless and Kim Ayres can't be used in the same sentence.

Sounds like a big job and one I hope I never have to encounter. Because I wouldn't have the patience.

Kim Ayres said...

Carole - if the apparently simple option of "send all contacts" had actually worked, rather than continually inducing a "file transfer failed" response in the new phone, no matter how often I tried, then I would have just transferred them all in one go with the intention of sorting them out at a later date (which of course would never have happened...)

allencapoferri said...

I feel Carole's comment's right on. I can't imagine you ruthless either.

Kim Ayres said...

Allen - or organised or discplined...

Anna van Schurman said...

I thought I was the only one who had forgotten who some of the people in my contacts list were. Phew. But would I move them????

Kim Ayres said...

Anna - the question is, can you delete them? Part of you knows that if they know who you are and it's important enough then they can always contact you. Or if you suddenly do remember who they are and decide you do need to get back in contact after all, the chances are you're already linked to them via email or Facebook so can just ask them for their number.

You know this really, but you/we still hesitate, "just in case" :)

Pat said...

I can't watch those hoarding programmes. I try to forget the state of MTl's study - which I'm not allowed to clean'
Re phone lists- it can be confusing when you have the wame name. I seem to have two Kims and I know one of them is a woman:)

Kim Ayres said...

Pat - but is also a Kim Ayres?

Actually there are quite a few female Kim Ayres's out there. In fact, the owner of kimayres.com is a female body-builder. Little chance of confusion there...

Guyana-Gyal said...

I can't stop laughing at this long enough to say anything sensible: 'I'm reluctant to phone and ask in case it turns out to be a neighbour, relative or an old acquaintance I've spent so long avoiding I've finally forgotten who they are.' I love it!

Kim Ayres said...

GG - I take it you can identify with these sentiments then? :)

hope said...

Ouch! For having to transfer even the numbers of those you do remember/need! (And as previously stated, "Ruthless" and "Kim A" in the same sentence is just wrong.

We just got new phones: the nice lady at the telephone company took my old phone and tried to have their computer do the transfer. No luck. Then she removed the sim card from the old phone, momentarily put it in the new phone and transferred the numbers that way. Then I was suppose to remember how to do all of this when I got home, for Hubby's phone.

I was doing fine until he decided to hit choice (a) while I was trying to explain to choose (b). He lost a few contacts...maybe he would've weeded them out anyway. At least that's my story and thanks to you, I'm sticking to it. ;)

Pat said...

Not Kim Ayres. I didn't bother with surnames on my phone. Silly of me I now realise.

Kim Ayres said...

Hope - if I'd stayed with the same network, then I could have done that trick with the sim card. Also, if I'd gone into a phone store to get the new phone I could have got them to do it for me. The problem was I did it all by phone and mail, which meant I had to figure it all out myself.

Pat - I've found even the first letter of the surname helps. Or you could go for something descriptive, such as "Kim the magnificent"... ;)

allencapoferri said...

That's funny :D (your reply)

Kim Ayres said...

Allen - thank you - I try my best to be good value :)

Guyana-Gyal said...

Ohhh boy, ohhhh yes, do I relate to those sentiments too!

Unfortunately, one of 'em lives close by and can really stalk this house.

Kim Ayres said...

GG - :)

Sayre said...

I have the opposite problem (at least as far as my phone is concerned) in that I never have anyone's number at hand. The family and friends I pretty much keep in my head (though that method is getting less reliable) so it's the people I don't call very often who wind up in my phone. Were something to happen to me, someone going through my phone would get a wrong impression of who and what was important in my life because these are the ones I can't quite remember.

Kim Ayres said...

Sayre - I used to keep all the important numbers in my head, but the ability to store them all in the phone made me lazy. Now the only 2 numbers I know by heart are my own and my wife's - and that's only because my wife has an old phone of mine :)

Falak said...

Since'Hoarder' is my middle name it's nice to know there are others out there too..

And living in two different countries simultaneously doesn't help.

Kim Ayres said...

Falak - I can understand - now there are potentially twice as many people who could come in handy one day :)

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