To opt out SMS STOP to 30440

So yeah, you’ve been receiving messages from your network of (no?) choice, telling you about 4G this, or Whatsapp bundle that, or even GoodMorning remember to topup!

Informative messages from beloved network operator
SMS Inbox

Nothing wrong about that right? Unless of-course you’ve become tired of receiving these unsolicited messages and you just want it to stop. I’m sure most of us have never bothered to try and make it stop because in most cases we have conditioned ourselves to just take a quick glance at the message, you know, because it might be important, and quickly hit the delete button and be done with it.

I’m not against receiving messages from my service provider, I mean if their service is going to be down next weekend, I need to know, or if they have awarded me a few MB to test their 4G LTE its important that I know (they actually did this you know), but when I become constantly hit with irrelevant messages, or I’m now constantly being advertised to, that ship must stop.

Now, it turns out every one of these messages good or bad (depending on what’s good or bad for you) comes with a footer (probably not what its called, but…) telling you exactly what you can do to stop the bombardment.

opt-outTo opt out SMS STOP to 30440. Those words are probably the only reason that some people have not opted out! Because when you know that you can stop it anytime, you feel like you are the one in control, but are you? Are you really? No you are not! If you thought they will let you go that easily, you thought wrong!

One Sunday afternoon, after receiving one too many…

stop

The response came, but the number was prefixed with the country code. Not problem, let’s go to that thread and let the fun (not) and games begin…

sendall

Waaait a minute! You mean I can subscribe to latest updates, and news, and offers, and buzz by just sending one magic word “ALL”! How easy is that! But let’s not lose focus we are here to unsubscribe, so how’s that done? Ehm… no magic word here, you’ve got to specify the category you want to stop! So yeah you’ve got to send another message to get the list of categories. It’s worth mentioning here, that after reading this, I abandoned the mission for close to a week, advantage to the network of choice.

As instructed, I requested the list of categories and the dance (getting even less fun) continued. 9 categories I was given, so which one to stop, I had no idea, so I did the logical thing, stop them all one by one. It was painful but I was determined….

2015-11-23_13-58-55

…and it went on…

2015-11-23_13-59-20

I even threw in an invalid category there just to be sure I wasn’t spelling the categories wrong, didn’t help! I took a pause, still determined to got through with this. I re-read the response message and in there I saw I could send the magic word “HELP” and get the assistance that I clearly now required. I complied…

2015-11-23_14-00-05

Sending “STOP” and sending “HELP” gives the same message! This would otherwise not be a problem if that same message actually helped you to stop!

Just for one last time as it was apparent I had been defeated, that I would always receive these messages (see how hard I have tried not to call it spam) until I die, I said to myself, if sending “ALL” makes you be subscribed to everything, what if, and even though it doesn’t say so, I send “STOP#ALL” …

stopall

And if any of you think that there’s a happy ending to this story, I’m sorry to say..

sorry

So yeah, feel free to opt out, send STOP to 30440. I’m still living with the alerts (see how I have even nicer names to the messages (which are not spam)).

Have you been able to unsubscribe? I’m curious to know. I tried this on a different phone, and different number without success.

 

To opt out of this blog, please click the ‘X’ on your browser tab.

 

 

I will, but will you help me with my therapy?

Anxiety
ASweeneyPhoto / Foter / CC BY-NC

It could be bleach, or some such disinfectant, it’s supposed to smell of cleanliness, but to me it triggers uncomfortable feelings of dying hope. Standing at the door, I have a feeling of stepping out of reality, into a strange place quite removed from the norm, where everyone seems to smile despite the obvious desperation that fills the whole atmosphere. I hesitate a little, telling myself I can still turn back, that I wont be judged if I do, but I’m suddenly interrupted by a warm soft voice,

“Sir, can I help?”

I stammer a little, my mind racing to come up with socially appropriate response in a situation like this. I’m kicking myself for not having pre-emptied this scenario,

“Yes… umm, I’m looking for the psychiatric ward, room 203.”

She doesn’t seem to notice my awkward behavior, which calms me down a little. She talks to me, always with a smile, she says down the hall, take a left and it’s the last door on my right. I can turn back and go home, I tell myself… but I’m already down the hall. Still, instead of turning left, I can turn back… but I’ve already turned left and the next door is labelled ‘203’. I hesitate, standing outside the door, do I knock? Do people knock in hospitals? It’s only a few seconds that I’m standing there wondering, but it feels like forever.

I knock, so softly you would think my hands are made of cotton, almost hoping that there would be no response so that I can turn back a say I went but she wasn’t there. The door opens, and our eyes meet. In that moment I flash back to two months ago, on that dance-floor, that exact moment when I knew my life had changed forever. She had seemed like she didn’t talk that much, and I was OK with it, because, well, I don’t talk, almost at all. I never have enough things to talk about.

That dance, the sparse conversation and the dimly lit club created a moment that spoke to me way more than words could ever do. So when she started talking about her childhood, the dreams she had, and the things she held dear, I was listening, for I was already sold. This was it. I’d respond with an eagerness to hear more, to keep her talking, praying that the night could go on forever. This was the longest I had managed to keep a conversation going. It was amazing how natural it felt…

“Are those for me?”

She interrupted my thoughts, her voice filled with excitement.

“Oh! umm, yes! Yes, here…”

I had brought flowers but buying them hadn’t been an easy task. The florist had eventually said these would do. She took the bouquet and asked me to come in. I didn’t hesitate, it was as if I had arrived, actually I had. Inside I took a moment to take in my surroundings. It was a small room, enough for a bed, two chairs and a small table. I sat on one of the chairs, while she busied herself with putting the flowers in water.

She seemed normal. When she had said she was bipolar that day we met, I just didn’t quite get it. I didn’t even know there was such a condition. After reading about it a bit, our first night made sense, the seemingly quiet girl on the dance-floor, who suddenly became bubbly and chatty. To me I had taken it was the drinks talking. It was a few days later, when I called her and she sounded depressed. She didn’t want to talk to me, and she told me she was going away for a while.

I had begged her to stay, she said she couldn’t. She had to go. I begged to go with her, she said I couldn’t. She had to deal with it on her own. So I had asked how far she was going, and she had said not far. It was this small flicker of hope that I had held to with my all.

“So I can come visit?”

It was a question, and a statement.

“Will you?”,

“Just tell me where and I’ll be there everyday”,

“The psychiatric ward”.

A pause, pregnant with confusion, unable to decipher whether she was being serious, and if she was, what exactly did she mean.

“So!?”

She prompted me,

“Umm, sorry… what?”

“Will you visit me in the psychiatric ward?”

“Why… why are you going to a psychiatric hospital?”

This was my second turning point in my life. The first was when I met her, on that dance-floor, that night. Learning about bipolar disorder led to an unexpected discovery. In the two months since meeting her, I was seeing a psychiatrist, and a week ago, it got confirmed; all my inability to engage in interactions that seem to come naturally to others, my excessive fear of being judged, always avoiding being the centre of attention, all that was because I had social anxiety disorder…

My therapist, who had driven me here, walked with me down the hall, asked me to knock instead of turning back, who was sitting in the only other chair in the room, had insisted I needed the exposure to all the social situations I feared, that he would be there with me all the time and help me through it. This was my therapy and it would help me get better, and while I was getting better, why not visit a friend and make them feel better too. So we sat there, with all the quiet moments interrupted by the therapist where he’d say things like,

“So ask her how her day was”…

 

Inspired by Will You Visit Me in the Psychiatric Ward? not that I could write half as good

Moving in

Hello and welcome to my little corner of the internet. I still haven’t figured out what exactly will be happening here, but I’m sure things will take shape as time goes.

A brief intro, my name is manulite, I’m into IT, specializing in software development. I use lots of Java and related technologies. In fact any challenge you give me I’ll just throw Java at it.

I do quite a lot of integration work as well, enough that I’m not shy to call myself an expert! I love Linux and all things open source. I read xkcd, and spend serious time on reddit.

Am I a geek? Jury is still out on that, but in short, this is me. I am manulite.