I've done it a few times. First, when I was a third-year medical student. Then again when I was an intern, and again as a third-year resident. Well, I haven't done it since residency and thought those days were over....but then I did it again today. Dropped my pager into the toilet.
I will leave to your imagination my verbal response to seeing my pager cruise gracelessly into the toilet bowl. I fished it out, frantically popped out the battery, and rushed it to the sink.
I lovingly patted the pager dry with paper towels. I frantically shook it to try and coax the water to dribble out. But the streams of water continued to slosh around between the plastic cover and the green screen.
I drudged up the steps to our Telecommunications office, dreading having to relay this rather humiliating story.
"May I help you?" asked the perky operator.
"Um, my pager got wet." I didn't make eye contact as I handed it to him.
"Oooh, got the screen. It's done for."
I silently thanked him for not asking precisely how it got wet.
"Here you go." I accepted the new pager and clipped it on my waist. "Have a good day, doctor."
Am I fundamentally irresponsible, to have sent so many pagers on an unintentional swimming trip? Or are fat, bulky pagers prone to hurdling off a slouched white coat pocket (or a dropped pair of pants) an antiquity in an age of iPod nanos?
Wikipedia has a cool link in its reference section to the very first pager, introduced in 1950. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pager #2 in reference section) Let's just say that they haven't changed much since then. Certainly the fundamental functioning of pagers hasn't needed much of an update, but what about the physical design? Why do pagers in 2011 look nearly identical to those from 1950? I can't think of too many technologies I could say that about. Surely a sleeker, smaller pager would be highly accepted by professionals.
A sleeker, smaller, and waterproof pager, that is.