Does everyone know there are people who insist on leaving a little message in one’s voicemail saying something as unnecessary as: “This is Me. Call me back when you get a chance.”? I’ve had to acknowledge their existence recently when they finally managed to get on my nerves. Dear Caller…ok, first of all, if you’re calling me on my cellphone, and if you weren’t aware already, please know that I have caller ID. So rest assured that I can see your number when I see the missed call and, yes, if I want to talk to you, I will call you back…when I get a chance to! You don’t have to leave me a message stating something as nonsensical as that. If there’s some important reason you were calling me include that in the message maybe to justify the leaving of it.
Do you realise how annoying it is to have to dial the voicemail, enter my “access code” (which, lucky for you, is 4 digits; imagine my irritation if it was longer!) and then press 1 to hear that meaningless, inconsequential message? And then I have to go to the trouble of deleting the damn thing, waiting for confirmation that it has, in fact, been deleted (so that I don’t come across it again the next time I get in there) and then hang up and hope it won’t happen again. Once I ignored all these messages because I knew exactly what each would say. Then, when I actually missed an important business call, I had to go through 9 old messages, listen to each one and then delete it–that’s Fido for you–before I could get to the one for which I went into my voicemail!
It bothers me so much that if I have a missed call and a text message, I dread seeing the contents of the text message. Ooh, my phone’s flashing…oh it’s a missed call…and a text. Oh God, please don’t let it be a voicemail, please don’t let it be a voicema–DAMN my luck! Send me a text yourself, yea? Since we aren’t participating in a suspense thriller, write me a little text telling me why you called and sure, ask me to call you. Don’t state the obvious like: “Hey, I called you, but you didn’t answer.” (I’ve actually been sent some like this! Sometimes they add a merciful “Call me back.” to that.) I know I didn’t answer. You know how? I didn’t talk to you. And I have a missed call. If I had answered, there wouldn’t be one and I would have talked to you, and we’d both know it, don’t you think? Just state the purpose of your call in the text. It’s so much easier than voicemail. I don’t need to hear your voice and it’s a waste of both, your time and, more importantly, my time.
After I wrote this, I came across a 10-panel comic strip which describes this piece perfectly. I could’ve just posted the picture to get the message across succinctly, but I’d already written this spiel.