I have a question. Is there someone out there who has never in their life left a message on an answering machine or cell phone? Is there one really old guy out there who gets super confused when his few living friends don’t answer their phones and now I have to sit through a thousand options every time I want to leave a message? Curse his strongly-worded, hand-written letters!
I have to call a lot of people all day and I dread getting the automated message that just goes on and on. “If you’d like to leave a message, stay on the line.” That is indeed what I would like to do. How many things could I possibly want to do after I didn’t get a hold of someone? But then the list of options starts and I begin to reconsider the merits of leaving messages at all.
“To leave a call back number, press 1.” What the fuck does that even mean? Is that like paging someone? Why not just say your callback number in the message?
“When you are finished with your message, hang up or stay on the line for more options.” How many more options could there possibly be?!
Some people are angry that that have to press 1 for English. I’m angry that it takes me five minutes to leave a damn message. This goes for recorded messages too. Don’t put your kids on your machine saying their names (Dad) because it’s not cute and no one is calling for them until they’re at least 15. Don’t leave long, rambling messages about how you’re not home or you couldn’t get to the phone. It’s pretty obvious. And do you really want to put your cell number on your message machine so that all the telemarketers, prank callers, and wrong numbers can forward to it? I think we’ve hit an era where “This is [name]. Leave a message,” does the trick. Most people are so anal about their phones now that they’re probably calling you back as you’re leaving it anyway.