Voicemail: It’s just SO inconvenient!

Android or IPhone: I'm not checking my voice mail!

I was inspired by my friend Julia Roy after reading her take on checking voicemail.  She is a riot and got me thinking about my own dread at checking voicemail.  Thanks Julia!

Ask any Call Center staff and the answer is always the same: “What is the one thing that you avoid doing once you get home?”  Inevitably, the response is “answering the phone.”

It’s been YEARS since I managed a call center and I still avoid speaking on the phone as much as possible.  Why?  Is it the memory and the pain from the shortened muscles on the left side of my neck caused by holding the phone to my ear while also trying to type on a computer?  Maybe.  Or how about the ear pimples I get whenever I stupidly decide not to use the sub-standard headset assigned by management?  Another good possibility.  But, no, none of these things are the reason for my avoidance of telephone contact.  The answer is much more simple: I just don’t like talking on the phone.

Whenever the phone rings, there is a good chance that I am in the middle of doing something (anything) that makes it inconvenient to speak: washing the squid for dinner, scooping cat litter or catching up on the latest episode of Nurse Jackie while my daughter is otherwise occupied and out of the room. Bottom line?  I don’t want to be disturbed when I am doing these things and therefore what I am asking is for a little understanding and flexibility.  I just don’t enjoy answering the phone and don’t like checking my voicemail.

I don’t like voicemail (VM).  I hate taking the time to check it and usually by the time that I realized that someone has called me, the VM is hours or days old and the person who left the message has either given up on me or has since forgotten for what it was she called.  When I do check VM, I always have to remember my password and what each of the numbers stands for: “Press 1 if you want to hear the message, Press 2 to replay….blah, blah, blah.

It seems like every VM system is a little different and unless you are comfortable forwarding your mother’s long VM about remembering to change your undies and wear your retainer while traveling, to all of your colleagues and friends (i.e. mass distribution lists), you best be remembering the ins and outs of all of the different systems you interact with daily.  Did I mention that it’s inconvenient and people usually take their time leaving long winded and often boring messages?  I am not exactly sure why people view VM as a chance to ramble on and on (like I am actually on the phone with them) while leaving a message.

Bottom line: I like more technical forms of communication: email, texts, facebook and twitter for instance.  Getting an email is like getting a personal letter. I can read it when I have a moment (skip the boring parts), review different components of the text and respond as needed.  With email, I even have a chance to edit what I am about to say before I blurt out something completely inappropriate.  Yes, tone and writing style is always a consideration with email but being someone who doesn’t always think before she speaks, email is absolutely a better medium for communicating with me.

If you really want to get ahold of me NOW!  Texting is absolutely the way to go.  I like short and direct messages.  I don’t need a story–I need to know what it is you want and how I can assist you.  Get celery at the store?  No problem.  I don’t need to know for which recipe the celery is needed. Turn on the broiler at 6:00 p.m.?  Got it.  Meet you at the theater–Can do!

I love to check Facebook to get caught up on what folks are doing.  Again, I can take my time, linger over pictures and respond to posts.

Okay, I know that what I have written may not be the most original of posts.  And I am sure there are 1000’s of folks who have written about the pain and inefficiency of VM. Recently, someone once asked me if I needed a tutorial in how to check VM.  <Sarcasm noted.> This is my response (and a long winded one at that) to that question.  Here’s the short answer.

No tutorial needed. Text me and I might respond.

Thus ends Blog #2 of the 30 day challenge.