Wednesday, March 25, 2009

After the Tone

There are many reasons I need a personal assistant. "To do" lists, grocery shopping, ironing, house cleaning, dog walking, toe nail clipping, and pretending to be me in situations I don't want to be in are just the ones I can think of right now off the top of my head. The number one reason I need a personal assistant, though, above all others? The reason I would pay someone a million dollars a year if I had it? Voice mail. I hate voice mail. I hate everything about it. I hate leaving it. I hate receiving it. And, most of all, I hate listening to it.

Now, I know there are a lot of you out there thinking “but, Libby, voicemail is useful. It allows us to get information we need when we can’t answer the phone.” What information is that? That someone called you and wants you to call back? That’s what caller ID is for. You look at it, you see someone as called, and you call back. And that is what the majority of voice mail messages are: “Hi, it’s me, call me back.” Yes, some of them are from people you don’t know, who’s numbers you don’t recognize, and in those cases I would say that if they really want to talk to you, they will call back. And if they don’t, fuck ‘em, they were probably trying to sell you something anyway.

Oh, and even worse than the “call me back” messages are the ones that are four hours long and contain lots and lots of details. Who really is ever sitting next to a pad and pen when they are listening to voice mail? That was a rhetorical question for those of you who are. You’re Tupperware cabinet is probably well organized too. I hate you almost as much as I hate the long message leavers. Oh, and then when you talk to them later they get mad if you can’t repeat the message word for word! Look, if it wasn’t important enough for you to want to talk to me, it probably isn’t important enough for me to memorize, okay?

I think I pretty much have most of my friends trained when it comes to voice mail. They know the drill, and don’t expect me to have listened to anything past the first ten seconds of a message. I know, that probably makes me sound like a jerk, but I like to think of it as very freeing for them. After all, they can say anything they want after that first ten seconds, and know I won’t be hurt or offended. And since not listening to my messages is probably one of the least jerky things that I do, those forgotten messages have probably saved several friendships.

Of course, there are people who don’t know me well, who still leave voice mail. I cannot tell you how much agita I feel when I hear the ping of my voice mail go off. And then every time I look at the screen I have to see that little voice mail icon, reminding me that there is a message waiting. It is supposed to look like a tape (which, really, where is this voice mail located, 1982?), but all it looks like to me is a stern frown. I am thinking of getting a little piece of light blue tape to put over it, but getting a personal assistant to check it and give me a rundown would be easier.


sarah@soulmoxie said...

Please send me your phone number, so I may use your voicemail as my therapist. The one safe place I can call and bear my heart and soul and NEVER worry about it getting out into the gruesome world...pretty please. I could have lots of fun with this!

Thanks to linking to my post on twitter - you rock!