Saturday, 16 March 2013


I do not like voicemail. It all seems to me a colossal waste of time. I'm not quite as bad as this person, but it's only a matter of time I feel.

My phone is on all the time. If someone rings me when I'm busy, or at work (of course I'm always busy when I'm at work this goes without saying etc etc) then I will get a missed call alert.

If I know the person, their number will be stored in my phone & I can call them back at the earliest opportunity.

If I don't know the number, then I won't answer, unless I'm expecting a call, because let's be honest, an unsolicited call is rarely going to be, well, solicited.

When I was job hunting, the recruitment agencies would call, it would go to voicemail & then they would leave a message*. Usually these messages were along the lines of "This is XXXX from XXXX, please call me back when you get the chance". 

My parents leave me long rambling voicemails which I never listen to, just call them back at the next opportunity. This works fine for me.

That covers my personal calls, but, as always, work is a whole different story. Generally speaking the person calling should know my email, or ring a group number, or someone else will pick up the phone. Inevitably the ones who manage not to tend to be the ones leaving an incomprehensible message, outside, near a loudspeaker, possibly with a thick accent. To add insult to injury the people who leave voicemail never have straightforward queries & always insist on describing them in full to the machine rather than insist I call back at the next opportunity, which is exceptionally annoying.  I'd set up a voicemail message saying, "my email is this, just send it there or call back later" if I were allowed. Unsurprisingly, I'm not.

I also hate leaving voicemail messages. I never ever bother with personal calls, but I'm supposed to at work to prove I called. For these I always try & be as succinct as possible, as above. I can't bear listening to my voice so I don't listen to the playback.

Doing this though, does make me wonder what the point is. I'm increasingly of the opinion that the best approach is: Don't bother with it people, there's much better ways to get in touch. Proof, were it needed, there's a little wiggly red line under every appearance above of the word "voicemail". 

* This could be a problem if their number came up as "unknown" on the phone & then I was out & about & they told me the number & I didn't have a pen, but that was my fault. Also, they'd often email me too which made my life easier & I could just take the number directly from the email.