Sunday, February 25, 2007

Cell Phone Voice Mail

Hi, you’ve reached Brian Stevenson. Thanks for calling me. Unfortunately, I can’t get the phone right now, so if you leave your name, number, and a short message, I’ll get right back to you.

The party you have dialed is not available. Please record your message after the tone. To send a numeric page press 9. When you are finished recording, hang up, or press 3 for more options.

Why in the world do I have to listen to both of those messages? Every time I call a buddy, I have to hear him tell me that he’s not there, and to leave a message. And then I get to hear the nice woman’s voice tell me that he’s STILL not there, and to record my message after the tone.

This isn’t rocket science, people. We’ve had answering machines for TWENTY YEARS. It’s not like someone’s going to call up and say, “oh, wait a minute, when do I leave a message? Should I say my name? Does she/he need my phone number?” Could we just standardize to a point where we just hear someone’s name to affirm we’ve called the right number? Couldn’t I just hear “Brian Stevenson” and then a beep? Why am I being told how the system works twice, every single freaking time I call? I ALREADY KNOW HOW TO LEAVE A MESSAGE.

Sometimes, just to lash out, I’ll leave a horrendously long message on the perpetrator’s cell phone. I’ll just talk on and on, hoping to waste as much of their time as they wasted of mine. This is what I call phattrition. It’s not productive at the least, but at least it makes me feel better. But you’ve got to watch out for an escalation by the other party—sometimes they’ll call you back and leave a longer message. And sometimes they’ll lengthen their cell phone message in a Bush-like preemptive strike. My buddy Jason did that once. Boy, was I angry when I heard that message. And how he laughed.

The cell phone industry has created a dirty war here, and we need someone to stop it. Enough time has been wasted, giving instructions to leave a message after the beep. Let’s end this.


MommaMcCarthy said...

i can't believe i'm the only commenter

i'm not sure if it's because it's 5 minutes past my bedtime (and i haven't had more than 4 hours of consecutive sleep in 4 months) or if it's because i passionately agree with you, but have never been around someone to vent about how angry this makes me when it happens ('cause cell phone etiquette makes you leave peoples to make a call) but i don't think i have laughed so hard in quite awhile.

it's about time somebody took matters into their own hands and officially whined to the internet about this. maybe that lady will listen.

Bruce said...

This is one of my chief beefs in life. I'm a self-professed wireless telecommunications company hater. At least every Thursday.

David Pogue shares your pain.