Thursday, January 28, 2010

Call your cell phone, lads and lassies

This is a public service announcement.

From me.

Fifteen years ago people had cell phones, but not everyone. I only had one because my company paid for it and I didn't use it unless I had to do something for work. I don't remember that I knew anyone with a cell phone such that I had to call them on it. Sure, I knew people with cell phones, but I'm just saying it wasn't a thing...an expectation.

Back then all the phones had these little messages. You would call your friend thus:

*ring * ring*

It would go to voicemail because it was 1995 and your friend's phone wasn't glued to your friend's body. Voicemail lady would come on the line and explain to you, at a slowish sort of pace, how to leave a message: After the tone, begin speaking. When you're done speaking, press one to review the message, press two to re-record your message, blah, blah, blah.

More people got cell phones and if we fast forward a few years, the message changed to say this: After the tone, begin speaking. When you're done speaking, you can hang up or press one to review the message, press two to re-record your message, blah, blah, blah.

Folks, it's now the 21st century and everyone on the planet knows how to leave a message on a cell phone. Yet many, many cell phones make callers listen to that annoying message when they land in your voicemail. I have a girlfriend who's OFFICE phone actually still has an outgoing message that explains to me, rather slowly as if I were as stupid as a small rock, how to leave a message.


I call a lot of phones all day. It's sort of a huge part of my job. I'm calling people I have never met and I call a lot of them and I'm pronouncing myself an authority on this topic. You stand a pretty good chance that you are driving.them.nuts.


I got my umpteenth cell phone back after Christmas and I was delighted to discover that I can turn that message OFF. I'm wondering (strongly suggesting) if you check with your manual, your cell phone help, put it in the Google machine, call your provider (ok, that's probably an annoying circus, but they can be helpful), you may just find out that you can also turn that stupid message off.

And then imagine how liberating it will be for everyone who leaves a message for you to actually be able to leave a message when they get sent to voicemail! Everyone will gain approximately what, 15 or 30 seconds back to their lives (PER VOICEMAIL, PEOPLE) that was hitherto irretrievable. Gone forever.

I'm just asking that you call your cell phone and let it go to voicemail. If you can stand to listen to someone tell you, slowly like you're really, really dumb, how to leave a voicemail (which you've been doing for many years now), then more power to you.


I'm just saying it drives.me.nuts.


What drives you nuts? It's only fair to share.

10 comments:

UrbanIdeas said...

Thanks for the tip I had no idea and you are totally right. You know what else drives me nuts talking about phones? The automated answers, you are suddenly speaking to a "machine" who often does NOT understand your answers, then you have to repeat non-stop. After the third try, it tells you it will pass you to an operator. Now I do on purpose to mess up right away so that I can talk to operator!

Rose said...

UrbanIdeas just gave me a good tip--I am amazed I have not thought of it before...

I really wonder if all the Pressing this # things saves anyone all that much. I feel like I have to jump through hoops almost any time I call a business. One day last fall I tried to call and talk to a person at my local Sears store and never could reach anyone!!! I almost swore to never buy from them again.

Rambling Woods said...

I hadn't thought of that. I will go look at mine even though I don't use it much and don't even text..Michelle

Howard Bagby said...

I am one of the few in this country who not only does not own a cell phone, but I have never even spoke on one. What drives me nuts is those people who talk on their phones while shopping. I learn more about them then I ever cared to.

Caron said...

I'm here to help. But no cell phone? Howard, let me tell you that yesterday as I was waiting on the exit ramp looking at the nearby Cracker Barrel restaurant, I whipped out my cell phone, Googled their number, called and orderd pancakes, pulled in, got out of my car and picked up my breakfast before going to work. That's the way to use a cell phone!

walk2write said...

I don't know about turning it off. I kinda need those few extra seconds to compose a message in my mind before speaking into the phone. But then I've always been a little turtle-ly...

allthingsjuice said...

I can't remember what irritates me, but I know I'll remember 5 things after I write this comment. So I guess that irritates me!

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A piece of news said...

This post has generated quite a few spam posts. I am spamalicious!