Monday, November 10, 2008

Answering Machine Etiquette



I know, it's tough.  You dial someone's number expecting that they will answer their phone and you can speak directly to that person.  You do it every day.  Sometimes twice a day.  But every once in a while this new-fangled device called an "Answering Machine" will pick up and you are forced to leave a message and hope for a call back from the human you wish to speak to.

So, for those of you who have never used this machine and who wish to speak to the human that owns said machine, I will list an easy-to-follow, fail-safe method to get that person to call you back.

When you hear the beep (which means you should start speaking) do the following in the order given:

1.  State your name fully and clearly - CLEARLY.  Do you know how many Joshs, Travis-es, Jackies and Chads we have as clients?  You are not our son or daughter so we don't know who you are by the sound of your voice.  So, be a gem and give us your FULL NAME.

2.  Leave your phone number.  I don't care if I've talked to you an hour ago.  If I have to go to your file to look up your number, I'm going to call back everyone else BEFORE I call you. 

3.  Give us your FULL telephone number, beginning with the area code.  We deal with two area codes here folks.  If we have to guess which one it is then guess what you're not getting.   A call back.

Speak CLEARLY and slowly and STOP MUMBLING.  "Hi, this is Jim mumble at mumble-mumble-8, mumble-7-mumble-mumble-mumble."  About that call back?  You better try your call again because you've just been deleted because I don't know who the hell you are or what your fricking phone number is. 

5.  SLOW DOWN.  The phone won't self destruct in 10 seconds if you don't end your call by then.  These new machines will let you just talk and talk and talk, so take your time - to a point.  (See below.)

6.  Be BRIEF.  We don't need to hear the whole sordid story of why you just "had" to break that no-contact Order.  A simple "Don - I'm in the Palo Alto County jail.  Call me."  will suffice.  (Oh, and we know that number.  It's on speed dial.)

To recap: we need your FULL NAME, your FULL PHONE NUMBER and a BRIEF MESSAGE.  So, SLOW DOWN AND STOP MUMBLING.  And sit up straight.


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

OK, I'm sitting up straight. My mom taught me that;)

I love the folks that leave their number with such speed if you listen 100 times (which I won't) there's no way you'd get the number right.

Reenie said...

Yup. The speed talkers are the most annoying. I even use the feature to slow the recording and still can't understand because while speed talking they've also managed to garble. Good list. :)

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Thank you mam!
I am bad to do that fast southern talking.
I'll do better in the future.

Kate said...

Right on. And may I just add:

NO EATING. Please put down the vending machine bag of Cheetoh's which you're having for breakfast, and call before or after your meal. Not during.

REPEAT your phone number. Yes, I know you know it by heart, but we don't. If you say "It's Jim Daniels at 555-1212, that's 5-5-5-1-2-1-2, I will love you just a little bit more than I did yesterday, because I won't have to tap the keys on my phone to back up and replay that number again.

IF YOU HAVE LIMITED AVAILABILITY, share this information. "It's Jim Daniels at 555-1212, that's 555-1212, and I'll only be here for one hour before I leave for a month long trek to the Andes." Guess what? I'm calling you first!