One of my big pet peeves is when people call me on my cell and yet refuse to leave a message. Back before cell phones became a commonplace pocket item, if people called your home phone and didn’t leave a message for your machine, you didn’t know about it. You might be able to figure out that someone called, but you had no idea who.
Now people can get uppity when they call your cell and you don’t call back. To some people, the little window that displays missed calls is equivalent to voice mail. Well, to me it’s definitely not.
Leaving a message is standard phone ettiquette. It lets people know the importance of what you called about. If I don’t get some kind of clue about what you need from me, or what you want to talk about, I place your call at a default importance level of zero. You don’t take the time to leave a message? I don’t take the time to call you back. Calling me multiple times doesn’t change anything. All it does is clue me in to how desperate you are to get ahold of me, and how unimportant you think my time is.
Some people have this fear of talking to a machine, which I don’t understand. I don’t care how bad of a message leaver you are. I’m not exactly going to win any awards for my voice mail soliloquys, but I can at least give a brief summary of what’s up and let the callee know if/when/how/why they need to call me back. You can too. And that’s my money-back guarantee. *
I know there are some times when it’s pointless to leave a message. If the call becomes pointless if the person isn’t there in the first place, then duh, no message needed. Or if you left a message from them at another number or some other medium, that’s fine too. What irks me are those people who routinely refuse to leave messages.
Cell phones really don’t bother me that much – even though I resisted getting one until 2 years ago because I thought they were tools of Satan. What bothers me – what ALWAYS is ultimately the cause of technology gone awry – are the idiots using the technology in a way that causes me great forehead-slapping.
*Guarantee void in countries whose names contain a vowel.
I admit that I’m one of those types of people who do not leave messages. I just get this rush of fear and I choke up and hang up right quick. The thought of my voice saying something to someone much later just really irks me and weirds me out and thus I can’t bring myself to ever talk on anyone’s answering machine…unless it’s very important and I give myself a pep talk first.
I’m with Eva. I personally loathe talking to machines, and that’s why if I call someone and get an answering machine, I just call back later if it’s not urgent. Some people are just like that, it isn’t rude.
I personally feel like a moron if I try to talk to an inanimate object like an answering machine, it’s like talking to a wall. I prefer to speak to the person directly, not leave a voice clip for them to pick apart later at their convenience. Leaving a message puts the message-leaver at a bit of a disadvantage, really. Lots of people hate doing it.
[Insert long and boring rant about how way too many idiots get cellphones without even knowing how to use it, how imbeciles need to learn to turn the fucking thing off while on a theatre or the like, how the next moron who plays his fucking ringtone over and over for half an hour straight will get his/her tiny contraption stuck in his/her ass, and how I just fucking hate how people send text messages to someone who is like, fifty meters away instead of just talking to them]
I personally hate phones in general, but cell phones in particular because of people who talk while driving and their disturbances in auditoriums. I don’t leave messages because I hate talking to machines but because I hate phones in general. If I bothered getting a voice box, I’d almost never check it (actually when my parents handed me an emergency cell which I never used, I never did check the messages), my message on my voice box would be “Hi, the reason you’re hearing this is demonstrative of your lack of understanding of Patrick phone dynamics. Bye.”.
I hate phones because I hate being bothered. Everyone I’ve known has just laughed at how anti-social I can be on the phone, especially if I’m the one picking up. I won’t use a phone unless it is a true necessity.
However, when I do call people, I’m told I sound like a phone sex operator.
Not leaving messages on phones become one of my pet peeves when I had this little encounter with a fellow peer at school:
Me: Hey, how come you never call anymore? You always say you wanna come over to my place!
Him: I called you like three times, why didn’t you respond!
Me: I was out of of the house, why didn’t you leave a message?
Him: Well I dunno, I was just too lazy I guess.
What I’m thinking: Well dumbass, if I don’t know you called how the fuck am I supposed to respond?
What I say: Uh, sure, whatever.
I don’t see the point in cell phones, myself. Maybe if you’re going out somewhere and you want to be prepared for an emergency or something, but not how they’re used by the idiots at large. Personally, if I go out somewhere it’s so I don’t have to be bothered with dumbasses talking to me.
I have a cell phone mainly for emergencies, i.e. today when I had to bring my car to the local repair shop due to a dead tire, and I had to get to class and didn’t know how long it would take so I didn’t know where I’d be and anyway there was no place I could possibly be that they could call me without my cell phone.
There are times when I don’t leave a message. If the purpose of my call was to see if you were home so I could opportunistically ask you a question, and I get your answering machine, I take it as indicative of them being absent or too busy for me to bother them.
Back before I got my cell, I used to squeeze as much efficiency out of my quarters as possible. When calling for a ride, I would ring the home phone. If no one picked up immediately after the fourth ring, I hung up, thereby getting my quarters back. I’d do the same to my mother’s cell phone (which sometimes backfired, leaving me having to spend some more quarters), or simply redial the home phone again. That way, I wouldn’t waste my quarters for the opportunity to leave a message by which I couldn’t effectively arrange a pickup: there might be no-one home, or they might not be able to meet me at the same place or time I’d been picked up at before, so what would the point be?
So, sort of like Kero, I figure if I don’t leave a message, no one’s going to spend hours playing detective trying to puzzle out who called them and why. If they do, I hope they’ve amused themselves, because when they track me down they’ll likely find out I wanted to know if a turnip is a vegetable or a fruit.
And Gila-Monster, try heavy breathing. I know it sounds cliché, but it’s a classic.
Oh, and I don’t leave messages because I can’t be sure people will check them. I call the person once, if they don’t answer, then that’s it. If it is really urgent, I’ll send a text message, which people are more eager to check than voice mail.
I also never check my voice mail, because people say the mot stupid things when recording a message. My voice box’s message sounds like radio interference. I did it for a joke, but I got to scare the hell out of at least a couple of people who thought their phones got broken when hearing it.
heh, it’s funny because I’ve always considered it to be a nuisance when people leave meandering “I just called you” messages on the voice mail when I already knew they had called me due to the missed calls thing, rather than the other way around.
But yeah I could see that if you wanted a call-back you should leave a message.
I add myself to the group of people who hate talking to machines. Answer machines on home phones though is a different thing, but only when it’s a necessity. Also, i don’t know a SINGLE person who ever checks their voice mail box. Ever. I never checked mine either since I have my cell.