Category Archives: telephone

Voice mail: So over?

Is it just me, or has anyone else fallen out of love with voice mail?

Don’t get me wrong. As a tool, voice mail is still useful. I can be away from my desk or away from home and people who are trying to reach me can still do so, more or less.

But I find myself dreading seeing that little red light that indicates I’ve got voice mail. I hate the “beep-beep-beep” ¬†indicator when I hold the receiver up to my ear.

Maybe my disenchantment with voice mail stems from the messages that people leave for me. My heart just sinks when the voice mail program tells me the message is two minutes long. I slap my forehead when I realize someone has left a message for me when they really want someone else (I can picture them getting frustrated when they ultimately find out I’ve had to pass them along to yet another person. Sorry about that.).

I really hate voice mail, though, when someone leaves a long, deliberately paced message and then rushesthroughtheirphonenumberattheveryend. I wish I had a dime for every time I’ve had to listen to messages repeatedly to decipher the blast of numerals at the end.

There’s no doubt voice mail is a good thing, and we should thank Robin Elkins, who most likely created it. Like the fax and e-mail, it’s useful. And the technology isn’t to blame for unwanted faxes, spam e-mail and meandering messages for who knows who.

It’s the uncertainty of voice mail that puts me off, I think. Who tried to contact me who doesn’t know me well enough to know my cell phone number? And can anything good come out of that lack of familiarity short of a call from an attorney telling me I’ve been named in the will of a wealthy, previously unknown relative?

Maybe it’s just that I need an attitude adjustment. Maybe I can greet that little red voice mail indicator light with as much enthusiasm as the Christmas lights of my youth, cheerful heralds of delightful surprises to come.