I work for an IT company and one of the services we provide is technical support to end-users for the internet. I am the Vice President and am the longest lasting employee still in this department. I only mention this because I am either an expert in my field who loves to help people or I am a stark raving lunatic.
At any rate, this post is about people leaving messages on voice mail. The reason I mention my job is that here when a user calls in there are greeted and asked to leave a message and we call them back. It's really quite nice as we get back to everyone before 30 mins (current 100,000 call average is 6 minutes) and they dont have to sit on hold like for other tech support.
Let me preface this post also with what our voice mail message says:
"Thank you for calling. Our hours are ... Please leave your name and FULL phone number including your area code. Message left without an area code cannot be returned."
That's all it says. Pretty simple huh? Hard to foul up - well you would think that.
Here's a list of the things that REALLY REALLY annoy the hell out of me about people leaving their messages for our service:
1. People who yell "HELP" or say "I am calling for some help." or any variation of asking for help.
You are calling TECHNICAL SUPPORT we know you need help. Believe me we KNOW! There is no need to make your message extra long by asking for something that we already know. You dont call Domino's and start the call by telling them that you want to order food to eat do you? They know why you are calling. They know what you do with food and if you are planning on doing something other than eating it, I am sure they dont want to know that either.
2. Women (normally older women) who do not announce themselves by their actual name, but use their husbands
There are still women in this world, who once married, no longer have an identity of their own. They say this is Mrs. John Smith. Believe me this happens more than you would think and it's harder than hell to get their actual name out of them to call them by name while talking to them. You are a seperate person with your own name, use the damn thing!
3. People who confuse their Area code with their Zip code
Yes this happens too. Dont ask me how you could confuse the two numbers. Some people leave both, some people just read their 7 digit phone number and then give their zip code. Not exactly sure how these people think we are going to be able to call their zip code or why we would even want it in the first place, but they still leave it.
4. People who leave their full phone number including the "1"
"My number is 1-555-555-5555." No really? One? You are seriously in America? Thank god you left the country code, I almost called the UK.
5. People who leave their life story on the message
These people tend to just talk and talk and talk and tell you everything about them and either get cut off before leaving their number or leave it at the end and say it so fast or slur it up that you cant get it to call them back.
6. People who talk REALLY fast while leaving their phone number
These people say EVERYTHING on the message very slowly and pronounced until their phone number. Then they are like the Micro Machines man on crack.
7. People who say "It's Monday the 29th at about 2:30pm"
Really do you think that we dont know what time it is? Or that it's important to know when you've called but we dont have a system that tells us that? And what voice mail system nowadays doesnt do timestamping anymore? Dont tell me the date and time. Quit wasting my time.
8. People who tell me what town they live in
This seems to be a fetish for some folks. They say things like, "Hi, this is Brian from Doucheville." Like I care what town you live in. And trust me I dont categorize all the Brian's I know by what freaking town you live in.
9. People who cant speak plain English
If English is your second language or you are just too drunk to slur out English words, dont call and leave a message. You are only going to be able to talk to English speaking people and since this is over the phone I would have no way of drawing out my questions for you on a piece of paper. Higher your next door neighbor's kid to come over and talk on the phone for you.
10. And finally, people who wont shut up their screaming child
If I wanted to listen to your child scream and cry, I would come over to your house and punch it in the face. Dont try to leave a message while your kid is throwing a tantrum and screaming directly into your phone. You might be able to ignore it, but trust me it's hard for everyone else to not notice that little 3 alarm siren in a diaper.