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Voicemail Is Evil

June 4, 2015

I don’t mean just a little bit. It’s sins-worthy-of-purgatory evil. 

Okay, I get it. Tools exist to make our lives more efficient. And I have a really cute voicemail of my 15 year old son trying to figure out if he’s being recorded or not. 

But, for every cute voicemail that I get, I have a hundred that are a complete and utter waste of time. Here’s the biggest issue. 

If the entire contents of your message is “Please call me back” then you should not be allowed to use electronic devices. See, gone are the days when a voicemail was the only way to know that someone had called your home phone. Before answering machines, we all had to wait by the phone for an important call. Or, we had to play the “did he/didn’t he” call game. 

And voicemail solved that problem. I had proof that someone tried to call me to tell me that my package was available for pickup at the post office. Of course, they normally called at 4:45 and the post office closed at 5:00 and I didn’t even get the message until I got home at 6:00. But, voicemail had a purpose. 

We don’t need to tell people we called anymore. The cell phone tells us that and even tells us who it was:

ONE MISSED CALL: 4:45 PM from Cliff Claven

And since we carry our phones with us everywhere, chances are that I CHOSE to ignore Cliff’s 4:45 call. I KNOW he called, I was busy. But, then you see it. That dreaded New Voicemail icon. 

You know what it’s going to say. It would be great to ignore it, right? But, the problem is that the next time you get a voicemail, you are still going to have to listen to Cliff’s voicemail first. It wouldn’t be so bad if the voice reading the message would get to the message sooner. 

First message, from 8. . .0. . .1 . . .5. . . 5. . .5. . . 1. . .2. . . 1. . .2. . .Left. . .today . . .at. . .4:45. . .PM

Maybe you have a better carrier than I do, but there is no way on earth to make that phone lady go faster. I can skip the entire message while she’s reading, but then it goes to the SAVED folder, and I have to start all over. I want to scream at the phone

I KNOW who sent it. I KNOW when it was sent. JUST GET TO THE MESSAGE ALREADY!!

Hi, this is Cliff. Sorry I missed you, give me a call back.


Our phones have text message. I like texts. They are short. I can plow through a half dozen texts before the phone lady has finished reading Cliff’s phone number. 

I really want to change my voicemail greeting to say:

Hi, this is Rodney. You have reached my cell phone. No need to tell me you called, I can see that on my missed calls list. If you leave me a message saying you called, I will NEVER call you back. . .EVER! 

So, please PLEASE for the sanity of your friends stop using voicemail. If it wasn’t a work requirement I wouldn’t even use it. But, if you insist on using it, please have something meaningful to say. Those minutes in purgatory are time I will never get back. 

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday at 7:00 AM Mountain Time. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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(c) 2015 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved 

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