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Tuesday, June 14, 2005 

Speaking into the abyss

“You have reached the voice mailbox of... Please leave a message after the tone”. BEEP! I have an innate aversion to that sound, it reminds me of the sound the heart monitor makes in an intensive care unit. Why would someone ask me to call them and then turn their cellphone off? At first I was a little annoyed, but then I realised I had nothing to lose by him not answering his phone… so there you go. I leave a brief “who, what, when” message and end the call. My first instinct was to put the phone down and not to say anything. I do not like leaving voice messages and speaking to an automated voice message system. Leaving a voice message reminds me of standing on the edge of an abyss and calling out into nothing. A desperate and lonely plea for help. Creepy don’t you think? But then I remembered that I hate receiving messages where the other person puts the phone down without saying anything at all even more. So I chose the lesser of two evils and did the decent thing. I find most messages left on my phone to be somewhat annoying and lacking in terms of content. It is not the people that annoy me, but the things they say. People leave either too little information or the connection is dodgy and you cannot make out what the person is trying to say to you. They do not tell you the time or date of their call, what the call is about, whether the message is urgent, and their telephone number. Some people just assume that you know their voices and do not tell you who called, which is rather embarrassing when you call a number and you do to know who to ask for. Oh, and then there are those who believe that they can fit a whole conversation in a single message and it sounds like they are speed-reading. That said, some mailbox greetings are very creative and people come up with really funny and witty sayings. It beats listening to the automated drone while she spits the standard greeting into your ear. I may not like eaving a voice message for someone… but I always listen to the greeting.


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