Saturday, May 23, 2009

BFL Day 13

Remember these things? There was a time that, if you telephoned somebody and they where not there to answer, the phone would ring until you decided to give up and end the call. Then they came out with these nifty devices that would answer your phone when you were not at home or in the office. Believe it or not, once upon a time, phones pretty much stayed at home even when you left. They were a bit pricey, bulky, difficult to set up, and had a distressing tendency to malfunction. You recorded some cute little greeting (or at least you thought it was cute, everybody else thought it was stupid) and the caller would leave a short message.

Real short.

The thing was, these answering machines had a little cassette tape in them that didn't have a great deal of recording time. Most machines let you get in about ten seconds before you were cut off. As a result, people were in the habit of speaking very rapidly before the beep which indicated you were now talking into to a dead line. advances...and now the answering machine is as extinct as an 8-track player. Phones now have chips in them with so much memory that you could probably dictate your autobiography and still have room for more. Certainly enough time to leave one's name, when you are calling, and what number to call back if you wish. Even more people just use cell phones in which you have a voice mail service that calls can go to if you are too busy doing something else, like driving (HA!) to answer a call. Still, with virtually unlimited time to leave a simple coherent message, many people continue to deliver a rapid-fire barrage of mumbled sounds like "Hi thisisFredKiddilehopperandit'srealurgentthatIgetwithyaASAP. Gimmeacallat5559oneohsixtyateextensiontwooh73assoonasyagitthis"

Forcing me to replay the message about a dozen times to pick out the name and the number.

My new rule at work. If I get a message and I cannot figure out who is calling in two tries...fuggit, it gets deleted. They will just have to call me again if it's so damn important.

Still dealing with a cold, though I can manage to get by without clutching a box of Kleenex to my chest all day. My tip is for everybody to buy stock in the makers of NyQuil. I'm sure I boosted their profits this quarter.

1 comment:

Terry ( said...


I am with you on this one. I am always amazed how people can leave a message, talking so slow that I am ready to fall off my chair until....that moment they get to the number and.....pow....they shoot it off like a firecracker.

One of the things I always do is go very slow when leaving a number. It's just the right thing to do.

BTW, my new voice mail at work now allows me to listen to the message from my PC and keep a copy of it as a wav file for now until the end of time.