Don’t you just love….?

We all have pet hates, something that makes steam come out of your ears. One of those, for me, is careless voice messaging.

You know the drill. Your phone tells you you’ve got voicemail. You dial the number, and someone chats away for a minute or two telling you who they are, and why they’ve called. Then, when it reaches the end, they leave their number.

Only for some reason, it seems they’re in some form of competition where the winner is the person who can spit out their phone numbers as fast as is humanly possible. What you here is something like:

“…so if you can give me a call that will be great, my landine’s ohtwofourdoublethreesixohtwo or mobile ohfourfourohsixtwothreetriplemumble”

Which might be so bad, if it didn’t all come out on the short side of three seconds.

So, you grind your teeth, wait till the voicemail menu comes up – because if you’re like me you can never remember what number rewinds the message, and guessing will only delete it instead – hit the key, then wait interminably as the message plays all over again. Pen poised, you listen to this long pointless message a second time, then madly start writing when the verbal diarrhea kicks in.

If you’re lucky you get maybe half the number written down. So then you hit that rewind button again, listen the inane message again, and hope you can get the rest of the numbers this time. And if you’re anything like me, it often takes a third replay before you get it all.

Spending five painful minutes trying to catch the telephone number of someone who you probably don’t particularly want to call anyway is amazingly frustrating. How hard can it possibly be to start your message with a clear “Hi, my name is Charlie, my number is oh, two, nine…” etc. If you were stood in front of someone and they had a pen to hand you wouldn’t scream it out as one nine syllable word in half a second, you’d never be so rude – so why do it in a message?

From now on, the ‘last-minute-number-blurrers’ are getting deleted from my message box instead of getting called back. Maybe if we all do they same they’ll learn and stop.

So, what are your pet hates..?

Gary Bunker

the Fore