Author Topic: Voicemail etiquette  (Read 9163 times)

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Library Dragon

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Re: Voicemail etiquette
« Reply #105 on: March 14, 2013, 05:12:12 PM »
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Especially when I left the exact message I needed to on your voicemail. Now I have to look up the info again and give it to you....

POD
We have this at the library.  We called and left a VM that the book requested is on hold and can be picked up.  Instead of checking the VM we get, "Someone from the library just called. "  We just told you why we called.  Now (general) you have to find your library card so we can check the account and tell you that the book you requested is here. 

Also, if a patron request materials and the only method of reaching the patron is telephone (we would much rather have an email or text notification in the system) please have VM.  We do not have the staff or time to call multiple times during the day trying to catch the person.  Of course we also get, "I didn't recognize the number so I didn't answer."  Grrrr.  A transaction that should have taken 30 seconds turns into a melodrama of "I wasn't notified that my book was in.  Why didn't you telllllllll me!"

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oceanus

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Re: Voicemail etiquette
« Reply #106 on: March 14, 2013, 05:17:24 PM »
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Especially when I left the exact message I needed to on your voicemail. Now I have to look up the info again and give it to you....

POD
We have this at the library.  We called and left a VM that the book requested is on hold and can be picked up.  Instead of checking the VM we get, "Someone from the library just called. "  We just told you why we called.  Now (general) you have to find your library card so we can check the account and tell you that the book you requested is here. 

Also, if a patron request materials and the only method of reaching the patron is telephone (we would much rather have an email or text notification in the system) please have VM.  We do not have the staff or time to call multiple times during the day trying to catch the person.  Of course we also get, "I didn't recognize the number so I didn't answer."  Grrrr.  A transaction that should have taken 30 seconds turns into a melodrama of "I wasn't notified that my book was in.  Why didn't you telllllllll me!"

Sheesh.  There should be an alert system in the library system software *WARNING - SNOWFLAKEY PATRON*.   ;)

Library Dragon

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Re: Voicemail etiquette
« Reply #107 on: March 14, 2013, 05:44:00 PM »
If I could invent one I'd be RICH, RICH I TELL YOU.   ;D

Of course there are the patrons who tell us to contact them via email, but give us an email they never check.  "Oh, I didn't know I had a book on hold.  I don't ever look at that account." 

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bah12

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Re: Voicemail etiquette
« Reply #108 on: March 14, 2013, 06:36:52 PM »
Whiny messages from DH aren't my fault. I can't make him stop calling and leaving whiny VM's. I've asked him nicely and not-so-nicely. I've been passive-agressive and agressive-agressive. The only thing I haven't tried is doing the same thing to him. And I can't be bothered to because at this point I figure nothing will work. I have, through a process of non-cooperation, trained him to call me a lot less than he used (thank goodness).


They are not your fault.  I agree.  But they are also not a reflection of any problem with VM.  Your DH, leaving whiny VM's are his fault, and it's your problem because you have to deal with it.  This seems to be a communication/relationship issue that has nothing to do with whether or not it's rude to leave VM messages in general.

There are rude ways to leave VMs.  This appears to be one of them.  But, it is not rude to leave VMs in general.  Regardless of how you(general) feel about them on a personal level.   
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 06:55:40 PM by bah12 »

MyFamily

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Re: Voicemail etiquette
« Reply #109 on: March 14, 2013, 07:15:00 PM »
If someone doesn't want to check their voice mail messages before returning a call, that is certainly their prerogative, but let me give you a few real-life examples I am aware of that this has caused unnecessary stress for other people and for the person who didn't check her messages.

Mary and Bonnie are good friends.  Mary sees a missed call on her caller-id from Bonnie's house, assumes Bonnie called her and proceeds to call her back without listening to the message left.  Bonnie has no idea what Mary is calling about and tells her that she never called.  Odd, but whatever.  Then it happens again.  And again.  Turns out that it isn't Bonnie calling, it is Bonnie's husband Clyde and he's trying to arrange a surprise for Bonnie's birthday, only since Mary doesn't listen to her messages the whole thing gets messed up and Bonnie suspects Clyde of trying to hit on Mary because of the multiple calls until he has to tell her about the surprise he was trying to plan.  If Mary had listened to her messages, Bonnie would have had a wonderful surprise instead of thinking her husband was trying to cheat on her.

Mary receives a call from her doctor.  She returns the call without listening to the message from the nurse that says based on your test results, the doctor would like you to make an appointment to see her.  Please call the main desk to make the appointment.  When the front desk answers Mary's call, Mary asks to speak to the nurse, who tells her exactly what was told in the message and then transfers Mary back to the first person she'd spoken to. So, in this case, the nurse had to waste her time looking up the file and Mary wasted her own time because she could have been off the call that much faster.

Mary receives a call from a number she isn't familiar with, and calls back without checking her voice mail.  Turns out that the number that showed up on her caller id is the main number but there are about 50 possible people who could have called her, so the receptionist has no way of forwarding her call because she doesn't know who called her.  A few weeks later a friend asks her why she didn't call back his relative, who was calling to talk to her about a potential job.  Mary misses out on her dream job.

I used the same person in all examples because this all happened to someone I know who used to not check her messages and now she does (and no, it isn't me).


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Bexx27

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Re: Voicemail etiquette
« Reply #110 on: March 14, 2013, 07:37:44 PM »

Mary receives a call from a number she isn't familiar with, and calls back without checking her voice mail.  Turns out that the number that showed up on her caller id is the main number but there are about 50 possible people who could have called her, so the receptionist has no way of forwarding her call because she doesn't know who called her. 

When I worked as a receptionist this scenario happened all the time and drove me absolutely crazy. Someone called you from this number? Well, 50 people work in the building. It was usually a few minutes of explaining that they've reached a switchboard, trying to figure out if they have any connection to any of the 6 programs the organization administered, trying to figure out why they might have been contacted by someone from said program to figure out who might have called, etc.  I wish I could have found a way to tell them to call back after they'd listenened to their voicemail without sounding rude.
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oceanus

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Re: Voicemail etiquette
« Reply #111 on: March 14, 2013, 07:43:46 PM »
Quote
I wish I could have found a way to tell them to call back after they'd listenened to their voicemail without sounding rude.

"Sir/ma'am, there is no way for me to know who called you.  Could be someone dialed a wrong number.  If you have voice mail maybe you should check it."

"ummm, well, I hate voice mail..."

"Well, sorry, I can't help you.  Excuse me, I have other calls."


That's more time and courtesy than they deserve.

Softly Spoken

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Re: Voicemail etiquette
« Reply #112 on: March 14, 2013, 09:29:23 PM »
I suppose if I had a job that required me to spend a significant amount of time wading through tedious email I would develop a dislike for it...but I have to admit most of the vehemence on these thread is startling in it's ferocity. It also seems to be a quite literal case of "shoot the messenger": the biggest annoyances and inconveniences seem to stem from the person leaving the message and not the VM itself.

Yes people who leave rambling messages are annoying. Yes, people who leave uninformative messages are annoying. Yes, people who leave messages at a time when it is too late to respond are annoying. Yes, people who leave messages complaining about getting your VM or asking if you are there are annoying and stupid. On the other side of things: yes, people who do not listen to their VM before they return your call are annoying. :P

I am grateful for VM. I am glad for calls reminding me of my upcoming appointments. I am glad I get calls letting me know something is cancelled or changed. I am glad my dad leaves me a sweet message on my answering machine when he makes his ritual nightly call and I am not there. When he has passed on, those messages will be a record I have of his voice saying he loves me. If my brother did not have VM he could not screen his calls and would never answer the phone.

The only thing I don't like about my messages are the ones that show up as a new message but are just a dial tone because it was someone trying to sell me something. >:(

I do agree with PPs about general VM guidelines. Speak clearly, identify yourself, include contact info as necessary and quickly give pertinent information.

On that subject, here is comedian Kevin James talking about the phone. He rants about VM etiquette starting at 1:33. ;D
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onikenbai

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Re: Voicemail etiquette
« Reply #113 on: March 14, 2013, 10:12:13 PM »
I don't mind checking my message, but all I ask is that the message have something substantive.  I don't want your message to consist solely of:
-Hi, it's me.
-I just emailed you.
-No need to call me back.
-How is your cat?  (I get this one more than I should)

I agree, except about the "no need to call me back." I think this is OK if the message consists of something useful, for which a reply is not necessary. As in, "Hi, just letting you know that I did receive your message, and yes, I will be there at 6 PM instead of 5 PM. No need to call me back, see you at 6."

Oh, that's way too much substance, actually constituting a useful message.  That's fine with me.  What drives me batty is "Hi, it's mother.  Don't call me back." 

Amara

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Re: Voicemail etiquette
« Reply #114 on: March 14, 2013, 11:05:28 PM »
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I am glad my dad leaves me a sweet message on my answering machine when he makes his ritual nightly call and I am not there. When he has passed on, those messages will be a record I have of his voice saying he loves me.

Even after reading all these posts, I still cannot understand the dislike hatred of voice mail. It's a convenience that allows callers to leave a message instead of calling back multiple times. (Does anyone else remember the days before answering machines?)

But ... the quote above really hit home. My dad died in July last year. My mother probably won't be around for another year. But on my answering machine at home I have about 15 messages from one or both of them, including three years of them singing Happy Birthday to me on the day of. They cause me to tear up when I listen to them, and they are priceless. My mom called me the other day to tell me she loved me and missed me. I have that call too.


citadelle

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Re: Voicemail etiquette
« Reply #115 on: March 15, 2013, 09:09:39 AM »
Quote
I am glad my dad leaves me a sweet message on my answering machine when he makes his ritual nightly call and I am not there. When he has passed on, those messages will be a record I have of his voice saying he loves me.

Even after reading all these posts, I still cannot understand the dislike hatred of voice mail. It's a convenience that allows callers to leave a message instead of calling back multiple times. (Does anyone else remember the days before answering machines?)

But ... the quote above really hit home. My dad died in July last year. My mother probably won't be around for another year. But on my answering machine at home I have about 15 messages from one or both of them, including three years of them singing Happy Birthday to me on the day of. They cause me to tear up when I listen to them, and they are priceless. My mom called me the other day to tell me she loved me and missed me. I have that call too.

My daughter's school calls to let the family know when the lunch account drops below $20. Right now, there are probably 15 such messages stacked on my voice mail. I can only afford to send $20 at a time to the account, which means that I will get a call every. single. day. If I want to listen to a voice mail left by someone else, I have to wade through all of the messages from school. I hate being reminded every day that I can't afford to send more.

This is one huge reason why I really hate vm and why I won't be listening to messages. It may seem like a little thing, but it is a daily reminder that my finances are not where I want them to be.

Shoo

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Re: Voicemail etiquette
« Reply #116 on: March 15, 2013, 10:05:01 AM »
Quote
I am glad my dad leaves me a sweet message on my answering machine when he makes his ritual nightly call and I am not there. When he has passed on, those messages will be a record I have of his voice saying he loves me.

Even after reading all these posts, I still cannot understand the dislike hatred of voice mail. It's a convenience that allows callers to leave a message instead of calling back multiple times. (Does anyone else remember the days before answering machines?)

But ... the quote above really hit home. My dad died in July last year. My mother probably won't be around for another year. But on my answering machine at home I have about 15 messages from one or both of them, including three years of them singing Happy Birthday to me on the day of. They cause me to tear up when I listen to them, and they are priceless. My mom called me the other day to tell me she loved me and missed me. I have that call too.

My daughter's school calls to let the family know when the lunch account drops below $20. Right now, there are probably 15 such messages stacked on my voice mail. I can only afford to send $20 at a time to the account, which means that I will get a call every. single. day. If I want to listen to a voice mail left by someone else, I have to wade through all of the messages from school. I hate being reminded every day that I can't afford to send more.

This is one huge reason why I really hate vm and why I won't be listening to messages. It may seem like a little thing, but it is a daily reminder that my finances are not where I want them to be.

Why don't you simply delete them? 

citadelle

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Re: Voicemail etiquette
« Reply #117 on: March 15, 2013, 10:28:37 AM »
I must first listen to them to delete them. I know someone will say, "Just listen to the beginning and then delete". I have done this. It is better for me to simply ignore them. I am not looking for an alternative solution, rather explaining for anyone who is curious my reason for not listening to vm. If you don't agree that it is a good reason, that is ok with me.

WillyNilly

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Re: Voicemail etiquette
« Reply #118 on: March 15, 2013, 11:15:03 AM »
I must first listen to them to delete them. I know someone will say, "Just listen to the beginning and then delete". I have done this. It is better for me to simply ignore them. I am not looking for an alternative solution, rather explaining for anyone who is curious my reason for not listening to vm. If you don't agree that it is a good reason, that is ok with me.

Well I for one do think its a valid reason. I would do the exact same thing... heck I do.

I haven't always hated VM (although I never loved it) but this thread is helping bring to light why I do, as I'd never really thought about it before, I just knew I hated it.

For me its a combination of things:
* I dislike the disembodied voice speaking at me
* I dislike the hassle of dialing in, having to choose to save, skip, delete, etc
* I dislike listening through the the pointless messages ("I'll email you" etc)
* I dislike the bad messages (several minutes of whatever followed by the important call back number said super fast, so I have to listen to the whole long message 3 or 4 times to get it)
* I dislike feeling tethered to my phone
* In my experience VM is more often then not, bad news, a complaint or expecting some sort of work from me
* If its important information, I have to write it down (whereas email or a text it would come to me already written)

All those negatives just don't even come close to the minute possibility of a good VM message.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 11:16:37 AM by WillyNilly »

bah12

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Re: Voicemail etiquette
« Reply #119 on: March 15, 2013, 11:41:15 AM »
The thing is, I don't think anyone is arguing (at least I'm not) that you should love or not dislike VM.  I wouldn't say that I love it myself (although I don't dislike it as much as others).

The point is, you can dislike it all you want.  You can even choose not to use it all you want.  But it's still awfully expectant of you (general) to tell everyone else that they can't use an available and common means of leaving you a message simply because you don't like it.  While I'm having a hard time calling it rude to tell your contacts, after they call you, wait for you to answer, discover you're unavailable and listen to your outgoing message, to then hang up and open another application to get their message to you in a form you prefer, it does seem like you're asking your contacts to go through a whole lot of extra trouble to save you from some minor inconvenience.

But, I guess, it's not rude to choose not to use it.  As long as you realize that it's your choice, and the negative consequences, and missed relationships that naturally occur from making that choice are 100% your fault and not the fault of anyone who decides contacting you and leaving you messages is more trouble than it's worth, then you're fine.

Things that I would (and have) done to solve the problem of VM's I don't like getting.

1.  Calling whatever company is leaving annoying/repetetive messages and asking them to please stop calling
2.  Telling close friends that if they really want to get a hold of me faster, then can text me because I don't often answer the phone or listen to messages.
3.  Telling my family that texting me is the fastest way to get a hold of me in an emergency situation.
4.  Playing back my messages and deleting the ones that I know I don't need to listen to immediately (vs. listening to the whole message first).
5.  Turning of the VM function (on my home answering machine) when I'm on vacation and don't want to come back to a slew of messages.
6.  Auto forwarding calls to a phone I'll answer.
7.  Voice to text option.

All of these things are me taking care of my own problem vs. requiring everyone else to do it for me.