Author Topic: S/O Rude not to check voicemail  (Read 1865 times)

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Blondie

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S/O Rude not to check voicemail
« on: August 01, 2013, 12:01:51 PM »
I did not want to derail the other thread, but I have a similar problem. On advice I read here, I changed my voice mail message to reflect that I do not check my voice mail more than once ever two weeks, and if a matter was urgent, to please text or e-mail me. This is my personal phone and my only non-work number, I need voice mail for personal business matters, but outside of that would get rid of it if I could.

I do not check voice mail very often for a number of different reasons- limited minutes, I hate talking on the phone, and frankly, I have horrible service at my house, which will often not show a voice mail for hours or days after it was left, but am not willing to change an unlimited data plan for another company due to a piece of my phone (and yes, I do realize the irony of this) that I barely ever use. My phone is basically a text/e-mail/internet machine.

Since doing this, I have had a number of people call me rude or entitled for having my outgoing message as such and some have gone so far as to leave messages along the lines of "Hey, I was going to tell you about *some cool thing*, but since you don't care about other people at all, I won't"  Is there any way to combat this, or is it just a horrible mash-up of communication styles? I think my outgoing voice mail is polite and to the point, is there something else I could do to keep from being lambasted over something I have warned people about?
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cwm

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Re: S/O Rude not to check voicemail
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2013, 12:42:30 PM »
I personally wouldn't have a problem with it.

At my last job part of what I did was make reminder calls, or call people when their dog was finished being groomed. I encountered several people whose outgoing voicemail message said the same thing. The only problem was that too often their voicemail was full and I couldn't leave a message. Which wasn't a problem for reminders if they showed up, but if I'm trying to reach someone to pick up their dog and can't leave them a message, it becomes a problem.

I've been horrible at checking voicemail for years. My old phones would have VM notifications that wouldn't show up when I had messages, or my phone would resurrect messages from months ago that I'd deleted and I couldn't get rid of them. Or the notification wouldn't go away when I didn't have any VMs. New phone, no more problems, but I'm still in the habit of not checking them unless I'm expecting a call from someone that I know can't text/email me. I could easily go months with a voicemail from my sister or mom sitting in limbo because I can't be bothered to check it.

Honestly, the best way I've found of combatting it is to call the person back when you notice you've missed a call. "Hey, I noticed you called me, what's up?" If they ask if you've listened to your VM yet, you can respond with "I figure it'd be better to hear it straight from you!" I've also found that telling people I have very limited minutes (truth) and the hard time I have checking my voicemail (also truth, my phone doesn't like picking up on the touchscreen when I'm in a call, so it's hard to hit the right buttons) drains my minutes too fast, so I'd want to get back to them as soon as I could and save checking voicemail until the evenings or weekends when the minutes are free and I won't get charged. It's worked for me really well, but I haven't changed my outgoing message to reflect the fact that I don't check messages. I hate having to change it, and having a message like that wasn't the impression I wanted to send while I was looking for a job.

With your friends that leave rude messages, just start calling them and if it goes to VM, don't leave a message. It's another way of subtly reminding them that that's how you prefer to communicate. I never leave messages unless it's terribly important. If I can't reach someone on the phone, I send them a quick text letting them know why I called and whether or not it's important to call me back.

Tea Drinker

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Re: S/O Rude not to check voicemail
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2013, 01:06:19 PM »
My only thought is, if you haven't already, maybe make the outgoing message "I don't check voicemail very often, and even when I do, this phone doesn't always give me my messages. So please text or email, those are better ways to reach me."

Someone who accuses you of "not wanting to talk to people" when you suggest two better ways of reaching you is unlikely to be mollified, however. Probably even a person's the outgoing message were "As you know, I am deaf and cannot hear your voicemail messages. I have this phone for texting. Please text or email so we can catch up with each other."
Any advice that requires the use of a time machine may safely be ignored.

Blondie

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Re: S/O Rude not to check voicemail
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2013, 01:25:53 PM »
Heh. Maybe I will have to go there anyway.... I am deaf in one ear, does that count?  >:D
"He attacked everything in life with a mix of extraordinary genius and naive incompetence, and it was often difficult to tell which was which." Douglas Adams

acicularis

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Re: S/O Rude not to check voicemail
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2013, 06:53:32 PM »
Perhaps change your message to say that your voice mail service is extremely unreliable, and that they need to text or email with anything urgent? That's at least partly true.

I would find it odd if someone didn't check voice mail more frequently than once a week or so, but if the outgoing message warned me of that I wouldn't be irritated like I am with people who never check it but whose outgoing messages don't reflect that.

JenJay

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Re: S/O Rude not to check voicemail
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2013, 07:09:29 PM »
Maybe phrase it "unfortunately I am unable to check my voicemail frequently" as opposed to leaving them with the impression that you could check it as often as you want, you just choose not to. Not that there's anything wrong with that, especially since you're letting people know, but it might take the edge off the situation.

AnnaJ

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Re: S/O Rude not to check voicemail
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2013, 07:12:36 PM »
For people who grew up texting, I think it's almost unimaginable that texting can be difficult for many people.  I now text, but it was a pain to learn and I'm still not proficient and sometimes it's massively annoying to know that if was talking to the person it would take a fraction of the time and be (for me) more pleasant.  I've adjusted, but not entirely happily.

I'm much better with e-mail, but it's not always convenient.

The problem, to me, is that by refusing to use voicemail you are cutting yourself off from a sizable percentage of people.  That may not be an issue for you - if your circle doesn't include people who are uncomfortable  with either texting or e-mail (or don't have it as part of their plan, or have arthritis or simply don't know how), then it doesn't matter.  The fact that you got so many messages about this, however, does suggest otherwise.

Zilla

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Re: S/O Rude not to check voicemail
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2013, 07:23:25 PM »
In your scenario, I would call the provider and have voice mail turned off.  It will simply say to callers that your number can't take a call right now and to try again later.  Or something like that. 


I have had three separate providers and this was an option I did.  I too don't check my voice mail and don't bother activating it for that reason. 

TootsNYC

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Re: S/O Rude not to check voicemail
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2013, 07:47:39 PM »
From an etiquette point of view--boy, are those people rude!

From a tactical point of view--
I'm w/ Zilla--I'd see if you can turn your voicemail off.

If that's not possible, I'd try to get a service that would send me a text or email of my voicemail messages.

JenJay's suggestion that you reword it might soften the blow.
(it might come across as "I don't care whether you can get ahold of me" the way it is now)

And I will say that if I've gone to the effort to call you, but you're not available, now I have to go make an entire extra effort to get ahold of you.

And I think what you're hearing is that people don't want to do that. They don't want to have to "tag" you twice.

KenveeB

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Re: S/O Rude not to check voicemail
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2013, 08:49:40 PM »
Not rude in principle. (It's actually what I suggested in the other thread!) Since you're getting such strong reactions, though, maybe you should look at the phrasing of your message and see if you can tweak it a bit. It might be turning people off somehow, and a minor change will help.

Blondie

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Re: S/O Rude not to check voicemail
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2013, 08:36:21 AM »
So looking for any suggestions in how to change my outgoing voice mail message. Currently it is:

You have reached XXX-XXX-XXXX. Please know that due to service issues I am unable to check my voice mail with any reliable frequency. For pressing matters, please email or text. Thank you!

What can I change? I don't want it to be too wordy, but obviously it is a problem. Also, several people have asked, none of my friends leave voice mails. The rude statements seem to be mainly from one subset of acquaintances and actually my dad's insurance agent, who I have issues with anyway, as I would not sign on as a client, which she took as a personal affront and has made dealing with her a whole nother story... Anyway, I tend to discount anything I hear from her.

Edited to add: I am really worried I am offending people somehow- thank you all for any guidance, I am on the spectrum and tend not to pick up on/misread subtle social cues that as my sisters remind me, most people think are obvious.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2013, 08:38:15 AM by Blondie »
"He attacked everything in life with a mix of extraordinary genius and naive incompetence, and it was often difficult to tell which was which." Douglas Adams

TootsNYC

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Re: S/O Rude not to check voicemail
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2013, 09:53:11 AM »
ooh! Cutting unnecessary or stuffy verbiage is what I do for a living some days!

Quote
You have reached XXX-XXX-XXXX. My voicemail service is unreliable and messages do not always reach me. If this is urgent, please text to this number or email at XXXXX@xxxx.com.

If you don't want to give out your email address, just leave that off, and if people don't have it, they don't get to email.