General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

Should I respond?

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About 6-7 months ago a new system was put in place at work where our voice mail messages automatically goes to our e-mail. I think this is pretty cool.

If a voice mail message is not left, you still get an e-mail notification stating the person's name (intracompany) or phone number for an outside caller.

Two scenarios:

1. There's quite a few times where I'll call somebody or another, get their voice mail, and hang up without leaving a message thinking that I could call somebody else for the answer to my question.

More often then not, it seems, the people I hang up on without leaving a message call me back anyway saying "I see that you called, what's up?"

Me: "Oh, I contacted so-n-so. Question answered, no worries. But thanks for calling back."

2. Today I had a string of meetings so I wasn't at my desk very often in the morning. When I had time to go through my e-mails I saw that there were 2 missed calls from John but no messages were left. A couple of hours later the phone rings, I answer and it's John. We have a good rapport, but this conversation got me to thinking:

John: There you are. I was starting to think that you were ignoring me.

Me (laughing): Yeah, I see that you called a couple of times this morning. What's up?

John: Why didn't you call me back?

Me: You didn't leave a message.

John: But you saw that I called. You should have called me back.

Me: Why should I call you back when you don't leave a message?

John: But I did leave a message. I know how the system works. You got an e-mail . . .

So, with both scenarios above, I'm rather confused. Scenario 1 the person had absolutely no reason to return my non-message call, that's why I hung up without leaving a message. Scenario 2 the person expected that I return his non-message call because, well, the e-mail notification was a message?  ::) ?

Should I respond to non-message voice/e-mails?

I'd call back and say "Hi John, I saw you tried to get a hold of me earlier, is there something I can help you with?", like you John might've already gotten the answer, but it's still nice to follow up. Which is what I'd assume people are doing when they call you back, making sure you don't still need help. For all they know you're still going through the "who can help me" list.

If my friend calls my cell phone and hangs up with out leaving a message (as they usually do, we aren't big on messages), I call them back. If it's a number I don't know, I don't bother because I figure, wrong number. But if it's someone I know, I call back. Maybe they didn't need a darn thing, maybe it was a butt dial, but it doesn't put me out to call them back so I do.

shhh its me:
 Ohhh just like caller ID.   The same thing happens at home with caller ID , people call 1/2 of them expect you to call back at some point because you can see they called 1/2 don't except a call back because they didn't leave a message.   So I have no answer I think peoples opinions will be equally divided except I think you should got with whatevr the majority does in your workplace I don't think either is wrong.

Is there a way to clarify what you will do in your voicemail?  "Leave a message if you need me to call you back.  No message, no call." (not worded properly but general intent)

If you don't get a lot of calls, I would probably call back those who call.  If you are swamped with work and calls, I would say to John that "being very busy, you are put in the position of not being able to call back all those who call unless a message is left."

To me integrated messaging that shows who called is no different than reviewing the call log on your phone. If I see someone has tried to call several times but didn't leave a message I'll call them back.  If they only called once and didn't leave a message I won't call them back.

I'd just tell John "Sorry, if you con't leave a message, I'll assume you found your answer elsewhere. If you want a call back, please leave a message."


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