Opinion, please: no phone messages?

YourOpinionMattersIt’s been a while since I posted one of these. And I’ve had the note to post about this one sitting on my desk for a while but other things took priority.

Check this out (emphasis mine):

However, the older set needs to know the protocol of younger generations. Such as that calling someone without leaving a message means the other person should call back. I learned that from my sons in their 20s.

Really?  So that’s why I get calls back from folks who never bother to listen to my message, including the ones that I leave when I’ve mis-dialed a number.

Given how busy everyone is, I leave very detailed messages as to why I’m calling you. That way, when you call me back, you will be prepared to answer the questions I’ve raised. (And I don’t forget, by the time you call me back, why I called you in the first place!) When you call me back without having listened to my message, you’re wasting two people’s time – yours and mine.

On the flip side, if you call me and don’t leave a message, I’m not going to call you to find out what you want. That, to me, defeats the whole purpose of answering machines, not to mention the whole time-wasting thing.

Understand – this article was written in the context of business behavior – how you handle relationships with clients, co-workers, superiors, and the like – not personal ones. What you do with your friends is a whole different matter. (This article gets to some of that.)

So, dear reader, what do you think?  Phone messages or not?

8 thoughts on “Opinion, please: no phone messages?

  1. If you don’t leave a message, I don’t call back. Some exceptions, though. Any call from an unknown number, even Vivian Paige’s, doesn’t get a call back. There are some folks, who I know, that don’t leave messages, and sometimes I call them back.

    If it’s important, leave a message

    1. There’s no way to know who called you when the number is blocked. I keep my cell blocked all the time – for a long list of reasons. (And yes, I get calls back from folks because they think I’m the only person who keeps their number blocked. Maybe I’m the only one they know?) I always leave a message if I want a call back. Otherwise, I just call back myself 🙂

  2. When answering machines were first introduced, I was annoyed but I learned to leave a detailed message. Now I am annoyed if someone doesn’t have an answering machine because now I have to call you back.
    I agree with you in that if you don’t leave a message, then I don’t call back unless it is one of my older relatives. I feel if I take the time to leave you a message and I have to explain the purpose of my call, you are wasting my time and your expense in maintaining a voicemail box if I have to reiterate what I just said.
    My other pet peeve is that folks automatically think that your cell phone is your main number and that is the one to call. Unless, we have the same carrier, call my home phone number unless in my message I told you to call my cell.

  3. I’d rather chew cracked glass than talk on the phone these days. Gone are the days when I could talk for hours to my cousins or my friends. I liked to be able to walk around the kitchen with my phone trapped between my shoulder and my ear. Today, though, the cell phone doesn’t allow that and neither do the 4 phones bought in a set, in the different rooms in my house. I hate conversations on ALL those phones – the delay always has me talking over the other person or the other way around.

    All that said, I don’t call anyone back unless they leave a message requesting me to, or if a message has been left that seems to want a response from me.

    When I’m in a movie theater, seeing a doctor or playing golf I turn my cell phone off. There’s no emergency call that I’m going to get that I need to hear before the Dr.’s appt. is over, the golf round is over or the movie’s done. And, if someone calls during those times and doesn’t leave a message – I don’t return the call. Anyone important to me will call me back if it’s important enough to them.

    I feel the same way as Charlene, above, about the ‘home’ phone and the cell phone; and I always tell people to try my home phone first, leave a message there if they want to, and THEN try my cell phone, if they want to. Quirky for sure – but, that’s how I like it. Good questions, Vivian. BTW – this relates to my personal use, since I’m not in the business world any longer. Darn, I miss those paydays… ha.

    1. I don’t mind talking on the phone. Sometimes, it’s actually more efficient for me to get on the phone than to try to do things through email.

      But my cell is for my convenience, not for everyone else’s. So I get perturbed when someone I don’t know gets ahold of my cell number and calls me. (I track down whomever gave them the number and remind them NOT to do that.)

      When I was in business, my clients were good about leaving messages. The students at school – not so much. No message, though, means no callback.

  4. I’ve noticed over the years that the more money a 20-something spends on his mobile plan, the worse he is at speaking on the telephone. A few months ago, I left a message for a 23 year old coworker, and she got back to me three days later with this frustrated huff about how she tried to get in touch with me to discuss this sensitive collaborative project, but she couldn’t reach me through facebook.

    These are the same people who worry about the unfettered collection abilities of the NSA.

    1. Also what kind of stupid nonsense is it to think that if you call and don’t leave a message, that means it’s my responsibility to call you back? The other side of the coin necessarily is that I have to sit here and listen to you prattle on for half a minute in the voicemail you left me about why I don’t need to waste my time getting in touch with you.

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