Please Leave a Message

off the hookI try not to have too many pet peeves, but lately I’ve developed one that’s just wearing me out. I work for a ministry with 30 employees and 40 or so children in residence. With disturbing frequency, I’ll answer the phone and get this:

“Someone just called me from this number.”

Okay. Fine. Now what? The callers never seem to have any notion who might have called. But they clearly think I should be able to tell them who it was. Seriously??

If it was important, whoever called probably would have left a message. Maybe they’ll even call again later. If I call someone and hang up without leaving a message it’s typically because I didn’t have anything to say. Oh, for the days before caller ID.

My husband and I don’t answer the phone during meals. We don’t answer the phone if we’re in the middle of a riveting movie. We don’t answer the phone if we’re, um, indisposed.

Dad was once at a friend’s house. They were sitting on the porch talking when the phone rang. Dad finally said, “Your phone’s ringing.” His friend said, “It’ll stop. Always does.”

I don’t like to be told what to do by a bit of electronics with no soul. If you want me to call you back, please leave a message. And if you don’t, I promise not to randomly call the last number to call me.

8 thoughts on “Please Leave a Message

  1. Seriously. I never pick up the phone unless I’m expecting a call, or a family member is calling. Otherwise I’d be fielding sales calls and wrong numbers (we are one digit off from a trucking company) all. day. long. I have writing to do, and a call can jar me out of it for quite a long time beyond the duration of the actual call. Just the thought of calling one of those numbers back… who has that time???

  2. Buffy White

    Yeah. There are times and places that are just not appropriate for a phone conversation. I try not to answer at those times, but sometimes I just do. Compulsively. I repent, and I’m not going to do it! Before cell phones, if you weren’t home you couldn’t answer your phone. You were doing something else. Then came call-forwarding, and now our phones follow us everywhere!

  3. Mom

    I hate when caller ID says “private caller.” AND I hate when I do answer and it’s a machine talking away with it’s speel. But the worst is when I answer and someone says “Who is this?” Well… “Who were you calling?” DUH

    1. I had a lady call the other day and tell me what the call was NOT (sales, telemarketing). I asked her why she was calling then and she seemed stumped. Finally she just started back in on the script. I said no thanks and hung up. Sigh.

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