3 Things I Hate About Voicemail

Welcome to this week’s edition of Monday Malice. Do I even have to tell you the 3 things I hate about voicemail? Surely you feel the same way. Pro tip: Never, unless you are involved in utterly dire circumstances, leave a voicemail.

First, let’s get the “dire circumstances” out of the way. That shouldn’t even be plural – there is one circumstance that justifies leaving me a voicemail: your kidnappers insist on it.

3 things I hate about voicemail
Kidnappers can require you to use voicemail. In that case, you’re excused.

Voicemail hatred isn’t even a brand-new phenomenon: back in 2014, NPR implored us to Please Do Not Leave A Message: Why Millennials Hate Voice Mail. And no, I’m not a Millennial, but I get it.

3 Things I Hate About Voicemail

Thing 1: 99.9% of voicemails consist of four words: “Call me back, please.” Wow! Thanks for that critical information that needed to be recorded. I now know EXACTLY why you’re calling me, and what important thing has transpired.

Thing 2: Retrieving your message requires me to enter my password. This is never a good thing.

Thing 3: There’s an excellent chance that I won’t have time to listen to your voicemail until, say, 1:00 am. At that point, I probably can’t call you back, so you’ve forced me to add something else to tomorrow’s already dreadful to-do list. Thanks so much. Also, I think I’ve already made it clear that I’m not a fan of talking on the phone in any event.

3 things I hate about voicemail
I doubt you have a good answer to this
Really, it’s not 1996 anymore

At this point (sadly), we’re all so overwhelmed with input that even a text might be too much – because, you know, I’m faced with two options, neither of which is ideal:

Option 1: Read the text now. And it probably says (see above) “Call me back pls.” The advantage to this option is that I don’t have to face the accusatory “unread message” indicator on my phone.

Option 2: Leave the text unread as a reminder that I have some action to take, like calling you back. But that means I have to live with the stress of that hideous “unread message” indicator. In case you hadn’t noticed, even our phones are judging us, and they’re not impressed.

If you feel compelled to text me, I’ll probably survive. Barely. But if you don’t text me, then the burden is on me to remember to call you back and that’s just too hard and – why do I have to talk to anyone, ever?

Actually, I’ll take off the curmudgeon hat for just a moment. There is one voicemail message I adore – the occasional “Happy Birthday” message from one of my children. So if I’m not your mother, or if I am your mother and it’s not my birthday, you’re not excused.

Do you hate voicemail too? Or do you actually enjoy getting voicemails? Let me know in the comments! Just don’t call and leave me a voicemail about it.⧉



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4 thoughts on “3 Things I Hate About Voicemail”

  1. What a stupid article. First, many times a business associate knows only the telephone number of your business (read this – does not know your email or any other way to contact you) and business phones are often not text capable. So just get over it.

    1. Hi there, thank you for reading; I appreciate the feedback and agree that in a business context, it’s important to remain accessible via voicemail, and to listen and respond to people who take the time to leave one.

  2. Voice mail can just die, die, die, die, die (along with FAX)! Its grossly inefficient. You can’t skim it, you can’t print it, you can’t save it on your computer for later reference, you can’t edit it, its darn near useless. Worst of all are people who insist on leaving their entire life story on the stupid thing – if you have to leave a voicemail, for Goddess’s sake, tell me who you are, your number, and OPTIONALLY why your calling – preferably in 1 word or less then hang the Hell up! Or better yet, PLEASE send me an email!

    1. Yes, Zorba, exactly! At least I can review an email or a text. And who you are, your number, and “1 word or less” – love it! – Coach Dawne

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