Call Me, If You Can Figure Out My Number

By | March 29, 2006

Why do people leave their mobile or alternative telephone numbers on their phone greetings messages, spoken so fast they sound like Mongolian railway stations? “Hi, this is Janice, if you need me really urgently you can call me on blblsvblffblsxsvvngihtblblle. Thanks for calling, and have a great day trying to figure out the number I just gave!”

Who in the world can remember more than about four digits spoken quickly in sequence, let alone the nine or so in your average phone number? And why are these always the same people who never repeat the number, as one would do in any normal conversation? And why are these the voice message recordings that never leave the listener with the option to have the message repeat (“press 1 to leave a message, press 2 to page the person, press 3 to leave your number, press 4 to have the number repeated at a normal human hearing and cognition speed”?)

And why are these always the people that actually you do need to reach quite urgently? I guess that’s why they do it, as a sign of power. “We’re incredibly smart and busy people, so if you’re not smart enough, and needy enough, to want my phone number you’re either going to have call me back four times so you can hear the number or else you’re going to just have to leave a message in a rather pathetic voice hoping I might just listen to my voicemail once a year.” It’s natural selection by voicemail.

Anyway, here’s the answer: Skype phone recording. Skylook, for example, records every phone conversation you have, if you want, and if you don’t care about the legal ramifications. So you don’t have to call the stupid jerk back to listen to their stupid greeting message again and again, you can just listen back to the recording. Ha. Gotcha. Of course, I then had to listen to another prerecorded greeting, with another number tacked on to the end of the message, but I still feel I’m ahead. Unless of course I deciphered the first number wrongly and was listening to the voicemail of someone completely different.

Plea: If you’re going to leave a number in a message, please speak it slowly, and repeat it. It may be a number you’re so familiar with you can cite it without actually moving your lips or tongue, but for the rest of us it’s probably a new configuration of digits, so we’d like to hear it a speed that doesn’t make it come out as blblsvblffblsxsvvngihtblblle. Thanks for calling.

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