I hate voicemail.

by Meredith on June 29, 2011

I hate checking my voicemail.  And I am not alone.

Yesterday, I conducted a VERY official Facebook study.  After 40-something comments, I can conclude that EVERYONE hates checking voicemail (unless it is from their 90 year-old grandmother, in which case, voicemail is okay).

And the list went on and on and on.  One person said they like their man to leave a voicemail (which I can relate to – mainly because I like to see if the background noise jives with where he is supposed to be located).  And one person said that for business voicemail is okay (which is kind of alright-ish with me… as long as you don’t want me to buy a magazine subscription or look at payroll software).

As we travel into this new generation of smart everything and toilets that flush themselves, I would like to start a NO-VOICEMAIL-MOVEMENT!

Do not do this anymore:

  • Hey, it’s me.  Call me. (Dude, CALL YOU ABOUT WHAT?!  Tell me what the fuck you want so that I can decide if I should even respond to you.)
  • Meredith, this is so important.  I left something on your doorstep.  I hope no one steals it. (What is it?  Is it a bag of marijuana?  A new purse?  Should I leave work now and go get it?)
  • Haven’t spoke to you in awhile.  Are you still alive?  Your blog post the other day was hilarious. (I’m not blogging from my grave.  So I think it’s safe to say I am still alive.)
  • Sorry to leave you this message.  I’ll just email you what I need. (Um.  Then why did you leave this message?)
  • Hi, Meredith! I was interested in the job you posted.  Please call me back. (Sure!  What’s your name and phone number?)
  • I just read your text.  I have an answer for you about dinner.  Call me back. (Just text me back the answer.  Where we eat dinner tonight is not a big deal.)
  • I even don’t why I am leaving you this message.  I know you hate voicemail and never check them. (????!!!!)
  • This is Capital One.  We have some opportunities for you.  Please call us back. (Dear Bill Collector, I pay all of my bills online.  That payment will be made on my next payday.)
  • Hi, Meredith!  Long time no see.  It was so great running into you the other night at Bar Louie.  Gosh, did you see Michelle?  She was WASTED!  Maybe I was as well.  Anyway, I just wanted to say that it was so good to see you.  Do you watch Modern Family?  You remind me of Claire.  Or maybe it’s the wife from The Middle.  Anyway, you are funny like a TV mom.  We should go out to eat sometime.  Do you like sushi?  I think I remember you saying that.  Gosh, thanks so much for giving me your phone number.  I know this message is getting long, so I had better hang up now.  Call me!

Bottom line – I have to put in a code to get to my messages and the “4″ button sticks on my stupid smart-phone because I let my baby play with it so she would sit still at the BMV.  So I have to retype the code about 8 times until I get it right.  I have to press “2″ to play the message, and then I have to press “7″ to delete it.  And then I have to grab a pen and paper and write down your message so that I can remember to call you back after I listen to the other 26 voicemails.

This is too much work.  It’s a time-suck.  Just email or text me what you want, and I will respond accordingly.  Otherwise, I will totally notice that I missed your call and call you back.  And chances are, I have not listened to your message.  So please don’t start the conversation with, Did you get my message? And then get pissy with me when I tell you that I did not.

Do you agree?  Or do you like to listen to an endless stream of voicemails?

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda @ There Are 2 Sides

If you have something important to say to me….email, text or even facebook & twitter would be better than voicemail. I always forget to listen to them and just don’t want to listen to them.

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Meredith

Don’t think I don’t arrange a babysitter over Twitter DM all the time.

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AngieM.

voicemail is bullshit, unless you’re leaving me a message that i won a million dollars.

also- i despise blocked/unknown numbers

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Katrina

If you’re blocked/unkown, I’m not answering! :)

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Meredith

Me either. I am on to you bill collectors!

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Dory

I HATEHATEHATE voicemail. Although I must admit the iPhone makes it 1% more bearable with visual voicemail. And no code. I HATEHATEHATEHATE when the message is “Hey. Call me.” Hey. Kiss my ass. I have caller ID and normal vision. If I miss your call, I’ll probably call you back. Don’t leave me a damn message that I have to fart around with and delete. P.S. It is Whiney-Baby-With-A-Sunburn-And-A-Bad-Attitude Day.

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Meredith

I like your attitude!

You have visual VM? I want this.

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Tonya

I use to hate voicemail..then one day while checking it , it said “First saved message…” and my dad’s voice came across my phone wishing Joel and I a Happy New Year…through the tears I couldn’t have LOVED voicemail more at that moment!!

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Kristy

Oh Tonya, similar thing w/ me! My grandma, who raised me, passed away on Easter Sunday and a week or so later while checking voicemails, there she was!!!!!

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Tonya

Took my breath away, and now when I need to feel close to him I play it again. I”m so paranoid I will accidentally delete it that I had it recorded..maybe that’s weird but I don’t care ;-) I hope your grandma’s voice gave you comfort!

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Peggy

I have a message from my Dad, too from about a week before we lost him. I listen to it every now and then, too

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JustinRHoffman

Voicemail is never the answer. NEVER.

Especially if you don’t respond when I try to reply.

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Kristy

I like voicemail. Until very recently I didn’t have unlimited texting or a smartphone and it was often easier for me to call and leave a message then to get on the computer, and if I wasn’t home I HAD to. I also needed people to leave me voicemails fo the same reasons, especially if it was urgent. Some people can’t afford texting or smartphones and maybe even the internet! We barely can, so consider that when thinking of voicemails.

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Meredith

Good point. I will have to keep that in mind (even though I still hate them).

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Shawn

People leaves me voice mails all the time for OTHER people. Why do they do that. WHY?
Just because I listen to my voice mail doesn’t mean I want to be a receptionist for those that don’t!

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Meredith

YES! My brother does this. “Hey, tell your husband I want to go golfing today.”

Um. No. My husband needs to mow the grass today.

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Roxie

This is why I use Google Voice. The VM gets left and 9/10 it translates it into a poor email and sends it to me. BUT, if I can’t understand how the software mangled the message, I just hit play and there is no dialing another number, it plays like a song. Fabu.

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Meredith

Do you have to change your phone number to get this feature?

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Lyndsey

I hate voicemail! I recently got an iPhone and it’s not too bad on it because I can just delete them all in 5 seconds or listen to the voicemail quickly without calling my voicemail box, entering my pin, “YOU HAVE ___ UNREAD MESSAGES…TO PLAY UNREAD MESSAGES PRESS 1…” that’s just annoying! I hate voicemail…texts are much more convenient, but I might ignore that and delete it right away as well! Sorry :)

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MommaResa

I despise them, mostly because I don’t have 3 free seconds to think, much less listen to whatever wasn’t important enough for you to call again so I could actually get the phone from my son whom it was making happy while I was attempting to make a healthy meal or smart decision.

Or when I get redirected to your voice mail while I’m trying to call you back, when you know I don’t listen to messages and would be calling you immediately. That irritates me, too.

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Meredith

I just keep calling people. Like 1,000 times. Like a psycho.

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gina

I have a semi-similar issue. I hate when you text someone, for instance “what’s your favorite color?” And instead of replying they CALL ME! What part of the answer to that question needs an indepth explanation??? My husband does this A LOT!! Ok maybe not related at all but I had to get that off my chest, I feel better now. Thanks :)

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Meredith

No problem. I am here to help!

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Heather

Hate freakin’ voicemail and adore the iphone so I can get the satisfaction of watching it go in the trashcan without listening to it…I’m with you, I see you called, I’ll call you back…and no, I didn’t listen to it, just tell me what the fuck you wanted. Not to mention, why did you text me right after leaving a voicemail?!?!?!

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Katie

I could do without voicemail – especially the ones you listed with no details or too many. And I agree, I don’t want to call you back if I don’t know what you want, or I’ll get stuck doing things I don’t want to do! I’m bad at saying no when put on the spot. I also know too many people who don’t listen to their VM for me to bother leaving one.

My biggest pet peeve though is at work. If I e-mail you, don’t call me. Why? We end up playing phone tag. And now I’m waiting for a reply to my VM, and you’re going to end up calling the instant I step away from my desk!

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Holly

This post was so inspiring that I just changed my outgoing message on my VM.

“Hey, it’s Holly. I rarely listen to my voicemail in a timely manner…if at all. Please text or email what you want and I will respond accordingly. Otherwise, I will see that I missed your call and call you back. Have a great day.”

So liberating.

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Peggy

I hate talking on the phone so I am one that leaves a lot of details on VM so that whomever I need to communicate with has all the info and we shouldn’t actually have to have a conversation. So when they blow off the VM and call me back saying “I saw you called…what?” it makes me turn into a lunatic. I usually tell them to listen to my VM:)

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Katie

I do not talk on the phone unless there is no other possible way in this world to handle something. I wish I didn’t even have to have the phone options on my phone. Is that weird?

Texting is what my phone is for…and to do twitter/fb/email stuff when I am not by my computer. but my phone number is for texting.

why does my mom not get this?

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Kelly

I totally hate voicemail and will not leave a message unless it is uber important and even then I think twice about leaving a message. I just check the missed calls. If you do leave me a message I go to the message and then delete it before you can finish your name. Sorry people, you are wasting your own time leaving me a message. I will see the missed call and call you back…then I get to make you repeat yourself because as soon as you answer I will let you know that I did not leave the message and it has been delete. It’s not mean, I just don’t have time.

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Lisa P

I hate checking it… “call me.” Or my mom’s fav, “It’s just me, Call me back”. Yeah, I’m not blind. Also, people who leave long winded details or phone numbers that I have to jack around and find a pen to copy it down and hope I don’t lose it. If I liked VM I would still have a landline and answering machine.

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Jessica

I don’t mind getting voicemail from my hubby, because I too like to see if the background noise jives with where he is supposed to be (I am nosey like that). Also, business voicemail doesn’t bother me because I want to hear that person’s tone of voice and determine their mood and if it’s good news or bad news. Otherwise I wish people would just text me. There are only a select few people I even enjoy talking to you on the phone. Everyone else I would just rather text because it’s fast and easy and it allows me to multi-task with what I am doing in the here and now. When I talk on the phone I get distracted easily with the other shit that’s going on around me. In general I just hate to listen to all those voicemails and then have to press 7 to delete them. I do check them though because I have an OCD about seeing that little voicemail icon on my cell phone screen.

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AmandaKay

I loathe VM with a fiery passion. Anyone who knows me knows better than to leave a voicemail – it took years of training, but they finally caught on. I became so passive aggressive about it that not only would I not listen to their messages, I wouldn’t call them back either. When they called back and got all huffy about it I would always respond with a chirpy “But you KNOW I never check voicemail! It’s like you don’t know me! Titter titter!”

FINALLY texting has become the primary communication if someone who actually knows me personally can’t reach me. The only person that gets a pass on leaving me voicemails is my Dad, since he 1) so rarely calls me, 2) doesn’t have a cell plan with text, and 3) is so technologically challenged that is is a true wonder that he managed to get the phone to turn on, much less dial the number and connect the call. Dad is the only person who’s calls I never put off answering, and on the off chance I miss his calls I immediately call him back or listen to his VM.

Any voicemails I get at this point are people I would never speak to anyway, i.e. telemarketers and bill collectors. Consider yourselves deleted, baby!

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Diana

I hate talking on the phone because I work in a call center. I really don’t want to listen to your voice mail either. I don’t listen to most of them. I like that my phone tells you how long each message is, and I can pick which ones I actually listen to. If your message is three minutes long, and I know you’re mad at me, there’s probably nothing I want to hear in there, anyway. I don’t listen to ones from bill collectors. If you’re a family member, the guilt from not listening to your message will start to get to me after a few days. Speaking of family, mom, you are so concise, when I am actually speaking to you on the phone; why do you leave these never-ending rambling voice mail messages? I love you, but this really needs to stop. Don’t you remember that I hate the phone? I know that you avoid sending text messages because you have the 200 per month plan, but if it’s really important, you are going to have to text it (or keep calling until I pick up – which is not recommended). Oh, and to the people looking for so-and-so, I’ve had this number for over 10 years. It’s not like I just picked up a new line with a recycled number; don’t act shocked, when I tell you it’s the wrong number. Well, that felt good to let that all out. ;)

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Katy

You know what I hate also? The fact that the damn recorded operator comes on with DIRECTIONS every single time. WTF is that? A ploy by the companies at large to get more air time used; that can be the only explanation. You’d think after this many years of using cell phones, they could take the freaking DIRECTIONS off.

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Jonathon

I don’t know what the big deal is. Voicemail is just another form of communication. I use it when I call a business and if the person doesn’t call back, I take my business elsewhere. As far as personal stuff goes, it’s just as easy to listen to voicemail as it is to read a text. It’s also much safer and efficient since you can listen to voicemails while driving and can’t read (or should not read) texts while driving.
The people who ‘hate’ voicemail need to stop being so dependent on technology, stop being so self centered, and stop being so friggin lazy.

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