It happened again. Someone’s left a voicemail message, but all I can make out is “hi.” The rest? Who knows? I don’t recognize the voice and have no idea what she said. Should I call back anyway? Is mush-mouthed talking a new kind of scam?
We used to leave messages on our answering machines asking everyone to speak slowly and clearly. Apparently most people thought we were joking. Leaving a coherent message was funny.
These days, most messages are incoherent. With caller ID I can at least figure out who called so I can retrieve the number, but after that? If it’s sufficiently garbled, even the caption phone won’t decipher it. It’ll say “Incomprehensible” or “muffled” or something else that means “sorry, no idea what he or she said.”
“Garry, your brother called. I’m pretty sure he wants to talk to you. Call him, okay?”
“Hey, Jim called about something. Call him when you have a moment.”
“One of your cousins called. They left a message but I can’t make it out. I hope you have the number somewhere.”
My favorite: “Someone called. Maybe it was important. They left a number but I can’t understand it. Guess it wasn’t important enough.” NOTE: If it really is important and we don’t call back? Pick up the phone and call again. Seriously. If it’s important, make sure we got the message.
The best part of having a cell phone is that you don’t have to depend on what someone recorded to get the number. Also, our iPhone not only records the message, it types it out too. With underscores for the incomprehensible sections.
Meanwhile, if you leave a message, speak up. Clearly. Repeat the phone number. Slowly. Include ALL the numbers. Don’t assume we know the area code and please remember to include your name in case we don’t know you as well as you think we do or we don’t recognize your voice.
Please don’t mumble. Garry has hearing issues, but I also don’t hear as well as I used to. Too many people talk as if they are eating oatmeal while they talk.
While we’re on the subject, how about old cell phones, eh? On which you can’t hear anything? From either end? I also miss telephones on which you knew you had a connection that wouldn’t drop and on which you could usually hear what someone said to you and know they could hear you.
The other day I got a customer service rep and realized that not only could I not understand what she was saying, but she had no idea what I was saying. I have no objection to immigrants. I come from a family of immigrants. I have BEEN an immigrant. I do object to putting people who can’t speak my language into the technical group.
No wonder texting is so popular. No one can understand what anyone else is saying.