“Technology is the opiate of the asses.”- Phil, circa 2006
Modern technology is a wonderful thing. Now, no matter where you are or what you’re doing you can be contacted in some way by virtually anyone else on the planet. Unfortunately, some people aren’t very good at communicating through modern technology.
Some of you may remember the Seinfeld episode in which Jerry is stuck wearing ‘The Puffy Shirt’ because he had politely nodded assent when attempting to listen to Kramer’s girlfriend who was a “soft talker.” One group of people I hate to hear on my voicemail is the fast talkers. The fast talkers are almost as bad as soft talkers. I generally have no problem with fast talkers and may even be one myself sometimes. I do however become frustrated with the fast talkers on my voicemail. Answering machines and then voicemail have existed for 20 years now and these morons still can’t get the hang of leaving a message right. Fast talkers are very egocentric. They are always operating under the false assumption that they are so important to you that you automatically recognize their voice on your voicemail. Because of this they don’t slow down at the end of a message when they say who they are or what their phone number is. A typical fast talker voicemail message goes like this: “Hi Phil. This is Kater Bannix. I was just calling because I needed to know if I could reschedule my appointment with you because I had a change in my schedule and my hamster needs emergency surgery. Please call me back at 555-436.” Yes, often the fast talkers are so quick to conclude the call that they leave off the last digit of their phone number as well. If you are able to deduce who they are from clues in the message you still have no way to call them back unless you dial the number 10 times trying out each number as the last digit until you hit the correct one. It’s like you’re forced to play a telephone game of Where’s Waldo if you want to return their calls.
The name I used above, Kater Bannix, is really a name that was left on my voicemail. I have no idea who Kater Bannix is, but I didn’t call her back. You can never call these people back because if you call back with a completely wrong name, whoever answers the phone will tell you that person isn’t there or you have the wrong number. Here’s how the conversation would go:
Phil: Hello. Could I please speak with Kater Bannix?
Phil: Kater Bannix. I’m returning her call.
Receptionist: We have no one here by that name. Are you sure you’ve got the right number?
Phil: No, I’m not sure because I’m only up to number 7 as the last digit of the number.
If any of you know Kater Bannix, please ask her to call me again, and to please speak slowly.