Kater Bannix, Where Are You?

“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?
Receptionist: Who?
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.

23 responses to “Kater Bannix, Where Are You?

  1. For some reason I read Kater Bannix and thought it was going to be a post about Spiderman or some other superhero. I’m not too far off, am I?

  2. Maybe the girl doesn’t exist and it’s all a figment of your imagination?I’ve read too many sci-fi books. 😉

  3. I thought it was going to be a Star Trek post. For some reason I picture Phil dressed up as Captain Kirk…oh, wait, that’s a <>different<> fantasy…never mind!I work with fast talkers, my boss is a fast talker. But what about the guys who say 4 sentences and each sentence is just a different way of saying the first sentence? Huh, what about those guys? What’s up with those guys? Do they think we’re (I’m) stupid? Whaddup, dog?

  4. I can’t stand the mumblers. I end up replaying the message four or five times to try and decipher their message.

  5. i think i might be a fast talker. really. but i always make sure that my phone # is the LAST thing i leave on a message. that’s the proper thing to do, right?

  6. I’m back again.I agree it’s very annoying, been there and had them too.Now since I just met you, why does KB need an appointment with you are you some doctor or consultant or what?…girl curiosity….sorry….

  7. Hey, Phil, Kater Bannix here…. Why haven’t you returned my call?

  8. kater bannix is a great name for a private eye.you’d love me, cuz i always say my number slow and clear. sometimes twice. being an actress/secretary, i know how important it is to be understood.that, and you’d love me, cuz i’m awesome.

  9. thanks for stopping by..and thanks for the “great mom” comment I like too think I do my best…

  10. Kater Bannix…sounds like a cartoon or comic book character or maybe a character on the Nickelodeon channel. Very funny.If I can’t understand a message, it gets erased. If it was that important, they will call back. If they ask why I didn’t return their call, I will just say “Oh, was that your mumbling ass that I couldn’t understand?” I always clearly state my name and number at the very beginning…then ramble a bit about why I am calling…then I clearly state my name and number again before hanging up. I tend to get aggrivated when the recorder cuts me off before I am finished.

  11. I hade the same reaction as Jmai.But, other than that…we have a lot of students who will call and say something along the lines of:“Hi, this is Matt, call me back.”Ummm right…I have 100 students any given month and you could be one of the 5 Matts I have a month. And you could also be any of the 5 Matts I have had over the past year and a few months…or you could be one of the Matts one of my colleagues has or has had. Or you could be someone who was never a student. Cause the thing is…why would you bother leaving a name? Or a number? Nooooo. No need. Cause you’d expect me to recognize your voice and then do the research.ARGH.-N

  12. Could it be a Kate Urbenix?? Who’s….that… you.. may…. ask?I….. dunno. LOL. Have a great evening!! I got home to have a Melinda or Melissa or a Wendy?? Can’t remember…call about the FREE something or other..only 45 dollars a month. How was Free and 45 in the same sentence…??? But the telemarketers are trying to get more and more friendly….Like they really know ya. Maybe it was a telemarketer. or someone saying the Cat is in the box of kleenix, or the Cat next door is loose. LOL. LaterPeg

  13. Oh man ! That is priceless to hear somebody else complain about THAT!!! Back when I was strapped down with my electronic leash and diggin’ it full time with corporate America – I had at least, at least (!) three of those calls a day… not to mention the folks who would call and say, “Hey Amy – It’s John. I’ve got something super important I need to talk to you about. Give me a ring back asap.”*blink*blink*… John.. huh? – Just John? – No number – nothing…. just assuming that I would “know” –

  14. Jmai- No, Kater Bannix isn’t a superhero, just an annoying person who has yet to call back to see why I haven’t called her.Sipwine- If she doesn’t exist then I have a mysterious phone message scrawled in my own handwriting.Sherbears- Please, Star Trek? Yes, I would look good as Captain Kirk. Would you dress up as the green skinned, four armed chick from another planet for me?Berly- Yes, they are just like the fast talkers. Then you look bad because you never called them back!Say Rah! It sounds like you’re perfect when you leave messages. Hannelie- I’m a therapist. I work with emotionally disturbed children.

  15. Josie (Kater)- Because I don’t believe that’s your real name and I refuse to be embarrassed trying to figure it out with your receptionist.McKay- I already love you for the witty and intelligent comments you leave here. I agree about Kater Bannix being a cool name and I may work it into my fiction writing sometime.Fancy Face- Thanks for visiting and commenting here so often.Kim- It sounds like you handle receiving and leaving messages just like I do. We’re the good people. Us and Say Rah!Natalia- I have parents I work with just like your students. I had one the other day who called, “Hi Phil, this is Denise. I just wanted to schedule an appt. for Savon.” I have no kid on my caseload named Savon. She couldn’t even pronounce her own son’s name well enough for me to figure it out!

  16. Pennys- Thanks for your comment. I may do a whole post on telemarketers now. Amy- LOL! I wish I could have included your comment in the post.

  17. hm…i dont leave fast messages on machiens, but Im the type who leave long ones….When I call my friends, I have mini conversations on their answering machines to make sure they have all the details. Im just super efficient and really organized, so I make sure if we are going to be doing something, they have all the information necessary.This one time, I left a message on a friends machine, and she said that she was intently listening to it, and when I paused in my sentence, she actually started to talk back to me, forgetting it was a message…until I started talking again…..

  18. As a person who often gets stuck taking down the messages left from the night before at my office, I can promise you I understand and agree wholeheartedly.

  19. Oh, and I wanted to add that I also hate the people who say their names and numbers overly and annoyingly slowly. Look, I know you want me to understand who you are, “Jimmmmmmmmeeeeeee Smmmmmiiiiitttthhhhhhhhhhhh at Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiive fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive fiiiiiiiiiiiiive siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiix sevvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeeennnnnnnnnnnnnn eeeeeeeeeight ninnnnnnnnnnnnnnne” but you don’t have to speak to me like I’m your 90-year-old grandmother whose hearing aid only seems to work when you’ve just opened a can of Pringles…Simply saying your name and number at a normal, human speed works just fine.

  20. That’s weird. I was going to comment that because I am a fast talker in person, when I leave a message, I speak so slowly and concisely that I wondered if it was annoying. Then I read the last comment by anorr exick. Not only that but I say my name and number at the top of the message in my normal voice, leave my message and then say, “Again, that’s geewits at 1…2…3…4…5 etc.” And yes that IS my real phone number!

  21. LOL, i have the same problem Amy used to have. I have clients call me on my mobile, leaving bizarre messages. I especially love the ones where they treat me like they’ve known me for years and am a close personal friend, yet i’ve never met them!

  22. Anorr- Welcome to The Phil Factor. What’s more annoying though, the fast talkers, or the slow, carefully enunciating talkers?Geewits- Do you really say your name is Geeewits on phone messages?Michelle- I suppose I’d rather have people treat me as an old friend than as if they can say any rude thing they want because it’s my voicemail.

  23. Phil, that sounds like a very difficult job to do but also very fulfilling to know you are helping and making a difference?All the best to you!

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