Why I still hate voicemail
On Friday, we received a message saying that due to a system crash, we would not be able to retrieve or leave voicemail messages for an hour. Those of you who know me can guess I shed no tears.
Don’t get me wrong, now — *phones* have their uses. Sometimes it’s easier to discuss something over the phone rather than over email. Sometimes it’s nicer to hear someone’s voice. Sometimes you’ve tried email several times with no response. All excellent reasons to pick up the phone (and as a book publicist who must pitch books and authors to the media, you have to be comfortable calling people you don’t know).
But I do have a bone to pick with voicemail. For one thing, it takes between 7 and 13 steps to check voicemail (more if you have listen the message more than once). Yes. I’ve counted. That doesn’t include the time it takes to scribble down a message that can’t be filed. Basically, it’s easy for the caller to leave the message but hard for the recipient to check it … which sounds just a bit selfish, no?
I figure there are a handful of situations in which it is appropriate / necessary to leave a voicemail message:
1) An emergency
2) When you’ve sent a couple emails with no response
3) When you know the person you’re calling and they don’t need to painstakingly transcribe your contact information from the message. (I would still probably send a quick email with a “Call me when you get back” subject line, but I realize everyone operates differently.)
Do you agree (or not)? In what other situations would you leave a voicemail?