An Easily Avoided Pet Peeve


I would just like to share a pet peeve of mine. So there I was right? Minding my own business when my cell phone started to ring. I couldn’t get the phone because I was with a customer, but I saw that the caller had left a voice message. I finished my conversation with my customer and checked the phone. It was a friend of mine. I called and listened to the voice mail. It was, “Hey Brian, this is ________. I have a question and a favor to ask you. call me back.”

Nothing sounds out of the ordinary with that message right? You get messages like that everyday. THAT IS EXACTLY THE PROBLEM!!!!!! It seems like all messages are just that way, “It’s _____, gotta question, call me” Nine times out of ten, I don’t call those messages back. The few times that I do it’s because I probably would have called that person soon anyway.

I did call this friend back but our conversation started off this way, ” Hey, _______, let us have a short conversation about message etiquette.” (I feel comfortable talking to this friend this way because we have known each other for a long long time.) I explained to them that the better thing to do is to call and leave a message with the question/favor/comment in it.

a few examples:

Not Effective

“Hey Brian, I have a question for you. call me.”

Analysis- In this example we see that the receiver of the message was left wondering. Is this a question that has the need for an immediate call back? Was she kidnapped and locked up with a Masterlock 8148 chain lock and she wants to know if I know any way to break the code? Or is it something more simple that I can answer anytime.

Effective
” Hey Brian, this is _________. I was wondering if those new apple computers came in. could you call me back?”

Analysis- Short and simple, but very effective. This gives me two advantages as the receiver. #1) If I call her back and get her answering machine then I can leave the answer right there for her (Yeah, the computers came in. You can pick them up anytime) and avoid the annoying but oh so common, “Hey, I was just calling you back so call me back when you can. #2) By her leaving the matter of the phone call on the machine it gives me a chance to gather the information and call her back informed and ready to answer.

So that was one drawn out example, but there has got to be more people who are bothered by this. Let’s leave behind the “I have a question for you” and get used to this advantage of leaving real messages for people. In this case, I practice what I preach. If I ever leave a general no purpose message please get on me for it.

There, I’m off my soapbox.