Friday, November 20, 2009

Helpful hints for your default message

Now that my job consists of calling people all day, I'd like to share the wisdom I've acquired regarding voicemail and answering machines (I spoke with 160 yesterday!). Here are a few things I've encountered lately:

1. Please don't begin your outgoing greeting with "Hello? [pause]" In that 3 seconds of dead space, I've already begun to speak. Then I just feel stupid when you tell me you're not home.
2. Call and listen to your message sometime. If the sound is so garbled you can't tell if you're listening to rap, gospel, or country, perhaps you should think about losing your favorite song so we can actually hear what you're saying. Related: we don't need to hear all three minutes of your favorite song before we can leave a message.
3. If you have a ringback tone on your cell phone, you might want to consider whether it's appropriate for potential employers who call you to hear it. Songs about getting drunk and dirty in a club are probably not going to put you in the best light.
4. Again, you may not want to have potential employers hear things like this: "If you reached this message, I either can't get to the phone, or I don't want to talk to you. Leave a message. I'll call you if I feel like it. If I don't call you back, there's a reason. Move on." Related: Adding "Have a blessed day!" at the end of the aforementioned message is kind of contradictory to your overall tone.

However, there are a few messages out there which make me smile. So thanks to the lady, whom I called again yesterday, with the following message: "If you are a bill collector, I rebuke you in the name of Jesus!" It may be ridiculous, but at least it's a nice change!

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