There are few things in life more awkward than the act of leaving a voicemail message. In fact, whenever I am forced to do it, I die a little inside, and am left with the overwhelming sense that life has beaten me.
Skipping past the pleasantries and asking someone to summarize why they are calling in a 30 second blurb can feel stressful and unnatural. Particularly for someone like me, who never has a clear idea why they are doing anything. Often, I’m so focused on not being awkward when the person picks up the phone that I fail to plan for the contingency of no one but an automated robot lady greeting me on the other end.
And lemme tell ya, when you’re not prepared for that sh*t, things can get awkward real fast.
On any given voicemail, I am likely to engage in at least one, if not more, of the following practices:
1. Forgetting my own name and/or why I’m calling:
ex: “Hi this is………..Breezyk, and I’m just calling to discuss………..RIGHT to discuss last night’s episode of Real Housewives of Vancouver”
2. Long Pauses:
“blah blah blah really important legal issue………………………………………………….OH! and also, second really important legal issue..”
3. Overuse of “Like”, “Um”, and other fillers that make me sound like an idiot:
“um, so yeah, that’s like all I wanted to say and like call me back, k?”
4. Talking about things that are irrelevant:
“Hi Cindy [Ed note: I do not have a friend named Cindy. this is the first name that popped into my head. But I wonder what having a friend named “Cindy” would be like.] it’s BreezyK calling you on Thursday.. isn’t it a beautiful day? Well, I mean, it’s kind of cold- but it’s sunny. You know, I’m actually one of those people who doesn’t mind if it’s cold as long as it’s sunny.. vitamin D and all! Have you tried those vitamin D drops? I know they are for kids, but goddamnit I could use a little sunshine in my life……..”
5. Rambling/inability to stop talking and end message:
“so yeah, if you want to call me back I’m at 555-5555. Oh I guess you already saw that on your caller id… but just thought I’d say it again because you never know. maybe you have a rotary phone.. I hear they are back. Personally, I’m not a fan. They make it damn near impossible to vote on American Idol. But to each their own. So yeah, if you don’t want to call back that’s ok too, you could just shoot me an e-mail, or facebook message, or twitter me… groupon.. tumblr.. I don’t know how it works. So I guess maybe we’ll talk later… or whatever… it’s Thursday…. and yeah … have a good day ok bye!”
I feel like god damn Michael Cera.
I fear I am starting to turn into my father, who is famous for leaving epically long voicemails. Being retired, he has all the time in the world to leave me 3 minute + messages detailing his daily happenings. And I can’t really blame him. Between all those Counsel of Churches meetings and seniors breakfasts, there’s a lot of ground to cover.
Although I love getting his messages, I have a feeling that the recipients of mine don’t necessarily feel the same way. Unless they have a really, really lame sense of humour. For now, I will just continue to feel sorry for those who sit near me at work and have to listen to this sh*t day in and day out, and pray for the day that phones are replaced with telepathic messages. Or telegrams sent via cute baby animals. Cause I think that’s coming.