Close Encounters of the Awkward Kind: Voicemail Messages

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.

This b*tch on the other hand looks like she has no problems leaving a voicemail. But then again, she's been at it a long time.

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’m not too worried about it, really. I wouldn’t worry about it. Don’t worry about it. I’m not worried at all.

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.

It will also replace Western Union and e-mail money transfer.

Question of the Day: Are you awkward at leaving voicemails?


33 thoughts on “Close Encounters of the Awkward Kind: Voicemail Messages

Add yours

  1. Yes! The worst is when you leave a long rambling legal voicemail, get the “you have 30 seconds remaining” – and then fail to wrap it up in the 30 seconds, required a second, equally awkward, follow-up voicemail to explain why you ended the 1st one mid-sentence. Urgh. I’m with you, Bre!


    1. hahaha that is the WORST! Plus there’s the fact that when I call people at work I never know what I’m talking about, aside from the exact two sentences the partner told me to say hahaha


  2. I usually don’t leave them because I assume people will see my missed call and call me back. But even more than I hate leaving messages, I hate GETTING them. I want to change my voicemail greeting to say, “Please hang up and text me.”


  3. Hi Bree,
    Sorry, but I get the award for the most terrrible awkward voice mail messages. My last one was the best one yet. I wanted a hair appointment so I called my hairdresser and got her voice mail and here goes the conversation.
    You have reached the voicemail of Anne Lumsden, please leave a message.
    Very confidently I reply, “Hi Anne, it’s me, Brenda Lumsden, oh my God no it’s not it’s Brenda Allen, why did I just say that. Ashley , hurry, how do I remove a voice mail message. Then I hung up and couldn’t eat my supper from sheer embarrassment.
    Now I just hang up when I get an answering machine so my day won’t be ruined. lol


  4. I actually have the opposite problem. I have my entire voicemail message all ready to spew onto the recording and a live person will answer. I’ll get all flummoxed and stammer and stutter like a mental patient. Ironicly, I’m usually calling mental patients when that happens.


  5. Haha! So hilarious. I know what you mean. I’ve gotten better at it over the years. But I still don’t even like picking up the phone, quite frankly.


  6. I would love to have you leave a message like that on my voicemail. I would be listening to you yabber on about peanut butter and bowties, wondering if you were going to blog about it.

    I usually hang up when the voicemail kicks in.


  7. I was recently told by a client that when I left him the VM (I was totally all professional and so thought I had it going on) that I sounded like a dying chipmunk. What the bleep does a dying chipmunk sound like. I can’t imagine intellectual nor cute or pretty. So I certainly did not take it as a compliment. Voice messaging does suck! I get the cut off all the time. I am in with baby animals telegrams! Ha. Perhaps I will send a baby chipmunk! A healthy, spunky one!


  8. it will help if you write on a piece of paper what you want to say in the first place. make sure to jot down your name and phone number, too. it will come handy in the event you forget them while making the call.


  9. I have the opposite problem – sometimes I expect to get voicemail and am all prepared with a well rehearsed message but then the person goes ahead and answers the damn phone! I just freeze and eventually hang up on them…


  10. If i get caught off guard then I am the queen of awkward! I stumble on my words…make useless jokes no one will understand and embarrass myself to no end. After I end the call I sometimes laugh at how awful and confusing I must have sounded


  11. I have to leave voicemails everyday and I have done every single one of your voicemail faux pas(s). Usually they are combinations of a couple of them. On the other hand, I love getting long winded voicemail messages from my friends where they trail off into the irrelevant and unecessary hahah. No one ever leaves me voicemails like that 😦


  12. In order to leave voicemail, one has to have freinds/colleagues to leave messages for. As I have neither, voicemail is not a problem.

    When I did have friends, I was known for my long, rambling, meaningless, “um”-filled messages. Which is why I no longer have any friends.

    I did have a friend named Cindy once, but, she had curly blonde hair and reminded me too much of Cindy Brady, who I always found creepy, so I broke off the friendship.



  13. More often than not, I find myself muttering “don’t pick up don’t pick up don’t pick up” because I want to leave a voicemail. What kind of a-hole does that make me?


  14. Voice mail makes me shudder. I’m on the same boat as you when I say it’s kinda awkward! I remember one time I was leaving a message for a friend and there was a really long silence – literally like five or ten minutes. Awkward.

    Thanks for posting this, I love your blog. Followed.


  15. The last guy I (almost) dated would not leave voicemails. He would call, the call goes into voicemail, then he’d text me, saying that he doesn’t like to leave voicemails, so he’s texting me. Of course, the onus would be on me to call or text him back. But faced with a text instead of voicemail, I wasn’t quite sure of the proper protocol. Needless to say, the relationship was way too complicated even before it started. Moral of the story – you might not like leaving a voicemail, but it’s conducive to having normal, healthy relationships.


  16. YES! It’s so awesome to know I’m not the only one! I hate hate hate HATE leaving voice messages, and I didn’t know there were so many others in the same boat. I prefer calling someone multiple times until they answer instead of leaving a simple voice message. I nearly panic the moment I realize I have to leave one. In almost two years of being in a relationship, I’ve left my boyfriend only one voice message, and it somehow ended up being cute and not awkward. He was sure to save it since it’s such a rarity from me.


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