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I had the horrible, dreaded icon-I-hope-I-never-get flashing on my mobile phone when I walked out of the subway this morning.
I had a voice mail.
You should know a few things about me: Or one thing, specifically: I HATE VOICE MAILS.
I believe the concept of voice mail should be eliminated. There should be no voice mail. If someone doesn’t answer the phone, leaving them a one-minute (or more!) rambling message where you string together five different contexts and end it with “OK, so, call me” is beyond pointless. Are we still that backwards? Chances are, we’re calling you from a smart phone that could land a 747 heavy on 5th Avenue, yet we’re recording our voice for you to listen to it later? I’m amazed we’re not hitting Zero and asking Mabel to connect us to Nightingale 6 3020.
So what’s your VMLT? Voice Mail Listening Tolerance? On a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 means you listen to every single voice mail, mine is most definitely at about a negative seven. I try. Really, I do. But just like I delete emails from people who don’t know how to write, I find my finger itching to hit the “7” button more often than not within ten seconds of the email. And with good reason! There’s no reason to leave me a voice mail, where there are so many more immediate ways to get in touch with me that force you to work on your brevity – which is a good thing!
In fact, my outgoing message says “Listen to this message. Do not leave me a voice mail. TEXT ME. Email me. Do anything else before you leave me a voice mail. Unless I’m on a plane, I promise to return your text in mere minutes, if not seconds. But if you leave me a voice mail, you’re looking at a few days, perhaps a week.”
Some might think that’s mean, or short-sighted. But… now I get perhaps one voice mail every two weeks. Does that mean I don’t get contacted? No! I’m getting and returning close to 100 texts per day, and we all know how many emails I get. And it’s easier! I can type from anywhere. I don’t have to worry about being loud on a bus, or annoying fellow passengers on the runway or in the club. And hey – I offer email as an option. Can’t text? Email. That’s fine. I’m equal opportunity for everything except wasting time.
Best part? I don’t have to listen to someone tell me, like I’m a time traveler who just arrived from 1760, HOW to leave a voice mail. “At the tone, record your message. When you have finished recording, you may hang up.”
REALLY? THAT’S WHAT I WAS DOING WRONG! WHEN I WAS FINISHED RECORDING, I WOULD PUT THE PHONE IN A FISH TANK! THANK YOU, VOICE MAIL LADY!!
Use the power of having a VMLT of Zero. Try it for one week. I bet you’re more productive.
What’s your VMLT?