Monday, October 22, 2007

The Answering Machine Is My Nemesis

I hate my answering machine.

There is nothing that makes me as crazy as coming home to a "to-do" list - which is basically the way I think of that machine.

The Brain and I are battling over it. See, about 6 months ago, I decided I was tired of running around looking for one of the FIVE cordless phones in the house while on a 4 ring timer.
Even after I caught on to the fact that all FIVE said cordless phones were likely in the Cordless Phone Graveyard, otherwise known as Mimi's bedroom, where they are left to die, their little batteries weakly calling out until they could beep no more. Even after I caught on to that, I still could not usually get there and actually find a phone and answer it in the 4 ring minimum.

But I'd think I could. So we'd end up in that conversation that goes:

Hi! You've reached xxx-xxxx
We're not able to
" hello? are you there?"
answer the phone
"yes, umm, hello?"
right now. If it's urgent,
"hang on just a second!"
you can try my cell
"I can't hear you!"
phone at xxx-xxxx.

At that point, my choices are
a) run downstairs to turn the machine off thus preventing a permanent recording of the conversation (and when I say permanent - well, I'll get to that later).

b) trying to convince the caller to be very very quiet for 15 seconds so the answering machine would hang itself.
up, I mean. Hang itself up.

c) shouting in Spanish and hoping to confuse the caller into thinking he'd gotten the wrong number. Not as easy as you might think, when you remember that they have just listened to my entire incoming call message. Not that I've tried that or anything. (No Hablo Espan--I mean Ingles!)

SO anyway, one day, having tired of this little scenario, I turned off the machine. Just for awhile. Hey- do you know how liberating it is to have more than 4 rings to get the phone? Now I could mosey instead of run. Heck! I could make a sandwich on the way there.

But I forgot it was off. Ummm, for a few days. And when I finally looked at the inbox, I can't telly you the relief that flooded my soul. (You think I'm exaggerating?)

There was only one message flashing there, and I already knew who it was, because it was me talking to The Brain on one of those calls where the machine had answered it and we were talking over it. But really, no messages to return. I was hooked. Now if someone wanted to talk to me, they had to actually call me until they caught me.

Call me crazy if I think that MY answering machine is for MY convenience.

Anyway, I liked it, so I left it that way. For the past 6 months. And nobody in this house noticed. Until last week, when the Brain asked if he had received a message from the pharmacy, because he had been calling them about something or other and they had promised to leave a message for him several days ago.

Um, nope, no messages.

And as much as I tried to distract him, he went in anyway to check the messages, where sure enough, the message light was blinking a little ........1.......1........1........1........1...... , indicating one unheard message.

The flaw was, that he actually had to turn on the machine to hear the message. Once he got to it, he heard a very familiar voice in a conversation so long ago he couldn't place it:

" hello? are you there?"

"yes, umm, hello?"

"hang on just a second!"

"I'm going to try to turn off the machine."


That's right, permanently immortalized on our machine. Because for whatever reason, I didn't erase it. But at that point, neither did he! (?!)

Probably he was trying to figure out where he could trade me in for a wife who has a clean pantry, doesn't complain about the dog, and will leave the cotton pickin' answering machine turned on.

So after some uh, discussion, the machine is back on. If you call my house, don't be under any illusions that anyone will listen to your message in the next 6 months or so. Because though we have an answering machine, and it's TURNED ON, nobody in this house actually listens to the messages. And if anyone accidentally hits the message button and hears your message, they will most definitely NOT pass on any information.

If you really really need to get a message to me, leave a comment on my blog. I check that pretty much constantly.


Sue said...

Hee hee - I hate the phone, hate the answering machine, hate it. The sound of it ringing fills me with dread. Answering machine messages - even worse, because then I have to call someone back. Ugh. I like people, I just hate talking on the phone.

Kimberly said...

Ditto to the above. And it must be said that this post had me giggling to an almost worrying degree.

CaROlInE said...

ARGHHHHH! I hate answering machines! We have stupid voicemail, and you can't even delete the message until you listen to it! So annoying! Half the time it's someone selling a satellite anyways. Never someone I want to talk to. . . Hate it! Oh, and I turn off the ringers on my phone. . .If nobody hears the phone ring, did it really ring at all?

kristen said...

With some machines if you quickly hit the hang up button (what's that thing called?) it turns the machine off. Although it might be tricky with a cordless; landlines work great though.

Hmmmm, maybe you could just disconnect that landline and go completely mobile.

Lena said...

haha! I have a super long message that people have to get through (the whole BYU fight song chorus with different words sung by my children)if they want to get to the beep. I don't get many messages these days! I also refuse to run for the phone- I have caller ID and can call them back when I can find a phone that isn't dead (only I have only myself to blame for that one...)

Heather said...

We never get messages anyway, no one ever calls us either... we're off the hook.

"Vern" said...

We got my answering machine fourteen years ago as a wedding gift. I so agree with you about the instant to do list that gets created with that little blinking light. Six months!! Impressive.

Yvonne said...

I REALLY like the idea of someone who wants to get a hold of you leaving a message on your blog--that is too funny!!!

mindyluwho said...

I'm cracking up about the Cordless Phone Graveyard! Mine is in my girls' room. I got smart and put a wall phone in the kitchen so that at least I have one that stays put and is alive. As for answering machine, I'm with you on leaving it off. I did the same thing for several months until my little boys found it. I am never sure what kind of message people are getting when they call now!

Stephanette said...

...except the one weekend I was trying to get ahold of you! We got rid of our home phone and just have our cell phone. CM needed to have an unlisted number anyway and it's liberating to have it in my pocket.

so grateful to be Mormon! said...

hi rand,
i loved how you said that about the dead phone chirping in your daughter's graveyard room. i felt sorry for the poor phone while i read that passage.

i purposely leave my cell phone voice mailbox full, so nobody can leave a message. i can see the phone number (and name if i already know them), so i know who tried to call me, so i can call them back if i want to. it amuses me whenever someone tells me you know your mailbox is full. i tell them i know, i do that on purpose, and i tell them the above reason. it is liberating as well. and i love having caller id at home. never thought i would see the need for it, but i like it. saves time, i can see immediately if it is junk or someone for my teen, or whatever.

and funny how brain caught ya girlie and realized it was that old message! tee hee!

hope your night is groovy chick, kathleen :)