Missed Call by the Story Teller
April 10, 2017, Missed Call
Along time ago, in a galaxy far away, the answering machine did not exist. If you called someone at home and there was no answer, you knew they were out. If you called a business during business hours, a real live person would answer the phone. Enter the answering machine. “At the tone please leave a message” became the gate keeper. It was normally the owner’s voice and it offered a way to connect because that person would actually check their messages. The answering machine was not quite personal communication but at least it was functional.
Progress brought us the voice of “Perfect Paula” with her message - “Please press 1 for …” With perseverance and pressing the right numbers we could arrive at “Please press “0”. At this point “Perfect Paula” cheerfully tells us how important our call is. She then urges us to not hang up and promises the next available person will be with us shortly. “Perfect Paula” is clearly functional, but definitely not personal communication.
Elaine and I have several children. We like to call them. At times they can’t answer so we would hear their “At the tone” message. Note, leaving a message on our children’s phone does not work. Why, because they never check their messages. Their style is simple. View the missed call phone numbers. If it’s from someone they want to talk to, they press redial and call back. I am told if I want them to get a particular message – text. I call this communication style “Functional with an opportunity for personal.”
I confess – I like the “Functional with an opportunity for personal” style. I avoid hearing about a free three day trip to Orlando, and the call back thing, my children taught me, actually works well.
Moral – It pays to listen to your children.