Daily Archives: June 8, 2009

I hate voicemail

I truly detest voicemail.  And its predecessor, the telephone answering machine.

To send it is at best just-about OK, but often you stumble, hesitate, um and ah, feel stupid, dammit, should I just start again? But that’s OK, I just ring off, and try later, or switch to a less stressed medium such as the email or text message.

To receive it is worse still, not least because of the number of times “901” rings you as soon as there’s a message.  Then you listen slowly through it – always more effort and concentration than a text, even if the voice is clear and the environment quiet.  Finally you go through the menu options to replay/save/delete/whatever, preferably without forgetting anything that matters in the message.  And to cap it all, you’re paying mobile rates for the privilege [1] 😦

This morning I hit a new hazard.  I answered the 901 but it rejected my access code.  Turned out to be because the qwerty keyboard on my phone[2] was sending letters instead of numbers until I explicitly switched.  Is this a defect in Nokia’s software, or a genuine ambiguity in whether the context is alphabetic or numeric in receiving a call?  I suspect the latter: yet another gripe with bloody voicemail.

[1] My experience with this may also be coloured by the six years I spent on a phone number that received more wrong numbers than calls for me.  A local estate agent had a similar number to my fixed number, and one moron “Ben” there couldn’t get his own number right so his clients were always calling me.  I had to divert those calls (at my expense) to my mobile, so that my own incoming business calls wouldn’t go unanswered in office hours.  Maybe I should’ve made arrangements with Ben’s clients to [do what they were asking] to see if they could build up enough anger to get the idiot sacked.

[2] The Nokia E71 has the world’s smallest(?) qwerty keyboard.  You look at it and you expect to be forever fumbling to get the right key, but they’re shaped to make it incredibly quick and easy, even for fat thumbs.  A thing of beauty and a real pleasure to use!