Thursday, July 15, 2010

Neuroses and Crazy Voice Mail Greetings

Yesterday I changed the voice mail greeting on my cell phone.

My cell phone was originally intended to be nothing more than a way for my family and close friends to reach me.

We ixnayed the home phone years ago because it was such a waste of money. Not to mention a pain in the butt.

No one of any importance would EVER call us on it except politicians, alumni associations asking for money and bill collectors calling for someone who we didn't know/had never known/and no, we did not know where they were.

For awhile, I was very picky about who I gave my cell phone number to.

Then, after I awhile, I began to treat it like candy thrown from a float to greedy, sticky hands of children at a Fourth of July parade.

I began giving it out to doctor's offices, retail stores at check out counters, writing it on warranty cards and product registrations.

So...the reason for changing my greeting yesterday was in response to being hounded by the local library.

Apparently I returned a damaged book way back in March.

Perhaps I did, I don't know.

I didn't even notice because at that time we were closing on our house and moving; therefore, a herd of cows could have trampled our library books and I very well may not have taken notice.

Either way, I feel bad about damaging someone else's property and am willing to rectify it. Just not over the phone. I hate the phone. It's a phobia. I don't DO the phone.

Especially after the first message that was left about the situation. It had the predictably nasally and snippy, "how could you" tone to it.

It went something like this:

"This is Ms. Blah calling from Blah County Library. You returned a book "Blah" by "Blah Blah" this past Friday and it contains damage that was not present before the book was checked out of the library. We can't possibly put it back in circulation in this condition. You will need to pay for it. Please call me back at blahblahblah..."

You get it.

I'm not calling someone back who leaves a snotty message. The Des Moines Public library would quickly send out and invoice if a book was damaged. So I hoped that is what they would do.

Yesterday, I noticed I had about 15 messages in my inbox on my phone. Most of them were from my husband, a couple from my mother, my brother. The usuals.

One of them was from the Blah County Library.

"This is Ms. Blah, calling from the Blah County Library. Calling again about the damaged book you returned back in March. We need to rectify this situation so we you need to call us back as soon as possible. Thank you."

I mean, come on. What the heck?

SEND ME A FRICKING INVOICE PEOPLE. I'll pay for the damn book!

I wish, on the application for a library card, after the phone number I would have written "Do not contact me at this number. Please send all correspondence through the mail."

This is a lesson for the future. I'm going to start writing this on every application for anything in the future. "Do not contact by phone for [crazy-ass] personal reasons. Please direct all correspondence through the mail."

It is a bit neurotic, but I AM neurotic.

Since I can't ask my husband to do it because he would relentlessly MOCK me, I'll have to ask my friend Meghan to call the library and impersonate me to tell them to send me an invoice for the book.

Oy, I might as well write "WIENER" on my forehead, because it is the ultimate in weiner-ific requests.

But... I've done it before. There. I've said it. I've made someone else impersonate me on the phone. If my husband didn't know about it, he does now.

It was my mother. I made her call about my car loan once and it worked out splendidly, although she stumbled over a password and had to take a quick time out, "What is your online password," she whispered to me. The customer service person didn't even notice. It was seamless.

So, yesterday,I changed my voice mail message to the God's honest truth. It goes something like this:

"Hi! You have reached Mary Ann's cell phone. I'm going to be honest with you and just say that if you leave me a message, I probably won't check it. So, if you have my e-mail address, send me an e-mail. If you are my Facebook friend, send me a message on Facebook. If you have my mailing address, send me a letter or an invoice and I will respond to you via mail. If you STILL choose to leave a voice mail, just know that I will probably listen to your message in two weeks when my mailbox is full. Have a great day!"

My husband will probably be mortified, but whatever. His phone number is the alternate number on almost everything. They'll just all call him, instead.

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