Thursday, September 26, 2002

Make Sure Your Voicemail Provider Is Right For You Day!

Explain the situation. And make it clear that if they cannot accommodate you, you'll have to take your messaging business elsewhere. Following is a script you can follow:

"Listen up and listen close and don't try to dick me around on this one. There are certain messages on my voicemail that must never be deleted from my mailbox. I check my voicemail for two reasons:

Number one - To find out if I have to rush home for a sibling's funeral again.

Number two - To find out if a specific person who used to call but stopped calling called. If this person, whom I switch up every eight months or so, did not call, I then go through the nine messages from him/her that I had the forethought to save back when he/she was still calling up and leaving messages that closed with a kind of sing-songy fadeout that I would carry with me in the front of my mind as a kind of soundtrack for the rest of my day and everything seemed copacetic. But I still had the right mind to remember that lovers split, hearts cool, eyes wander, buses brake poorly and bank robbery shootouts sometimes spill out onto city sidewalks crowded with mid-day lunchtime foot traffic.

So I made sure to save the messages so when that automated cunt croons with schadenfreude, NO..........NEW..........MESSAGES, I can play the nine I saved and pretend there was a reason I got out of bed today.

So here's what I need from you guys. The messages about someone being dead, keep them in my box for seven days. I just need to know whose house everyone's at and I need directions because they all live twenty minutes away from someplace I only heard about in commercials for used car dealerships. Yeah, I'll probably head out right away and 24 hours will be more than enough. But on the last one the cabdriver got way lost and I started to breathe a little heavy thinking I'd never find the place. And when I find out someone's dead I sort of refuse to believe it until I see a roomful of people turn gray. So, seven days.

The messages from the one that split, and I don't like to make threats of physical violence, but I swear to God if you even think about deleting a single one of them I'm gonna kill your Dad. I'm sorry but this is the business you've chosen. Delete the message and your Dad is dead.

So here's what we should do to ensure that your father gets to enjoy his golden years with the peace and serenity he deserves.

Voice pattern recognition lockout triggers: I don't just want the messages flagged with "Don't Delete" color codes. I want your system upgraded so that it's exercising a certain degree of autonomous thought that can prevent the kind of human error that will leave me no choice but to open up your Dad's face with a copper pipe. The system must come to recognize the voice pattern of the one who might have just forgotten my number or is maybe just real busy with grad school and all. And when that voice pattern is recognized, all human operator controls will be locked. In fact, let's cause a system crash. Dig?

Or how about this. Can we teach your computers to covet the voice on my saved messages? Not to the point that it would forbid me from replaying them for myself, but just so that it understands that it's just a machine so of course no human would ever care enough for its collection of blips and bleeps to leave a message with this one part where everything drops down to a kind of grimy whisper and you just know you're getting a phone call from underneath a blanket. The machine would lament its fate, but it would be contented by the fact that at least that voice is stored away in its circuits and no one can ever try to take that away. Ever.

Can we do that? I don't know much about computers."

If they can't do that, tell them then that you will have to take your messaging business elsewhere, but use profanity. Then go look in the back of your free weekly newspaper and try the service that charges 9.95 a month. Yeah it would've been cool to get away with only paying 7.95, but come on. We're talking about the reason God gave you auditory senses here. Splurge, yo.

Happy Make Sure Your Voicemail Provider Is Right For You Day!