Thursday, November 02, 2006

after the tone

So a question I ask in a variety of contexts, including sometimes on this weblog, is "Coincidence, or causality?" This question has a special self-absorbed counterpart: "Quirk, or incisive exemplar of a fundamental flaw in Jeremy's character?" To wit: I've let the voicemails on my cel phone pile up again. I've got like 17. I didn't check my messages one day, left my cel at home the next, and next thing I know there were 8 messages for me. Who wants to deal with 8 messages? But then I keep putting off listening to them, and new people keep calling (or old people keep calling again), which just makes me not want to deal with it even more*, which just makes it pile up all the more. Am I alone in this? If I'm not alone, is it because we share the same fundamental character flaw?

Sorry if I haven't returned your call. Don't take it personally. You know that if it's anything important you should e-mail me, right?

(Okay, this is crazy, even by my standards. I am not going to post this until I have listened to all my messages... There, done. No family members dead for days, great. Later messages did include--verbatim, from separate people--"Darling, where are you? Why don't you ever answer your phone anymore?", "Jeremy, every part of your overall communicative apparatus has failed me at this point..." and, eek, "Jeremy, answer your [expletive] phone..." Ah, well, the boy detective is back on top of The Case of The Vibrating Treo.)

BTW, I've disconnected my landline at home. I decided that ~$80/month was altogether too much to pay when a high-speed home Internet connection (the main reason I had it in the first place) might perhaps be obtained through certain uncostly means.

* This might be different if I could listen to my e-mails from the most recent message backwards, like with e-mail. Why doesn't voicemail offer this feature?

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I share your character flaw, apparantly. I let them build up, convincing myself that I'll get to them "in a little while." But when there are many of them (>4), I can't convince myself to deal with that, just adding to the problem. One time last spring I had 14 built up.

When I finally convinced myself to just go ahead and listen I found out that I had missed: a doctor's appointment, the birth of a cousin, finding out I got into a grad program, and a library due date.

You'd think I would have learned my lesson. I have 4 unheard messages right now.

Teddy Love said...

I have the opposite yet arguably competing fundamental character flaw: I can't stop checking my messages. I listen even when it says I don't have any messages just to be sure I really don't have any messages. Really. It would drive me mad to not know what was in the messages if they were just sitting there. How does the boy detective deal with such mystery?? This girl detective can't wait a second longer than she has to. I even listen to old messages, over and over, really, really horrible messages. Hmmm, see, this is why I don't have a blog. I should be this obsessive about ohhhhh ... my dissertation?? Ya think?? OK, sleeeeeep.
Always,
TL

Winston said...

Yes, absolutely. If it is important, don't call me. Email me or leave a comment on my blog.

btw, I know you've dealt with anals like me before, but who else out there even has a "cel" phone for you to talk with. Lots of folks have "cell" phones, and most of them leave voice messages that I never listen to... A "cel" phone must be so 2-dimensional...

jeremy said...

Winston: If I wasn't currently hiding my blog from Google, I'd link to the post that explains why I spell it cel. It's deliberate deviance.

Anonymous said...

I was quite disappointed when I called you last night to tell you that I was a troll and you didn't call me back. Sometimes a human voice is better than an email. However, I know you well enough to forgive you - THIS TIME.

Anyway, telling you why I am a troll would be quicker than spending the day exchanging emails with you. I will try it, though.

dorotha said...

i suppose that, if your days and nights are confused (as my mother says), returning phone calls at 3 o'clock in the morning would be tremendously irritating for your friends and family.

Anonymous said...

I have the same problem, but it extends to all of my phones, including my work line. Last summer I decided to just be upfront about it and changed my voice mail. So a caller in June heard that 'I will return your call in August when I am back in my office. If your call is more urgent, please send an email.' Even after hearing this, some folks left messages. I think I called them back, but I am not sure.

Shelley

Anonymous said...

I've been cursing your name for days to anyone who will listen. Should I send you an email and tell you that? Or will this comment get the message across?
-TOK

Anonymous said...

Not really, by the way. But I would like to chat with you when you re-surface.
-TOK

Anonymous said...

Why are you hiding your blog from google? Does that mean I shouldn't use google to find old posts?

Anonymous said...

It's just you. But why not hide from Dogpile, et al? Cover all bases. By the way, what are the advanced symptoms of sleep deprivation (hope you're changing your 'linen' now and then -- whew!)?

Anonymous said...

Jeremy, my friend was just telling me the other day that he gets his voicemail messages forwarded to his email. The messages are attached as audio files. I'm not sure how you would go about doing that, but I'm sure you could figure it out (or I could ask him for you).
JJ

sixty-five said...

I thought I was the only one. This was happening on my land line, and we're talking quite a few years back. I'd see people who complained "you never returned my call". So I cancelled the voice mail service (why DON'T they let you listen in reverse order???). Now they complain, "you don't have an answering machine". Um, I know. But try to tell a bunch of old ladies to send an email? Or suggest that they leave comments on the blog? Don't make me laugh. I am living in a time warp.

carly said...

I keep getting calls for someone who is not me. From collection agencies. I realize that I should call back and tell them that I'm not this person, but my phone-phobia prevents that (I get phone phobia calling people I know and like, why would I willingly call a collection agency?) So, yeah, those pile up in my voicemail box, and then I don't want to spend the time deleting them so I don't listen to the legitimate messages in between.

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute. "Darling, where are you?" Mom or paramour? Jeremy, please, we need to know!