One of the many things I've learned while working with the public is that there are TONS of different ways that people choose to express themselves on their answering machines. Prior to working in Channing's office, I had no idea there were so many unique messages or methods to leaving messages.
First off, there are your normal, run-of-the mill messages, "Hi, you've reached the 'Jones', we can't come to the phone right now, but leave us a message, and we'll call you back."
Then, there are the people that don't record a message at all. They take advantage of the automated message that their machine or phone company has pre-set, "Leave...a...message...at...the...sound...of...the...tone." (Easy, yet impersonal)
Next, you have those that think it's adorable to have their kids record the message. "Hi, you've weached the Jones. Weave us a message at the beep. (mom in the background: Say thank you) Tank you vewy much." (Cute, but kind of cheesy. Much like my boys who are three years apart wearing their identical outfits around town. We moms love our kiddos!).
Then you have those who leave you with a Bible verse. "I'm sorry we can't come to the phone right now. Please leave us a message. 'May the Lord smile on you' Numbers 6:25."
Those are kind of run-of-the mill. I kind of expect those messages. But sometimes, I am thrown for a loop at some of the machines I get. I love getting the unusual messages because it provides me with some extra entertainment. Let me give you some examples.
I have reached a couple of machines in the four years I've worked here, where the person who recored the message reads a whole chapter from the Bible. I'm serious...a whole chapter. Then, they asked you to leave a message. Those messages were very interesting and definitely educational (I mean, how can you argue with a message from the Bible?).
When calling patients, I often encounter the cell phones that have songs programmed to play while the caller waits for an answer or an answering machine. I have a friend whose phone plays "What a Wonderful World" while you wait for her to answer. That's nice, relaxing and reminds you that we live in a wonderful world. However, everyone doesn't choose nice, relaxing music. Sometimes I get songs about "dancing at the clubs" and "taking home hos" (um, not sure about that spelling. Should I spell it like a garden instrument?). There are times that I get some nice praise music, sometimes I get heavy metal. I've heard all kinds. Very interesting...
I get machines that have people who sound like someone stole their dog. They sound like having to record a message on their machine is the most awful and pain-staking thing they've ever had to do.
I also get the messages where the person tries to trick you. Oh yeah...I love those.
Me: Hi, this is Annie...
Message: How's it goin'?
Me: Good. I'm calling to...
Message: Gotcha! Ha! I'm not home right now. Leave me a message.
Those always get me. Yeah, it was funny to get those when I was in high school. Now the humor is kind of lost on me (I'm so un-fun!).
Occasionally I'll get a message that sounds like there's a dance party going on the in the back. The music's blasting, the person's talking to the caller and to friends in the background.
I like getting the machines where you can tell the person isn't sure when to start, so there's a pause. Then they abruptly start talking but aren't sure what they want to say, so they kind of fumble through the message. Then I guess they figure...What the hay. I'll leave it.
I think my favorite machines or machine messages I get, though, are the ones where the people sing the message. It cracks me up! I never expect it. I got one of those messages last night.
Let me give you the scenario. So I'm sitting on the phone, listening to it ring. All of a sudden, I hear a woman singing...
How are yooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooou??????????????
I am gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood.
Leave me a messaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaage."
There was more to it, but I can't remember it exactly. It was HILARIOUS, though!!! I told Channing he would have to call this woman just so he could hear her message. She came in the office today, and I told her how much I enjoyed it and that we may be calling her just to listen to her message (she had a great voice, btw). It was just so unusual and unexpectedly hilarious!
Honestly, I never knew there were so many ways to record a message. I guess if I ever get bored with my totally bland message, I can sing it, rap it, or read a book on it. So if you call me and get my machine, and you hear me reading my favorite book, you'll know what's going on!
Have you heard any memorable machine messages?