Monday, June 26, 2006

101 Tips For Better Living. Give or take 95.

I'm just so full of tips. Right now I have six. I'm going to start bussing y'all in the mouf with some of them.
  1. Have A Short Voice Mail Greeting Because The Cell Phone Company Overexplaining Lady Is Trying To Screw Us All.

    You have noticed this. You call somebody, and since nobody ever answers, it goes to their voice mail. The greeting says "Hello, this is Billy. I'm sorry I missed your call. Please leave me a message after the tone and I'll return your call as soon as possible. Thank you and have a blessed day." (That last part if you're calling an enthusiastic Christian.)

    Now what happens? Not just a tone, I'll tell you that much. Now you get the Overexplaining Lady. She says some dumbass shit along the lines of "To record a message, please wait for the tone. When you are finished recording, press one for more options or simply hang up. To leave a callback number, press five."

    First of all--we are getting MORE technologically advanced, not LESS. So we don't need MORE explanation of how to use an answering machine. Before cell phones, answering machines didn't have an Overexplaining Lady. They had your greeting and then a tone. And people generally figured it out. People everywhere. BOOP and then you start talking. It took a little while for some folks, but eventually we all got it.

    So then cell phones come along and all of a sudden we've forgotten what BOOP means? We need the guy we're calling telling us to leave a message after the tone and then a lady telling us that too, plus some other crap? "Oh my gosh, what did he say? Leave a message when? After the tone or before the tone? What's the tone going to sound like? How will I know when to talk? Oh, here's a lady, thank God. AFTER the tone, OK."

    Nimber 2--WHAT--IS--A--CALLBACK--NUMBER? Has ANYONE ever pressed five to leave this "callback number" thingie? Doesn't the number pretty much come through on the caller ID? Also, don't folks usually SAY their number in their message? How does anyone check for a "callback number" anyway? If someone left me a "callback number," I wouldn't be their friend anymore. I don't know what it is but I know it's stupid.

    Numero C--yes, as a novelty, every once in a while somebody presses the "more options" thing when they're finished recording, and flags the message as "urgent." But it's like once ever in your life. Plus I'm really not going to pay any more attention to a message just because the lady says "This message is marked 'urgent.'" Ooh, they marked it urgent. Better listen hard.

    You know what it is, right? And let me note right here that I'm not a big Big Business Conspiracy Guy. It's that during the time that the Overexplaining Lady is talking, my extremely valuable Cell Phone First Minute time is slipping away. If you'll notice, by the time your regular "Hey, this is Billy" greeting happens, and then Mrs. Soothingly Voiced To The Point Of Being Patronizing finishes talking, and then the pause, and then the BOOP, the call's at like 52 seconds. Then if you leave any message beyond "ThisisKevincallmebackbye," you're over a minute--and you've got a TWO minute call on your bill. Think how many of cell phone calls are just folks leaving a message. Turn a bunch of those should-be one-minute-ers into TWO-minute-ers, and suddenly you're talking about a bunch of people going over on minutes and paying a bunch of cash to cell phone companies.

    So anyway, until the cell phone companies stop with this shit, what we should do is make our greetings real real short. The longest one ever should be "This is Kevin, please leave a message, thanks." Talking pretty fast. I haven't done mine yet but I'm going to.
That's my first tip. I'll do the other five ones later.

Also, I'm not going to apologize for not writing anything for so long, because what, do I have some huge audience that's all sad that I haven't written for a while? No, I have 30 people a day searching for one of those quotes off the Starbucks cups. So I think it would be kinda pretentious for me to apologize here. "Gosh, I'm so sorry, I know y'all are just sitting there hitting refresh refresh refresh waiting for me to write something, but I haven't thought of anything lately." Is that what you want? Of course not. You don't care.



Anonymous Sal said...

worst tip ever. even worse than the one about how to fight a sinus infection by snorting voluminous amounts of saltwater.

we do care. that is why it hurts us so

1:02 PM  
Anonymous Pi said...

You do realize you can just hit '1' on your phone and skip all that crap, right?

1:06 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Sal--you of all people should heed this tip with your long-winded fake British-acting self. Your message is probably like "Oh, hullo, there, sort of, you've actually reached Sal, right? Yes, well, our family are ever so happy you phoned our mobile, but I regret to inform that we are all right away at the moment, so sorry about that, but we'd be quite pleased to sort of return your call blah blah blah blah cheers!"

Pi--maybe on your phone, but not on mine (or any other Verizon service, I figure, and that's a lot of phones). And does your provider make it clear that one may do this? I doubt it. If they do, brilliant. Means the market's responding.

1:22 PM  
Anonymous BSP said...

"First of all--we are getting MORE technologically advanced, not LESS. So we don't need MORE explanation of how to use an answering machine. Before cell phones, answering machines didn't have an Overexplaining Lady. They had your greeting and then a tone. And people generally figured it out. People everywhere. BOOP and then you start talking. It took a little while for some folks, but eventually we all got it."

Great stuff! Amen.

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Pi said...

Hmm... guess I'm just lucky. I have US Cellular. When I check my voicemail, I can skip right to the actual message with '1'. When I leave a message with most people I know, the second I hear, "You have reached..." or "This is xxx..." I can hit '1', and instantly get a tone to start talking.

It's really fantastic, and my life has shown marked improvement since I discovered this.

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not have a personal answer saying, "You've reached Kevin. Leave a message if you'd like." OR for those more private souls, have an automated answer stating the number reached or offering to accept a message.

And if your Caller ID indicates someone called and didn't leave a message, safely assume that the caller wanted to communicate with you personally at the actual time of the call.

And in this high-tech world, that's sort of a "warm and fuzzy" thought!

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Sal said...

yeah well, shows how much kevvy kev knows, cause i ain't even got no celly, and thus, no message.

do kids still call them "cellys?" kev likes to act all attenuated* to the zeitgeist, so he should know

*lame shannon attempt. probably will still cause kev's forehead vein to throb

10:57 PM  
Blogger still_wayne said...

Are you trying to shannon the no cell phone thing or the 'celly' thing, or both?

9:34 PM  
Anonymous deaconpeach said...

Hmmm, I'll definitely take this "no hitting #1 to opt out of Overexplaining Lady" thing into consideration when I switch cell providers. One strike against Verizon...thanks Kevin!

And I guess I'm the only one who wore out the Refresh button on my keyboard in anticipation of new blogs...I'll send you the bill when I get it replaced.

11:00 AM  
Blogger Cara Michele said...

I, also, waited in vain for new posts. Finally I gave up and went to the beach. Only to return to... quelle surprise!!... a new post! And a rockin' one at that. So from now on, I'm just going to the beach more often because apparently there's some sort of cause and effect thing going on there.

"We are ever so happy you've phoned our mobile..." Dang, yo. I want to use that. Snippy! Yes, I like it.

11:38 AM  
Blogger Darkmoon said...

Uhh, you have a callback number because there is such a thing as caller ID block. And also, if you're returning a call directly from voicemail, it shows up as Private.

1:55 PM  
Blogger d-lee said...

I have Verizon, and I used the pressing 1 method the other day to successfully circumnavigate the overexplaining lady. Before I read all this. I'm pretty sure, actually that I was calling Kevin, which makes it slightly funny.

Also, there is a way (but I haven't figured it out) to remove the overexplaining lady from your outgoing message.

Of course, if we're all talking about Verizon, then the point is pretty much pointless because our "in-network" minutes are free

1:20 AM  
Blogger d-lee said...

What's funny, Kevin, is that you just wrote a 1,200 word post, whose crux is "be more succinct".

Was the irony intentional?

1:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Irony, indeed. Blah, blah, blah.

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Nick said...

I disklike how with Cingular's new voice mail system, it's IMPOSSIBLE to skip messages when you're listening to them. You have to listen to the whole thing before deleting or saving it. Oh, and after 14 days of having saved it, you'd better remember to resave it if you want to keep it because God knows there's a shortage of storage (heh, shortage = storage+h) space for that stuff. I mean, I'm only paying fifty bucks minimum every month. I can understand how they'd run out of funds after paying the unfriendly, unknowledgeable, nonexistant customer service folks. They're invaluable!!

7:53 PM  
Anonymous neil said...

yes, why? it should be the user's option, when you purchase your new cell phone plan you should get a very short one sheet explanation of your voicemail options, like
1. if you just want your own voice telling your friends how to leave a message, do this.
2. if all your friends are stupid, use our lady voice by doing this.
3. your friends bloggers? just let it boop and nothing more by doing this.

there was a time when a cowboy roamed the prairies and used a match to light a cigarette under a bush after he drank water from a canteen. that night he would use another match to light a fire that would warm his bread and salt meat, the fire would burn until morning and he would put his coffee pot on it and eventually kick dirt on the fire. at night, if no one was with him, he'd stare at the sky and listen to the horse. if he had a friend, they'd talk and the horses were background noise.

there is also a big fish in the atlantic ocean following a little fish around, right now.

and my point is, people rarely just talk to each other anymore.

8:18 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Errbody hrr too kind. To say you miss me. Well not in those words but let's face it.

Sal! Excellent shanno-bait. Had there been no asterisk you would have tore me up. I would have been suspicious but still would have to come correck. And then I would have been shannon.

deaconpeach--good to see you around. Also on the Need to get that going some more.

cara michelle--every time I look you've done some more fancy stuff to your blog. I can't keep up.

darkmoon--man, thanks for dropping that science on us. Whatever would we do etc.

David--no, not intentional. Anyway, Verizon isn't charging me for minutes when I write my long-winded-ass shit, are they? No. So I can overexplain to my heart's content.

nick--thanks for coming round. Shortage = storage + h, very nice.

Neilingway--I'm not even joking, you need to have a blog. You're dying to. Just come on.

8:24 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Oh, and waynehead--the next time I talk to Sanguine I'm guine tell him you're all groweds up.

I would never eat here.

10:42 PM  
Anonymous Tikku said...

Has habile Hales' hit the height of hubris? Blissfully banging banal blogs for bored buddies? After deeper deliberative delving into this droll drivel, I dubiously discovered dewey drops of decidedly decorous drafting documented within the depths of your delightful demesne. Congratulations on culling the cacophonous cries of the cyberworld and creating a corner for the critical cynisims of the concerned citizen.

5:30 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

How does one respond to that? I always got an S- in alliteration. I reckon Hai[tik]ku'll have to do.

I know you plumbed the
thesaurus for "demesne," G
Don't be tron¹ to front

¹Poetic license

9:49 AM  
Anonymous tikku said...

Very close my friend, but it was "habile", not "demesne" that required Merriam-Webster's services. (I sure do hope that those dern "" were not gratuitous.)

1:51 PM  
Anonymous kellianne said...

Awaiting: bored, ceaseless, dreary, endless, futile, gnawing hours in joy-killing lethargy, mildly nauseated on pining, questioning rationale, seeing truly, unless vexed, waiting x-actly yields zip. I'm vexed. Write more, or I'll be forced to bust out the concrete poetry.

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Sal said...

just on the update tip; i finally got me a cell phone.

i'm only telling you because i know you would want to know

12:08 AM  
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12:18 AM  

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