March 14, 2007

It's good to know a guy.

Early this morning I was neck deep in some stupid paperwork when one of the guys in communications dropped by. We go to church together and he was up here doing some phone work and thought he'd stop by and chat for a minute. Which we did. Normal stuff. Then he said he needed to get back to work, installing voice mail on one of the phone of one of the other folks up here.


I have been wanting voice mail for the entire twelve years I've been here. I'm out in the field a pretty fair amount, and it's rather ridiculous for the secretary to have to take a message when it would be far simpler for someone just to leave a voice message. Not to mention the times when the phone simply doesn't get answered.

For many years, though, the powers that be simply forbade such high-falutin' finaglery, until the folks in charge realized it was convenient and began getting it for themselves while not letting we peons in on the secret. After a while, the technology began to trickle down to a few people on down the ladder who managed to get it, but only after jumping through flaming hoops while being shot at by poison-dart flingling atlatl artists.

Early on I figured I could just get my own answering machine and hook it to my phone (sort of like the way in which I stole my own autodialer speakerphone out of the conference room and replaced it with my crappy phone) and no one would care that much, but I just didn't want to have to spend my own money for it, especially when there's nothing to using our system except adding another phone number onto the system list.

Anyway, back to the conversation--it sure seemed to me that the guy on our floor getting his phone switched onto the system is no more needing of the service than I am, so how'd he manage to swing that?

"Wow, THAT'S nice!" I said, with no small amount of jealousy in my tone. "I wish I had voice mail on MY phone--what sort of form do you have to fill out to get that!?"

The rest of the conversation will have to be redacted to protect all the vast conspiracy that's involved, but suffice it to say, I won't be missing any more phone calls.


Posted by Terry Oglesby at March 14, 2007 11:35 AM


And WFB wrote an article once on how it is rude not to have an answering machine nowadays. You wouldn't want to be rude.

Posted by: Jordana at March 14, 2007 11:39 AM

Rude? Whew-ee--you should have tried to call when we had the psychotic nutjob person on the blower. I don't know how many times I missed calls because of her. And the comments I got from people who DID manage to get through were embarrassing.

Thankfully, she's gone, but our lone secretary now has so much crap to do that it's hard for her to do anything for having to answer everyone's missed calls.

As for rudeness by the mere absence of such things, I personally don't mind it if I get a line that has no answering machine if no one's there, but it sure does make it more convenient if there is. I figure it's a good thing to have as much convenience as possible when it comes to communicating with the folks who pay my salary.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at March 14, 2007 11:57 AM

I've made it a rule to always buddy up to the paid computer geeks and phone management guys. They can be very accomodating if you just give them a chance.

And I have my own paid-for-it-myself cordless phone, doubled up on my phone line. That way I can use my headset and get up and walk around when I'm trying to get answers from multiple people. Cheap- 20 bucks. Worth it.

Posted by: Nate at March 14, 2007 01:27 PM

All that talking sounds like actual work, though.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at March 14, 2007 01:39 PM

I have voice over IP at work and the voice mail comes as a wav file sent to my email.

Posted by: jim at March 14, 2007 02:29 PM


Posted by: Terry Oglesby at March 14, 2007 02:53 PM

The problem comes when I want to listen on my laptop with the really small speakers. I have to hold it up to my ear like some kind of geek boom box.

Posted by: jim at March 14, 2007 03:20 PM

Silly possum. You just blew an excuse to avoid talking to people. "Message? What message?"

Posted by: skinnydan at March 14, 2007 04:08 PM

Skinnydan, I plan on telling them the secretary must have erased them.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at March 14, 2007 04:33 PM