Voice mail is finally dead; when will the phone?

It wasn't my idea. I was made to do it. Others seem to be doing it and they seem to be liking it. I knew it wasn't going to be an easy relationship, but like many things in life (namely beer) at first it may taste funny, but after a while you get use to it. Even like it!

I am talking about my Skype voice mail. It has finally expired. No longer will I have have to ignore voice mails. No longer will I be plagued with voice mails that are days old and bare no relevance to the current time.

Of course you could argue that I should be listening to voice mails as soon as possible, and not be leaving them from days on end. Who knows what timely piece of information I could be missing out on. It's true. However, as anyone that knows me, if its really that important then voice is the last medium you want to be relying on to reach me.

Why? I hate the phone!

It is the most disruptive device in our lives. It demands too much attention. It sits there and throws tantrums until you give in and hold it up close and snuggly. It wants too much love. Only when you pick it up and give it a big hug, does the bloody thing stop making a noise.

It gets worse. The device has no respect for others. No matter who you are with, it will still stamp its feet, like a jealous child, interrupting whatever it is you are doing.

How many movie plot lines rely on this disruptive technology? How many times does the boy fail to get the girl, because the phone goes off just at the wrong time? But I have the answer.

It really is simple. Don't give into it. Let it ring. It really gets upset, but take pleasure in knowing that you are not disturbed.

If you really want to upset it, unplug it. Turn it into a desk ornament for a few days, that should wipe its smugness of its face.

But what if you miss that all important news? Don't be sucked in. Nothing is really that important. If its the Government demanding that unpaid tax, they will write you a nice letter for you to read in your own time. If its a loved one, then more than likely they will SMS you, which is an infinitely better medium; no opportunity for small talk. If its something really important, like a death or accident, then the police will come and give you a knock on the door.

Voice calls are not dead though. Instead of assuming you are more important than anything your potential caller is doing, arrange a time where you both can talk. A quick IM/SMS, saying "Hey, you got time for a quick chat?".

You will be amazed at how much productivity you can reclaim back.

Do not let the phone run your life; it will only end in tears. You have been warned.

I have been reading a management book of late and when I found the chapter on managing phone calls, I was in heaven; it was as if I was narrating the chapter myself.


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