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dimanche 12 mars 2017

VOICEMAILS






CHAPTER 108 :




Hi everybody,

This chapter was to be posted one week ago, but Zeus decided to deprive me of power, and to show his strength, waited nearly one week to press the on-button again ! I mean, storm Zeus swept Brittany, blew trees and electric wires down, and we could regain electricity only last Friday evening ! I'll tell you more about that in another episode, but now, here is what you should have read last week !


I can't thank you enough for all your feedback !  My last story has triggered a lot of comments.
Quite sure, " Coincidences or Fate ? " is a controversial issue. So, for those of you who often feel awkward when it comes to making small talks, no need to rack your brain any longer ! Just tackle that topic and let the conversation flow : that's an endless debate.
By the way, thank you dear Emily for reminding me of Lincoln-Kennedy similarities. I had already heard about that urban legend, but you gave me the opportunity to read about it again. Well, I must recognize the number of coincidences between those two presidents is a bit baffling and gives food for thought ...

Anyway, whatever the subject, feel free to keep dropping mails in my inmail box*. Your comments, questions and suggestions are precious and always welcome, and up to now I have never failed to answer.
It's an easy  and reliable way to communicate, isn't it ? At least, easier and more reliable than leaving a voicemail message.
I must confess that being told what to do after the beep often gets on my nerves.
You all know that kind of honey-tongued message :

     " There's no one here to take your call at the moment. Please leave
        a message after the tone, and we'll get back to you as soon as
        possible. "

How pesky and frustrating ! Sometimes, worse : not even the weakest promising ringing time ! My call goes straight to a voicemail, and then, more often than not, I end up tongue-tied. Time to recall all the relevant information I need to get across, and the sneaky voicemail has cut me off ! Zero tolerance for spluttering !
That's what you call ' voicemail greetings ' ? How cheeky !
Some should be called ' voicemail warnings '. Then we would hear a message such as :

     " Don't bother leaving a message. We won't listen to it ".

A bit rough-and-ready, but such a huge time saver !

I guess I'll be dating myself if I tell you that I sometimes regret the days when the only three options for the outcome of a call were that, either it was answered, rang indefinitely, or blared the hope-breaking busy signal.
But that's a bygone age, and for the millenials among you, something like the prehistory of text messaging, I fear.

Come on, I know you must be thinking that for a chatterbox like me, leaving a clear and concise message is, of course, no picnic.
You're both right and wrong.
I'm so talkative with my friends, that, when I leave a message on their voicemails, what should take 30 seconds to say, usually take 3 minutes, so , more often than not, I get cut off. Never mind, I call back, cause I can't bear an online service to rule the roost ! Umm...to be honest, that second message is often to give my name ! When leaving a message, that's something which often slips my mind !
Don't laugh ! I'm not the only scatterbrain ! I can't count the number of times I get voicemail messages where people go on and on , and I don't even know who's talking to me. Unfortunately, there's a limit to my spy skills.
Even worse, I remember once calling back all the ' Jane ' I knew (half a dozen), cause on the recorded message I couldn't guess ' Jane who ? ' had asked me for an urgent appointment !

But when it comes to something more formal, no off-the-cuff speaking !
Hemming and hawling ? No way ! So, I usually think through, or sometimes write out, what I want to say, before I place my call. For me that's the only safe way not to fill my message with lots of ' uhhhs ' and ' ummms '. Then, things go on smoothly.
That's a tip you can use, as long as your brain never short circuits. Unfortunately, mine often does ...

That's what happened last time I phoned my notary to make an appointment. I know he is always snowed under with work, and that my call would go straight to his voicemail, but I really needed him to squeeze me in. So, to make sure to emphasize the matter was urgent, I had written down my message without neglecting the smallest detail. You know how pernickety notaries can be ! But that's the mainstay of their job, and anyway, what is clearly thought out is clearly expressed.


As soon as the beep had sounded, I mentioned my name and my phone number, and recorded my message, paying attention not to mutter and talk too fast.
When I was done with my call and about to hang up, to make things less formal, I thought that something like ' Have a nice day ' would do the trick.
That's when my brain short circuited ! I said in a loud and clear voice :

     " Have a nice day, honey "

Honey !! Why " honey " ?? It did not even rhyme with " day " ! To end on a rhyming note, I could have said :

     " Have a nice evening, Darling ! ",or, " Good night, sleep tight ".

Come on, I'm kidding ! When I realized my blunder, I had already hung up !
What could I do ? Break into the notary's office and steal his phone ? Just nonsense !
You know what ? As the saying goes, you never change a winning team ...
Half a minute later, I phoned my notary again, and left another message begging him to forget the last words of my previous message, cause that was not what I meant.
All day long, I was in a daze, and in the late afternoon when the phone rang and I heard my notary's voice, I nearly fainted.
He just said he had understood my message (which one ?) was urgent, and that we could meet the week after. We agreed on a date, and before hanging up, he added :

     " Oh, by the way, as far as I can remember, your penname is Perky
        Busy Bee, isn't it ? So, let me tell you a joke :

       ... What does a bee say to the flower ?
       ... Hello honey !!

       I guess you were in your garden when you left your first message.
       So, don't worry, I have deleted it !

If I had been feeling more at ease at the moment, I would have replied :
 
       Bee-hive yourself !

But, one pun too many could have ruined my day ! Definitely !

I just thanked him politely, said good-bye and hung up.

Now you know why voicemails and me are not always in good terms.

That's all for this week, folks.

Enjoy your reading and don't forget : BE PERKY !

* for any information, questions, suggestions ,or anything else :

perkybusybee@gmail.com

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