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Old 10-22-2014, 05:50 PM
 
Location: Not where I want to be
4,827 posts, read 7,256,459 times
Reputation: 7662

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I never use that term "my earliest convenience" or "your earliest convenience". It sounds obnoxious and arrogant. When I call someone (personal call) and they have "I'll get back to you at my earliest convenience", I don't even bother leaving a message. "Your earliest convenience".... who do you think YOU are? The leader of the free world?? You're not THAT important that I have to wait until it's "convenient" for you to call me.

As far as a business setting? Same thing. I would NEVER leave a message telling someone "call me back at your earliest convenience". My messages go something like this "This message is for ________. This is _______ calling from ______ in regards to _______. I sent you the completed paperwork on _______ but have yet to get a response from your office. Please call me at __________. Thank you."
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Old 10-22-2014, 08:22 PM
 
11,251 posts, read 21,697,386 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TracySam View Post
I know that it's customary when you leave a message for someone to say "Please call me back at your earliest convenience." This is in a professional setting. The "earliest convenience" thing is an attempt to be polite, and not demand an immediate call back for something that is not urgent.

But lately I've noticed that some people, on their own outgoing voice mail message/greeting say "Please leave a message and I'll call you back at my earliest convenience." To me, that sounds self-important and haughty.

In my greeting, I say "Please leave a message, and I'll get back to you as soon as I'm able" or "as soon as possible." To me, that conveys that I'm going to make an effort to call them back as soon as is humanly possible. To say I'll call them back at my "earliest convenience" sounds like "when I feel like it" or "when it's convenient for me."

So I guess what I'm saying is that referring to "your earliest convenience" is a polite thing to say, while referring to "my earliest convenience" comes off as very impolite.

Do you agree or disagree? Again, this is in a professional setting, not with family & friends.
I completely agree. I had a co-worker who had this on her voice mail greeting and I felt like rolling my eyes every time I had to listen to it. Not only is it impolite, it's just plain stupid! It's a corruption of the original expression, and is simply being misused when people put it on their voice mail greeting.

If I heard it on someone's personal voice mail, I would feel the same way.
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Old 10-22-2014, 08:25 PM
 
35,120 posts, read 40,097,421 times
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I don't even listen to any voice mail I get and I have the answering machine at the house phone turned off.
If I see I missed a call from you I'll call you back, if I don't see the missed call I guess if it is important enough you will call me back at some point.
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Old 10-23-2014, 07:07 AM
 
16,722 posts, read 14,643,529 times
Reputation: 41118
It is beyond me how some people get so bent out of shape over a stupid message on an answering machine or a voicemail.
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Old 10-23-2014, 07:57 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,065,320 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by convextech View Post
It is beyond me how some people get so bent out of shape over a stupid message on an answering machine or a voicemail.
That is pretty much my thinking, but I hate using or even having VM.

I don't typically leave VM if I call someone and they are not answering their phone. I will either contact their assistant, send a text or email. I hate talking on the phone; always have. Much prefer things in writing.

I also detest skype, facetime and conference calls in general.

I think the telephone is often the very worst way to communicate - especially when details are involved. Better to put things in writing.

I can honestly say that when I call and hear a VM greeting, I am not even paying attention to it, other than to make sure that I have reached the correct party.

That is why I finally took off our "greeting" on all our phones and now it is generic. I hate messages so it is fine with me if folks are offended and don't want to leave one, lololol.

If that is arrogant . . . so be it. It is truly how I feel. I would much rather get the info in writing.

BTW - with my son, if he makes a rare call to our landline, it is usually to ask me why I am not answering his texts, lol. (I am bad about letting my iPhone run out of charge). He never leaves a message. He knows I will see his number show up on caller ID and I will immediately text him. He hates phone calls as much as I do and he tells me "no one leaves messages any more." They do what I do - they see the number on their Caller ID and know that means to contact the person who called.
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Old 10-23-2014, 08:50 AM
 
9,228 posts, read 18,888,034 times
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Who said I was "bent out of shape"?

All I did was post a thread about the topic. Does that qualify as "bent out of shape"?
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Old 10-23-2014, 09:44 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,065,320 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TracySam View Post
Who said I was "bent out of shape"?

All I did was post a thread about the topic. Does that qualify as "bent out of shape"?
You weren't "bent out of shape." I should have clarified that before I replied in agreement to that post that mentioned being "bent out of shape." I took it that Convextech was meaning - who would even notice a VM greeting these days.

You were just pondering it, lol.

I think for some of us - we don't even halfway pay attention to the greeting on our VM message or what greeting others have as their VM greeting.

I did think about it a year or so ago, but only in regard to my husband having stated our name in the greeting. We were getting all these solicitor calls (and now, dear me, with an election - I am getting 4-7 a day!) and it hit me - we are giving away too much info w/ our names attached to our number.

I think when I started using an answering machine 25 years or so ago, I thought I had to be very solicitous and engaging with my message. And I think 25 years ago, people felt they had to leave these conversational type messages. Things have changed. Too many solicitors and data phishing going on. The less said in a VM greeting, the better . . . less worries about identity theft.

I have noticed a lot of things changing in the way folks communicate. Most folks don't use a real "greeting" on their personal phones any longer. We all know the drill: state your name and tel # after the beep.
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Old 10-23-2014, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Endless Concert
1,719 posts, read 1,168,634 times
Reputation: 3268
I agree with OP about this.

It just doesn't sound right and it does come across as not only self important and unprofessional, but it's just incorrect in business. It is a reflection on the person that has this on their outgoing greeting that they don't sound too bright.

For a caller to say on a vm "Please call me back at your earliest convenience" has been standard business etiquette for many years.
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Old 10-23-2014, 10:24 AM
 
5,190 posts, read 4,037,491 times
Reputation: 13168
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrissycs View Post
I think this is an example of the deterioration of the English language. People don't even realize what they are saying half the time. And don't recognize improper usage, because I think that's what it is. They are taking something they've heard a million times and assuming that it makes sense to fold it in to their outgoing message because they hear it so often. Look at all the punctuation and spelling misuse that has crept into the lexicon.
Why is this "improper usage"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by convextech View Post
How would I possibly know when it's your earliest convenience if you are calling me? I'll call back when it's my earliest convenience, because I could be busy, just got back from a meeting, am on another line in a teleconference, etc.

Why do you get so uptight about what other people do? Personally, Celexa works for me, in letting things roll off my back.
Agreed.

I use it on my outgoing and personal voicemail. I don't care if you don't like it - it is the truth. I will call you back when I can. I am not understanding what is improper about it.
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Old 10-23-2014, 10:39 AM
 
Location: NC
6,507 posts, read 7,910,282 times
Reputation: 13379
I have noticed the same thing as the poster, and it drives me crazy. To me it is an example of someone repeating a phrase in the wrong context and not even paying attention to what they are saying. The person appears to be conflating "I'll call you back" with what the listener might say as a response, that is, "Oh, thanks, at your earliest convienience would be fine".

Because of this un-thinking mash-up, the result is that the speaker is unwittingly giving the response that he would expect to hear. The secondary result is that the listener thinks he is a dufus.
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