rt1: voicemails and the anxiety they cause me

today i realized that voicemails are the new resumes; no matter what you leave, it may get completely ignored.

     preparing to leave a voicemail, however is an entirely different thing. i liken this experience to waiting in line at a mcdonalds; the shorter the line the quicker you can order. if there’s no line, you go right up to the counter and order, “burgers, fries, drink please.” but if there is a line, you have time to think and then to rethink and then to remember something you almost forgot and then to think again. so much time to think that by the time it’s your turn to order all you say is everything. thinking is not your friend when waiting to order fast food and it definitely isn’t your friend when waiting to leave a vm. (i’m just gonna use ‘vm’, i’m typing this with my thumbs.)

     my best of friends do not check their vms; they see the missed call and just call me back. i know who they are and their mailboxes are typically filled with my confessions; some are minor and some are detailed directions to bodies. then there are my friends who check their vms; i don’t like these friends.

     the golden vm rule is the quicker the better, meaning i get sent to your vm within three rings and there’s no long and/ or stupid outgoing vm. my all time favorite outgoing message- i love how they’re called ‘outgoing messages’ like there are messages that keep to themselves. my all time favorite outgoing message is my own and it goes, “it’s about to beep.” that was all you need! people perform best when getting thrown on stage. don’t believe me? watch “toddlers in tiaras”.

     i wasn’t always perfect, my first outgoing message was about seventy seconds long. this was in ninety-three. it started with a jodeci song, and after the first verse i came in with, “hi. (two second pause) you’ve reached adam. (one second pause) i’m not here to get your call but believe me when i say that i wish i was. (two second pause) but leave a message with your name, number and i’ll i return your call as soon as (one second pause) i can.” and then ten more seconds of jodeci, and then the beep. i’m not proud of that but it was a different time and that adam was getting laid.

     i wish i could give you my friend dewey’s phone number so you can see what an annoying ogm is. (follow him on twitter @deweybratcher. ask him for his number. do not mention this blog post and he’ll most likely give it to you. then you can call him and see for yourself. if he answers, hang up and call back until he forwards you to his vm.) his ogm is the most distracting. i hate getting distracted by the ogm. the message i usually leave dewey is, “hey dewey, your outgoing message is stupid and made me forget why i called you again. i hope you die but call me back before you do.”

      the next level of vm hell is the “how many rings does it take to get to the center of a vm box”. this may be the worst level because it causes me to forget who i called, why i called them, and, sadly enough that i made a phone call in the first place. let me say this, having adhd, and making a hands-free phone call should be an olympic sport. holding the phone to your ear is your way of telling yourself, “hey! you’re doing something right now, pay attention!” once you take away that physical reminder the only reminder left is the beep and once i hear the beep, i’m only reminded that i made a call, not who i called so i just say, “hey this is adam connie. if you know me, call me back.”

     but for the sake of argument, let’s say i that don’t forget who i’m calling, let’s say that the twenty rings it takes to get to the vm box doesn’t hypnotize and chase me to my happy place, let’s say that i remember exactly who (why isn’t it whom?) i’m calling and why. this is where the real anxiety sets in. i know i’m getting vm i just don’t know when. i know i’m going to get put on stage i just don’t know when. why is the introduction taking so long? just bring me up! when i get up there am i just gonna say, “call me back”? am i going to leave a message with so much detail that whomever i’m calling won’t need to call me back? will the message i leave be clear or will i not have enough bars to leave a message that’s digitally intack? needless to say i’m usually in full panic by the beep, so i just say, “burgers, fries, drink please,” and then hang up.

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