Yesterday morning there were two voicemails, very angry voicemails, waiting for me. Both from the same irate person demanding that I call them back immediately.
I did. And when the person who had twice demanded a call answered I introduced myself.
"WHO ARE YOU?!" he barked.
"You left me two messages asking that I call" I replied, trying to stay cool.
"Oh, right, I remember now" he snapped. "So who are you with?"
"You called me" I said, struggling harder to stay cool. "Is there something I can do for you?"
"You called me yesterday" he insisted. "Why?"
"I don't know you or remember calling you" I patiently explained. "If I did I must have dialled your number by mistake, and I'm sorry."
"YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT A MESSAGE!!!!" he shouted.
"If I had wanted to speak with you I would have" I replied.
Then he hung up. A short while later he would send me an angry text.
Twenty-four hours later I still can't process this. The last thing I want is to spend more time on the phone or dealing with voicemail. I generally don't even answer my phone unless I know the number, or I'm expecting a call.
Instead I wait it out and let calls go to voicemail. Once the phone stops ringing I count to ten, hoping the entire time that whoever it was will not leave a voicemail.
Then I take a look at the light. If it's not blinking it means no voicemail. It's like my prayers have been answered. I'm the happiest guy in the world. No matter how bad a day it might be it just got a little bit better because there is one less thing I have to deal with.
If someone dialled my number by accident and realized it when they heard my recorded greeting I hope they would hang up without leaving a message. I wouldn't want to have to log in to my voicemail only to pick up what is a "hi, I didn't actually want to talk to you message". That would be a complete waste of time for everyone involved.
Then there is this person that called me. They seem to take the opposite view. More than anything they want more voicemail, even a completely irrelevant message like "I'm sorry. I must have dialled your number by mistake".
And, if they don't get that meaningless voicemail, they want to pursue a conversation. They call twice and leave two angry messages, all to force a subsequent conversation.
The strangest part of all is that he was so unpleasant from start to finish – everything from the first voicemail to the last text was unpleasant. Whatever reason he thought I might have had for committing the unforgivable sin of dealing his number it was clear he did not want to talk to me.
So why did he insist, twice, that I call him back? So he could have a conversation he clearly didn't want to have?
He didn't want to talk to me. Unfortunately he didn't recognize something equally obvious – if I had wanted to talk I would have left a message.