Stacy hates voice mail. I don't mind it so much... IF you get to the point. Quickly.
What? You need me to come pick up my kid from school because she fell and cut her head open? Great. Just say that. Don't hem and haw about how she's okay really, there's very little blood, and she's even laughing, but you think I should maybe call, or maybe I should just come to the school straightaway, because this looks a little bit serious. She should probably see a doctor, or maybe even go to the emergency room.... But you don't want me to panic, so there's no need to drive in a hurry. She'll be fine. Would you like to hear her say she's okay? Here, honey, tell your mommy you're okay. *muffle, muffle* "I'm okay, mom" *muffle, muffle* Oh, honey... now the blood is dripping down your nose. Come here. Okay, so well, yeah why don't you head on over to the school as soon as you get this message. We'll take care of her in the nurse's office until you get here. Oh, yeah. I almost forgot to tell you what happened. She ran into a table, and there's just the tiniest little split in her forehead, but there's a butterfly bandage holding everything together, okay???
No. Not okay. I need Short. To the point. Descriptive, but brief.
The opposite, a too brief message, is sometimes worse:
Voice mail from my sister, in a very sad, sing-songy voice, circa 1992:
"Hi, Grump. It's your sister. I have some really sad news. Call me."
WHA?!?!?! Someone died. I just know it. Ack! Why didn't she leave me more of a message?!?
My grandfather was very, very ill at the time. Of course, I'm in panic mode. So, I call my family, and NO ONE IS HOME. None of them carried cell phones at the time, either (can you imagine?!?). Three devastatingly long hours later... my sister finally returns my call to tell me that our 12 year old dog had died. The dog with seizures, cataracts, and loss of muscle control. The one that we were about to put to sleep to put him out of his misery. He just died. Okay, so that's sad... but c'mon!
The moral of the story is: think through your voice messages. The person on the other end is relying on you to be smart about this.
Coming up... tomorrow's special: a cartoon for hannah. :-)