A Post for Cell Phone Users, and Those Who Call Them

The worst of all is when you dial a T-Mobile user, and after hearing the phone ring ten times because it’s switched on but the user isn’t bothering or able to answer, you have to sit through either their own long personal message (which may or may not be entertaining the first time you’ve heard it, but certainly isn’t the fifth time around) OR even worse you hear the non-personalized recitation of the ten digits you just dialed; and THEN after all that you have to listen to the recorded female voice languidly instructing, “Record your message after the tone.  To send a numeric page press ‘Five.’  When you are finished recording, hang up, OR for delivery options press ‘Pound.'”  And THEN you still have to wait for the tone, by which time you’ve already wasted over a minute of your own time and cell-phone minutes, if you want to leave a message.

Now, if you knew from the start this was a T-Mobile user, you could have skipped almost all of that by pressing “#” to begin with.  (I thought by now everyone would have figured all this out, but evidently not.)

It’s different if you’re calling someone with Sprint PCS, Verizon, AT&T, or Cingular service – instead of “#” you can skip all the painful stuff by pressing “1.”  But how do you know what service they have?  You probably don’t – but try “1” first, and if that doesn’t work, THEN try “#.” (If you press “#” with the other services, they’ll think you’re trying to check your own messages from a remote phone.)

Corollary – it’s best manners on your own personal phone recording to say, for example, “Press ONE to leave a message for Junior,” and then proceed  with whatever cheery banter you want to represent yourself with; most people will be happy to be able to just skip all that and quickly leave you a message.

So, short version: If you’re calling someone and want to leave a message without wasting time, press “1” and if that doesn’t work press “#.”  And when you make your own recording, start it with “Press 1 to leave me a message…” UNLESS you have T-Mobile then make it “Press #.”  And that’s today’s public service announcement from Vern!

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official political troubadour of Anaheim and most other OC towns. Regularly makes solo performances, sometimes with his savage-jazz band The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at vernpnelson@gmail.com, or 714-235-VERN.