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by Abigail Van Buren

Worker Lobbies Against Returning Voicemail Only When Convenient

DEAR ABBY: I work at a job that requires I call several businesspeople each day. Often I need to leave a voicemail message. It has become more and more common for voicemail greetings to say, "I will call you back at my earliest convenience." I find this very off-putting and rude, as if my call is an intrusion and they will call back "whenever." I think the word "convenience" is best used when offering it to someone else, as in, "Call me at your earliest convenience." I always try to return phone calls promptly, whether it's convenient or not. Am I just old-fashioned or what? -- NOT SO CONVENIENT IN SACRAMENTO

DEAR NOT SO: The individuals you are calling have the right to put any message they wish on their voicemail greeting. He or she may be on another business call or away from the office. The voicemail message is not being addressed to you personally.

You are old-fashioned. You also appear to be overly sensitive, and I think, for your own sake, you should get over it.

Read more in: Work & School | Etiquette & Ethics