Thursday, September 09, 2004

Is It Me?

I'm a writer. I write things. I write things in a quiet room on a computer. When I write (often in the morning) I turn off the phone. I don't want to be interrupted.

People who know me well know this. They send me email or IM when they need me urgently. People who don't know me wonder why I don't answer the phone sometimes. I don't answer because it doesn't ring and if it did ring, I wouldn't get anything done. I'd never get anything written. That's why I turn off the phone (the land line) and usually still leave my cell on.

I'm trying out a new person to come in once every two weeks to clean my house. She's very good at cleaning houses. She's very bad at calling me and confirming that she'll be here at the right time. She is one of these "call me" message leavers. I hate "call me" message leavers. They leave a message that gives you NO additional information. Even if you leave a question like "will you be here Thursday at 9:00am" they call you back and leave a message that says, "It's me. Call me." I have two words -- not polite ones -- for people who leave datafree messages.

Not only is she a datafree message leaver, but she has no voice mail, and people like her husband and her daughter answer and you leave a message like, "Yes, she should come here Thursday at 9:00, I'm expecting her." with them and two hours later she calls back and it's clear she did not get the message. She calls back when I'm asleep or when I'm writing.

So she lives in a house where you can't leave a message reliably and she never leaves a message with any data. She is wasting her time and mine. I don't like people wasting my time. I told her daughter she should come today. She called this morning in a panic about whether or not she should come over. By the time I was done writing and called her back, she had gone out and I got to wake up her grumpy husband.

I'll try to be polite. I don't think this is working out. It doesn't matter how well she cleans houses, she wastes so much of my time with bad communications manners I can't stand her. And it's not like she's from another country and doesn't speak English. She's American. It's just that she's a datafree message-leaver with no voice mail and a lame-o family that can't be trusted to take a message.