We had a new phone system installed at work on Friday. Our previous one was pretty archaic. This one has four lines and a state of the art voice mail system. It came with some pretty nifty options and we're still trying to figure it all out. We now all have our own voice mail. We just had one general mailbox before.
There is nothing worse than listening to your self on a video or audiotape, or at least that's how I feel whenever I hear myself talking. It's brutal for me to watch videos of us with Lauren when she was a baby and I’m in the background cooing over her and all you can hear is my big mouth. I had the biggest country bumpkin accent you can imagine back then. I like to think that while I’ve still got a southern twang, that I’ve outgrown the one back from 1988 where I sounded like I walked straight off the farm and was dumber than a tree post. Basically, I would prefer to never have to listen to my own voice on tape for the rest of my life.
I remember the first time I ever had to record a phone message to be heard on the phone system at work. It was at a previous job. When my former boss informed me that I would be re-recording the message that was already in place and replacing the existing voice, I just felt sick at my stomach. It was a very long and wordy message and the thought of having to read a script and then be forced to hear myself anytime I called work wasn't something I looked forward to doing. I remember hoping he would just forget about it if I didn’t mention it to him but had no such luck.
One day he brought me the official script and told me to go into the conference room and get started. There were actually several different scripts that I had to record that would take people through various parts of the phone the system. The after hours, the option of selecting a specific department and let's not forget the part welcoming the caller that also required me to briefly describe and plug our product. I must've been in the conference room for hours, reading, recording and listening to each one before deciding what was acceptable and worth keeping verses starting all over and re-recording.
Friday was just about as bad, though not as lengthy as when I had to do it several years ago, except this time I wasn't given the option of doing it while alone. I had an audience, which made it worse. We were in the midst of setting up the system and the phone guy was there to instruct me on each step. He couldn’t leave until he knew we were all squared away. I also had other people in and out of my office, which only made it worse. There were a few times when my co-worker changed the script in the midst of the process and scribbled the change while the automated system was instructing me on what button to push next. I was trying to listen to the robot lady and read what new change he'd made at the same time. With all of the chaos I would mess up and we'd both start laughing in the midst of it.
I thought I was going to get out of it altogether this time because at first my boss wanted to keep Brian's voice on there, but then he thought better of it and decided a woman's voice would be a better image to portray for the company. I was so bummed when he changed his mind. Anyhow, I haven't yet had to call and hear myself (I can’t bear to) and am dreading the day when I do. Call me silly, but hearing myself talk isn't one of my favorite things to do. I’m sure a few of my real life friends and family feel the exact same way! I guess it could be worse if I sounded like Janice from "Friends", but even I don't sound quite that annoying.