Unless you’re trying to solve a murder case in which I am involved, where I took the time to call and leave a message on your answering machine right before I dumped the bodies and flew to Alaska (ironically, which I was under the impression was out of the United States jurisdiction), there’s truly no reason for the time I called to be important.
In fact, even if I wasn’t involved in a murder (which I’m not) and you’re not involved in solving a case (which you’re not, unless you’re doing that home detective thing that Oliver in The Brady Bunch once did…which would also mean you’re jumping the shark), then…
I’m not leaving the time I called on your answering machine. Plain and simple.
In doing research that cannot be referred to or defined as “exhaustive” by any means, I determined that folks started leaving the time they called on people’s answering machines way back when answering machines first made their way into the public consciousness (and into their late 70’s homes). Someone by the name of Jeffrey Dean Sillias was working at Texas Instruments and included his own personally-crafted “sample answering machine message” that went a little something like this:
“Hi. We’re not home right now, but if you can leave your name, number, message AND THE TIME YOU CALLED at the tone, we’ll be sure to get back to you just as soon as we can. Thanks very much, goodbye!”
And thus began the idiotic reason for us telling people what time it is that we left a message.
A few things to remember for those devil’s advocates. Phone answering machines TELL you the time someone leaves a message. Me telling you what time I left my message may not actually be the real time I left the message. Having the knowledge of the time I left the message could be a code that when translated using complicated Nostramusian quadtrain code stuff, predicts the next time I’m going to call and tell you the time I left that message as well.
Get where I’m coming from? Useless.
So if you can tell me why I should leave the time I left the message and how it’s going to (a) help you respond to my message, (b) help you decide your next steps in the ever complicated process of returning a call, or (c) help you help me… please do.
But if you can’t, which I don’t think you can…
…you can expect the time I left that message on your answering machine, isn’t coming anytime soon. Or ever again.