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<| The Onion 4 April 2001  

By Matthew Daniel Cottone

      I just don't understand why people can't use the proper form of communication. Clearly one's stated preference in communication should be used if at all possible. And when you're asking for something from that person it's downright essential. Does that mean they listen? No.

For months now I've been researching and attempting to find the perfect voice mail message. The perfect message will undoubtedly fill my callers with an un-resistable urge to put the receiver down. And if I've done my job they'll be putting it down before the infamous beep and before they've left a damn message.

While my efforts thus far have not yet yielded perfection they have not been a waste. Take my current message: "Hi this is Matt Cottone. Thanks for calling Telcordia Technologies. Currently the best way to reach me is to email me at m-c-o-t-t-o-n-e at t-e-l-c-o-r-d-i-a dot com. That's mcottone at telcordia dot com. Thanks a lot and I'll try to get back to you as soon as possible." You'll notice that no where in this is any suggestion to leave a message. That was an early discovery. By removing all such references I was able to reduce weekly voice mailbox traffic by 15%. Still it's unfathomable why people still insist on leaving a message.

Above: The "Ticket Tracking System"
The misguided onslaught comes in many forms. Or rather, rarely through the right form. You see I have even resorted to developing a Job Aid and putting it on my door in effort to train people in the proper way of contacting me. But do they listen? Only sometimes. On a not so good day I still get plenty of walk-ups, ambushes by the networked printers, emails and EVEN voice mails. "I forgot my eRoom password", "Something's wrong with Placeware", "Where's Dave?", "Something's wrong with the laptop!" I feel the need to emphasize yet again that all of these types of requests should be made through the "Ticket Tracking System"

The Ticket Tracking System is a great centralized location where you can make all of your requests. This is the recommended wait of asking me to do anything. You see when you open a ticket there is a permanent record of the request and you can even check the status of your request in the Ticket Tracking System. This ensures prompt attention to your request and you will be notified automatically by the Ticket Tracking System when your request has been completed.


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