"Hi, this is Penelope. I am away from my desk right now. If you will leave me a message, I will call you back just as soon as I can."
So, you leave a message for Penelope and assume your phone is going to ring later that day. It doesn't. And it doesn't ring the next day either.
You call again, get the same outgoing message, and leave the same request for a call, although probably not in the same chipper tone as last time. The day passes with no response, as does the next day.
You call again, but this time you navigate the telephone tree to a receptionist. Your conversation begins with, "I left a message on Penelope's voice mail last week and left a second message earlier this week, but she has not returned my calls."
"Oh, I'm sorry. Penelope has been on vacation and will not be back until Monday of next week," is the response. Wouldn't it have been nice to know that last week?
Technology has the capability to make our lives easier, such as being able to offer helpful information through our voice mail greetings. Yet when poorly used, it creates a frustrating experience for those who are getting old and inaccurate information.
If you have the ability to create an outgoing voice mail message, you more than likely also have the ability to create a "temporary greeting." The temporary greeting allows you to record, "Hi, this is Penelope. I will be out of the office from August 4 through August 16th. If you need assistance, please call Jane Doe at 555-1234. If you would like to leave a message here, I will return your call on August 19th." Your system will even allow you to specify a date when this temporary greeting will expire and your normal greeting will magically return.
If you do not know about this capability, find the manual that came with the phone when the system was installed. It will explain helpful features about which you may not know, features that will make life easier for you and those who will be contacting you.