Thursday, March 3, 2011

On Leaving Messages

There is a reason why I dislike leaving messages on answering machines.  Here is case in point number one:

Mr. One threw up last night.  Mr. One needs to stay home today even if he appears healthy and is presenting me with evidence of my cruelty because I won't let him eat chocolatey, sugar-filled cereal for breakfast.

When your child is sick and staying home, this necessitates a phone call to the school office to excuse the absence.

Enter the answering machine.

machine:  "This is ABC Elementary.   If you are calling about your student's absence, please leave your name, your student's name, spelling the last name, your child's teacher, date and reason for the absence at the beep."

me:  I think I need a pencil to write all of this down, what did she say again?

machine:  (a milisecond after) Beep!

me:  (trying to hide the panic in my voice)  Um, hi, this is (stating my name) calling for (Mr. One, O-N-E).  Pause.  I don't really know what the date is.  Pause.  But he's sick, so he won't be in today.  Click.  Groan.

Did I just say that?  Great, and I forgot to say who his teacher is.

If the school doesn't call back to have me substitute again I guess I will know why.

Maybe I should call back and redeem myself.  Here's how the second take might go.

machine: blah, blah, blah leave a message...Beep.

me:  Hello, this is ____ calling for (Mr. One, O-N-E) in Mrs. ___'s class.  He will be absent today, Thursday March 3rd because he threw up last night.  Just kidding about not knowing what day it is.  Even though he is running around and seems well enough to boss his brother around and argue about current breakfast choices, I will not be sending him in.   I don't want to be the mom that has to slink back to the front office at 10:17 am to pick up the child who seemed just fine in the morning when dropping him off who just threw up all over the letters M and N on the alphabet rug. 

Maybe I'll just wait until they call me back if they need more information.


  1. I commented but I think I clicked off the page too soon... I just said that I really dislike leaving a message at school as well. I always forget what I am supposed to say and then say way too much!

  2. haha! This post made me laugh! :)