December 19th, 2009 | 4 Comments
Sometimes one call isn’t enough. That’s what a number of my clients seem to think, at least. My phone will ring, but I either miss it or can’t pick up because I’m busy. Sure enough, the same number will call again after having not left a message moments before. It’s the dreaded “double-call,” a phenomenon every attorney encounters at some point. It isn’t just clients that do it either. Other attorneys, police officers, and legal assistants do it too.
Admittedly, the tactic can be helpful. If I miss the first call because I’m a little too slow picking up and the number shows up as unknown, it’s nice to have a second chance. The tactic is less helpful when I’m not picking up because I’m in the middle of something more pressing. That’s frequently the case.
Most missed double-calls don’t result in a message, which is highly irritating. If it’s worth calling me twice, it’s worth leaving a message. If you’re calling about one of my cases, I really care about what you have to say. It’s extremely important to me, and having two missed calls from an unknown number with no voicemail is a waste of everybody’s time. I’ll rarely be irritated by a double-call if there’s a voicemail for me after the second one.
I recently had a series of telephonic interviews take up an entire afternoon. The first telephonic interview ended up turning into double-call hell. I had just moved into a new office with a new phone system that included additional phone lines. I didn’t use the do-not-disturb button because, quite frankly, I had no idea what “DND” stood for. I regretted not learning its meaning earlier.
The subject of the first telephonic interview called my cell phone. I put him on speakerphone and began the interview. Immediately, I got a double-call on my cell phone from an unknown number with no message. Undeterred, the double-caller then contacted the receptionist and requested to be transferred to my cell phone. The next double-call showed up as an unknown number being forwarded by the receptionist. No voicemail. Next, my direct office line got double-called from an unknown number with no message. The caller then did the same receptionist-forwarded double-call trick he did with my cell phone. Still no message.
As if he or she was playing some kind of joke on me, the direct line in Adrian’s office rang four times. In pairs, of course. No voicemail. Then the main office number rang four times, again in pairs. No voicemail, just missed unknown calls in sets, first straight from an unknown number then from an unknown number forwarded from the receptionist. I love the receptionists and am fairly confident the double-caller was engaging in some serious trickery to get that many calls through without anyone taking down his or her information.
In the end, the double-caller double-called me eight times, resulting in a total of sixteen calls before I could finish that first telephonic interview. He or she never left a message. Not once.
Part of me worries that I missed something important. Could it have been more important than an interview with a key witness in a serious felony case? Why didn’t the caller leave a message? I still have no clue who was calling.
If you were the one double-calling me over and over, please don’t do that again. If you can leave me a message, do it. It will be returned quickly. I guarantee. I can also guarantee that if the first double-call doesn’t get the desired result and you can’t leave a message, you should wait a little while before you try a second time. Double-calling every phone line within earshot of my office one after another will only succeed in pissing me off.