Your Career and You: "Check Your Voicemail"


Okay…today (Thursday) got off to a rollicking start with rain coming down in buckets, me with a splitting headache…and a 10 a.m. dentist appointment on the books. Bus was 15 minutes late, but I walked like the proverbial “bat out of hell” and made it to the dentist’s office just three minutes after 10.

Only to be gently asked… “You do know your appointment’s for 11:00?”

As anyone who reads this blog from time to time knows all too well, I readily and somewhat cheerfully admit to not necessarily being the most organized and focused human on earth.

Margaret (my long-suffering and relentlessly-understanding wife) told me on Tuesday when I got home from school that she had saved a message from the dentist’s office reminding me of my appointment.

I looked at my Outlook calendar and saw that I had dutifully entered the appointment back when it was scheduled…for 10:00 a.m.

No need to check the message. I had it scheduled.

Which brings me to today and the fact that I’m sitting in the waiting room writing this…since I have an hour to kill!

What’s the point of all this, Kirk?

We’re all busy. We all have more on our respective plates than we can sanely handle. But that’s not someone else’s problem. It’s ours, and we have to take control.

Simple…sort of. “Baby steps.”

Keep a calendar…with you at all times!…and make sure you enter your appointments, to-dos, classes (regardless of whether you’re a student or a teacher).

And, if someone follows up to confirm an appointment, double-check your calendar to make sure you have the correct date and time. (Note: This is a “do as I say, not as I do” piece of advice!)

Why is this important? Couple of reasons, one of which should be obvious based on the fact that I’m now at 45 minutes and counting on my “early-ness” for my appointment.

More and more, we are relying on electronic communication to schedule things. The obvious problem is that there is no longer a “paper trail” that we can use to double-check. It’s either stored in our fuzzy little brains or stored in bits and bytes on a computer.

The inherent danger in this virtual existence is that, sooner or later, the chipmunk’s going to get tired, the computer is going to crash, and life, as we have comfortably gotten to know it, will come to a screeching halt.

It’s okay if you blow off a get-together with friends or family (not really, but I’ll let you have a “gimme” on this one).

It’s NOT okay to blow off a meeting with your boss, potential internship supervisor…professor (listening, Curry College PR students?!?).

Being on time…for classes, for meetings, for just about anything (Margaret and I were late for our own wedding!)…is an indication of professionalism and goes a long way toward creating a favorable impression that will pay dividends in the future.

So…organize your life. Get control of your calendar.
Check your voicemail!

’Nuff said.

“The horror of that moment,” the King went on, “I shall never, never forget!

You will, though,” the Queen said, “if you don’t make a memorandum of it.”

Lewis Carroll, “Through the Looking-Glass” [1872], ch. 1

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About kirkhazlett

35+ years' federal government and nonprofit organization PR experience followed by more than 10 years' undergraduate and graduate college teaching experience. Community and media relations expertise, as well as a fanaticism for quality service and customer satisfaction. PR for healthcare and member services organizations ranging from Blood Bank of Hawaii to Medical Area Service Corporation to Boston Harborfest. Consulting services for Manila and Singapore Red Cross.
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