Another Rant about One’s Choice of Words

“I will return your call at my earliest convenience,” was part of the recorded message I received from a vendor’s voicemail.

I once had a co-worker that had a similar outgoing message and it bothered me. Not the timing – I don’t expect people to return my calls in five minutes. I don’t expect people to call me back when they are on vacation, or even on the road for business. I certainly don’t want people to call when it is inconvenient. But “I will call you back at my earliest convenience” does not suggest that any urgency is placed on returning the call. It suggests that I will wait until the person I called has nothing else to do.

I know, I know. The “earliest” part modifies the “convenient”. I’m just talking about how it sounds to me, which is as though my call is not particularly important.

When I am the customer, I find it unacceptable.

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