My 14 Super Casual Attempts at Recording a Voicemail Greeting at Work

A totally chill transcript.

Voicemail greetingsIllustration: Joren Cull

1. Hey there! You’ve roarched—

Roarched? Haha, nope! Oh man, that’s hilarious. “Roarched.” Okay. From the top!

2. Hey there! You’ve REACHED

Karen J. Holden, editor-in-chief of Houseboat Weekly. I’m either away from my… what’s the hard work surface?…DESK, ah, heck. Desk. Scrap this, start again! Ha! First-day nerves.

3. Aloha! You’ve—

No, Karen. Come on, that’s ridiculous. You’re not from Hawaii.

4. Did you know houseboat accidents

account for a whopping 0.8 per cent of all marine-based injuries? Hello, I didn’t see you there. This is Karen J. Holden, editor of—
Hmm. Maybe that’s too alarmist. Yeah, no, it is. Okay, for real this time. Let’s get this done.

5. Good morning! This is Karen J. Holden, editor of…

DAMN IT, KAREN. THE AFTERNOON EXISTS.

6. Yes. Hello. Yes. This. Is. Karen. Jade. Holden.

Editor. In. Chief. Of. Houseboat. Weekly. I. Am. Strong. And. Powerful. And. Formidable. And. Not. In. Any. Way. Terrified. Of. Houseboats.
Okay, just a quick fun one! Ha! Cathartic! Gotta start over, though.

7. Hello, yes, and thanks for your call.

This is Karen J. Holden, editor-in-chief of Houseboat Weekly, the only magazine that inexplicably showcases a different floating hell each w—HOME! A different floating HOME, I said HOME. A different floating home. Each week. That’s what I said. Ugh, fine. One more time. LAST TIME.

8. Hello, this is boat—

OH, COME ON, KAREN. PULL IT TOGETHER, PLEASE.

9. Hi! It’s Karen J. Holden, editor-in-chief of Houseboat Weekly.

Please leave a message and I’ll get back at you—
Oh no, that’s not what I meant at all. Yikes. All right. LAST TIME.

10. I am Karen. I am Karen. I am Karen.

I am calm and centred and professional and I am NOT haunted by dark, sinister waves lapping against violently outdated wood panelling. NOR am I consumed by the ongoing vivid nightmare of feeling your permanent living space lilting back and forth for all eternity as the very concept of solid ground is stolen from you forever and your well-being suffers irreparably. WAIT, I DIDN’T REALIZE THAT IT WAS ALREADY RECORDING. STOP IT. STOP RECORDING.

11. Hello and thanks for your call!

Karen J. Holden here, editor-in-chief of Houseboat Weekly, a family-owned and very reluctantly inherited magazine catering to the nautical-recreation community since way back in 1952. Wait, WHOOPS, wait, may have overshared juuuust a little—

12. Hello. There. You’ve. Reached. The. Voicemail. Of. Doctor. Kare—

DOCTOR?! Since when? Girl, it’s a miracle you even staggered to the end of undergrad.

13. Hi! You’ve reached the voicemail of Karen J. Holden, editor-in-chief of Houseboat Weekly magazine.

I’m either on the phone or far away from my original career goals.
DESK. I meant “desk.” I’m away from my desk. I. Am. Away. From. My. Desk.

14. Hi, this is Houseboat Weekly editor Karen J. Holden.

I’m not available to take your call, but please do leave a message and I shall return your call at my earliest convenience.


…Nah, they’ll figure out pretty soon that I’m not British and then it’ll be weird at work.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest Canada