This is What he Left

While you are listening to this message, let me explain the circumstances. I was driving home. I'd responded to John's suggestion on a Saturday ten days previously to "Call me at work, and we'll arrange the time to meet." And I'd tried. On the Monday I tried three times. I left my own number once, my name each time, with the telephone reception desk.

John's message to me

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Tuesday I tried twice. The first time I was told "He's on the phone." I asked to hold for him. I held. A short time later I was told "He's in a meeting." OK, I can accept a mistake. No worries there. I used to earn my living as a cold calling salesman. I knew he wasn't in a meeting, but what the heck. I hadn't come all that way in my head for nothing. I just asked what time he'd be free, and called back then.

And left a message the second time, because, of course, he "wasn't in."

Why didn't I just go to his office? Well he works in the west of England and I work near London. I need an excuse to be in the west. I happen to have one. A good excuse. I have a supplier about fifteen miles from the city he works in. And I'd already done the "I'm visiting a company near you. Why don't we have a glass of lunch?", regrettably by message, since getting through to him by phone was next to impossible, except calling him at home. For some reason I wasn't going to call him at home. Heck he had asked me to call him at work, and at work it was going to be. That day he was (probably) on a genuine training course.

So, I decided to invent two more meetings with my supplier. One was to be the following week, and the other the week after. Then I called daily, leaving messages that he was expecting my call, and that I was just trying to set a lunch date. I'm one hell of a persistent person. And I called daily, except I left an occasional day free from phoning to be polite and give him the chance to call me. And I waited through the weekend.

By the following Monday I was somewhat fed up. This was the last week of March 2001. On the Wednesday I sent him a fax. It was along the lines of "I have a meeting in [city] tomorrow, and I hope we can meet for lunch. If not I have another meeting next week. I've been calling you like you said so we could arrange it. And I'll keep calling... ".

The following day was the day he called me. Thursday March 29th, 2001. As I said at the start, I was driving home. And is voice came on the phone and I gasped. My heart started to pound. And I was heading straight for a mobile phone blackspot. We had a short discussion about my being in the M4 on the way back from [city]. I wasn't. But I wasn't about to say. And the phone dropped the signal.

I drove out of the blackspot and called him straight back. His office said his line was busy. He was leaving a message. I'd dared to call him back because my phone has call waiting, and I'd know if he was calling me. He was. But he'd called before I could get back into a signal.

I was scared of the voice mail. Somehow I knew what it would contain. But I called my voicemail box, and I listened.

That was the point I knew beyond all doubt that he was a jerk. A total jerk. That was the point he effectively admitted that he'd been avoiding me, and that he hadn't had the guts to tell me he didn't want to meet me.

Now that is my opinion. So I'm giving you the chance to listen to his message. I recorded it from the office voicemail onto the PC. The sound quality isn't brilliant, but it's good enough. When you've listened, tell me what you think. I've put various answers in the poll, so you choose one

John's Voice Message and Attitude
How do YOU interpret John's message and attitude to me

Neutral, friendly
Neutral, but not friendly
Afraid of meeting you
Afraid of meeting anyone
Chooses not to meet you
Chooses not to meet anyone
He does not like you
He knows you are gay
He does not know you are gay
He is being very patronising
He is a jerk
I can't see what all the fuss is about. He sounds normal to me

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