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I’d rather drink lukewarm tea than wait for the water to boil properly (I know, it’s bad!).

While sitting in traffic is highly annoying and a 14hour flight feels like a life sentence, strangely enough, these are not the things that get to me most.

I blame my S-E-R-I-A-S impatient pet dislike hate on… call centres.

Dante 2.0 would’ve added this as the 10th circle of hell, had he lived among us modern humans. In fact, they should make a reality TV show where, in stead of having to eat disgusting things or stand on a 6 foot pole in the blazing sun, contestants have to survive call centers – both working in them and trying to get anything done through them.

It’s this dislike for an automated answering service, the punching in of numbers, holding on forever and eventually – ultimately – collapsing into a frustrating, but futile, fit that informs my distaste.

This thing I dislike so intensely is actually service you used to pay extra for. Something you actually used to buy a machine for!

Something which, on your birthday, is your saving grace – otherwise you’d spend 25 out of the 24hours of the day with a phone to your ear.

You guessed it: I absolutely, positively dread VOICEMAIL.

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Am I irrational?

Does it not irritate you when you spend 3 minutes trying to decode some terribly broken up, muffled, whispered or shouted voice message? Or, better yet – my pet favourite, when it’s interrupted by some other noise!

What exactly are you supposed to glean from 15 seconds of distorted audio that sounds like your first car’s Chinese-made radio trying to rap a Jack Parow song?

Surely, if it’s someone you know, you’ll see the missed call from them or better yet – they can what’s app you, bbm you, text you, mail you or tweet you if it’s urgent.

Or even – how’s this for novel – phone again later if you haven’t phoned them yet, since the lack of a message must mean it’s just for a good social chat? The Catholic Church still specialize in smoke signals and hey, be my guest if you’re all for retro, but would it be rude to just disable my voicemail altogether?

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I tend to put off listening to voicemails and eventually forget about them. Or I’d be on a flight or in a movie and when I switch my phone on again I’d be so bombarded by the collected texts, whats apps, tweets and mails that are delivered at once, that phoning a number to spend 3 minutes trying to make my way through my voicemail menu to sort, save, delete and reply to messages just honestly seems like a pain.

Am I turning into a recluse?

Anti-social and unable to communicate vocally? I doubt that, since I communicate for a living.

I think it’s just natural to want to have more control over the sheer volume of it in your daily life.