Seriously, who writes this stuff?

October 14th, 2009

Dusting off old pages while I work out from under stacks of deadlines.

I come from what now seems like the Mesozoic era in office technologies. The world’s first word processor had just emerged from the primordial ooze, so big and noisy that it required its own room and mammal-like operator, the telephone was the only phone, text was the squiggly lines in the newspaper, mail, thank god, came only once a day and was read only once a week and the work day was just the day. We had these pink pads all over the place to record messages and they were labeled “While You Were Out.”

Perhaps they are still used. How would I know? I’ve been out. But if you take a look at them they are so charmingly archaic. Even the label, “While You Were Out” is so gentile, so mild mannered as opposed to “Where the Hell Were You” which is the attitude I presume message etiquette to consist of these days.

It has little boxes to annotate the nature of the missed event. “Came To See You” says one. I realize this still happens – mostly, salespeople cold calling. But can you imagine a time when a connection was still a connection? People met by meeting, and not in a meeting, which is not where anyone actually meets at all, since my husband tells me that, while I was out, meetings have come to consist of people sitting around a table, each hammering stone-faced into their laptops.

While I’m Out, I hope that you will Come To See Me, because I Will Call Again with these Messages which I hope time has not rendered obsolete, or for that matter, Urgent, but just a wink of pink for you to record the While.

Your trust fund has gone up.
Dinner at my place?
This will make you happy.
You won.
Good news!
You won’t believe this.
Just wanted to say hello.
Happy Halloween
What did you do all day?
Take the rest of the day off.
We’ll be in your neighborhood next week.
This is what you’d look like without $22,800 worth of makeup.


  1. Traveling mercies to you. May your find peace and quietness within and without. I look forward to the stories and photos and stories of the wisdom gained.

    Peace to you.

    Comment by GailNHB — October 28, 2008 @ 2:08 am

  2. Blogger keeps eating my comments …. breathe, breathe.

    I want to go with you. I want to squeeze myself into your luggage and arrive in Mexico to spend the quietest week of my life. But I can’t. So I won’t. Instead I’ll wait here and meet you on the other side. Have a wonderful and inspirational time!

    Comment by Shalet — October 28, 2008 @ 5:07 am

  3. Oh, this post made me think how nice it would be to get excited when someone knocks on the door, instead of cringe because I know I’ll be buying something I don’t need from someone who needs me to buy it. 🙁
    Have a blissful inner and outer journey!

    Comment by Shannon — October 28, 2008 @ 2:20 pm

  4. safe journey, safe return.

    (i had forgotten all about those pinkies until now)


    Comment by Wendy — October 28, 2008 @ 6:42 pm

  5. My grandma always had a pad of those next to the telephone in her house, and would use them if someone missed a phone call.

    I wonder what it would have been like to step out for lunch from your job, and upon returning ask for your messages, to be handed a couple of those. I suppose that was the meaning of asking if you had any messages. 🙂

    Comment by Momma Phoenix — October 28, 2008 @ 9:04 pm

  6. I wonder what people would do if started using the While You Were Out pads again? Hmmmm.

    Best wishes for a safe journey to your retreat.

    And that’s closer to what I’d look like with $22,800 worth of makeup than without…

    Comment by Mary Ann — October 29, 2008 @ 12:27 pm

  7. I want to go with you! When is your next “open” retreat?

    Comment by Kathleen — October 31, 2008 @ 2:36 am

  8. Have a happy trip!

    Comment by Shelli — October 31, 2008 @ 12:09 pm

  9. You going out reminds me to keep going in.

    Nan & I are scheming to come to Mexico in 2010.

    Much love.

    Comment by jena strong — October 15, 2009 @ 10:17 pm

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