Years ago, when cell phones voicemail was in its infancy, my wife went on a business trip to California. While there she left a number of voicemails on my cell phone. When I did not return her calls for a couple of days she tried a land line and reached me. After explaining for what seemed like hours that, no, I had not been out chasing supermodels, I wondered why AT&T had not gotten those voice mails to me.
My bride returned home in due course, and about three weeks later those elusive voice mails all showed up simultaneously. Ain't technology grand?
I've seen the same kind of delays from time to time over the years, but they have become less frequent. I have used another cell phone carrier for many years now, and maybe that has something to do with the improvement, but problems still occur from time to time.
Yesterday I was reminded of that first experience. Having been reprimanded days ago by both a client and my son for failing to return calls, the offending voice mails both showed up on my cell phone this morning, fully a week after they were left.
Lawyers are in a service business, and our success depends upon our ability to respond promptly to our clients. It's easy, as we pilots say, to cruise along “fat, dumb and happy” while storm clouds are gathering. We can't be mind readers, but we can be proactive about checking in with our clients. So pick up the phone and make contact. The voice mail you leave could take quite a while to get where it's supposed to go, and that could leave someone important wondering why you haven't been in touch.