In the spectrum of faux pas, pet peeve, and taboo, this grammatical goof may not qualify as a gross infractivity, but it does deserve a quick glance to define what is - and what is not - acceptable in organization language.

You are watching: Call me back at your earliest convenience

This certain voicemail mishap has been mistakenly employed, the majority of most likely in a fully benign manner, however with progressively better frequency, such that a closer examicountry of its usage is valid.

Tbelow are, as we all recognize, basic rules of phone and also voicemail interaction that are mostly accepted and some that are primarily not embraced. Some of these rules are oftentimes left to opportunity and personal meaning. This specific one deserves a more clear interpretation of what is and is not acceptable.

Well-definition organization experts – especially those that make use of voicemail and leave messperiods in volume – might desire to research this certain phrase via me:

At Your Earliest Convenience

It’s a expression that seems to be completely harmmuch less, but as soon as offered in a slightly various manner can imply a completely various definition. And, yes, as always through specific points of language, it’s kind of tough to explain!

So, let’s have a look…

Leaving a voicemail MESSAGE to gain earlier to me “at YOUR earliest convenience”

Rule: Very Acceptable…Good

Say I decide to speak to someone (someone called John let’s say), and also I dial the number and obtain voicemail. John’s voicemail engperiods and I decide to leave him a message requesting that he contact me back.

My message on John’s voicemail could sound prefer this:

“Hi, John, this is Perrin Peacock calling. I was calling to talk to you about our new $99/month pricing on Openreq, the initially and just full-organization task board catering to recruiter jobs, staffing work, and also various other work in recruiting for staffing firms and also corpoprice recruiting departments. Please speak to me ago at YOUR earliest convenience. You have the right to reach me at 614-329-4722.”

The phrase “at your earliest convenience” is provided appropriately in this instance. In essence, I’m requesting that John speak to me back at his earliest convenience. Specifically, I’m politely requesting a rerevolve phone call and also I’m saying for him to perform it when it’s convenient for him.

This is a polite, considerate, and also respectful research. I’m asking for John to speak to me earlier and also I’m adding that he perform it whenever before it’s convenient for him. Or, really, I’m saying for him speak to me ago once he deserve to make time for it.

No problem right here. This is very acceptable.

Leaving a Voicemail GREETING using “at MY earliest convenience”

Rule: NOT Acceptable…BAD

Let’s say John decides to change his voicemail GREETING. And the voicemail message he just heard me leave was stuck in his head. He numbers he have the right to simply modify the phrase “at YOUR earliest convenience,” and also adjust it ever so slightly to: “at MY earliest convenience.”

It is very acceptable for me to leave a voicemail MESSAGE for John asking him: “Hey John, please rerotate my speak to at YOUR earliest convenience.”

However, it’s NOT ok for John to modify that phrase (the majority of frequently in a voicemail GREETING) to “at MY earliest convenience.”

Here’s wright here the troubles begin…

John proceeds to record this voicemail GREETING:

“Hello, you have actually reached John. I am unavailable to take your call. Please leave a message and also I will certainly get earlier to you at MY earliest convenience.”

WRONG!!! (Loud game-display buzzers must be going off in the background).


John, buddy, you can’t do that!

By recording a greeting on voicemail that offers “at MY earliest convenience” John has unknowingly thumbed his nose at every one of his callers that heard his recorded greeting.

Look at it very closely. If you use the phrase “at MY earliest convenience,” on your voicemail GREETING, you are informing your callers that you will call them earlier “at MY earliest CONVENIENCE.” That indicates you’ve sassist to them in effect…

“I’ll speak to you back once it’s CONVENIENT for ME.”

“When I’m excellent and all set.”

“Whenever before I feel like it.”

John may too have actually videotaped this voicemail GREETING:

“Hello, you have reached John. I am unavailable to take your call. Leave a message and also I’ll gain ago to you whenever before I feel prefer it…whenever it works for me…whenever it’s convenient for me. You know…at MY earliest CONVENIENCE.”

John, say it isn’t so! We believed you were such an excellent guy!

John would certainly carry out better to keep it simple through regard to taped voicemail greetings. He would certainly do just fine through this very proper voicemail GREETING:

“Hello, you have reached John. I am unobtainable to take your call, however your contact is very vital to me. Please leave a message and also I will get earlier through you as shortly as possible.”


In summary, we should clearly continue to employ the well-interpretation and very acceptable “at YOUR earliest convenience” in service language, specifically messeras that we leave on voicemails eincredibly day in huge volume.

Conversely, we need to just dump “at MY earliest convenience” altogether. As much as I have the right to check out, tright here is no excellent way to usage that phrase in polite and respectful service conversation, messeras, greetings, etc.

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With that, we can bring this etymological expedition to an end. Hopetotally, some of you have appreciated this little bit grammatical guide right into the language of acceptable and also not-so-acceptable organization voicemail vernacular.