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HELOISE Answering machine etiquette: revealing your identity



Published: Mon, August 1, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Dear Heloise: I found that your recent advice informing people not to leave intimate or detailed phone messages, lest they fall into the wrong hands, reminded me of another important point in answering-machine etiquette.

When recording your greeting on an answering machine or voice mail, always indicate whom the caller has reached. The "Hi, I'm not here, leave a message" leaves callers wondering if they dialed the right number or not. Personally, I will not leave a message on an unidentified voicemail for that reason. A faithful reader in Kansas

You're right -- it is a little aggravating wondering if you have reached the right number or not.

However, some people don't want "Hi, this is the Smiths" on the outgoing message for security reasons. That being said, a business or office greeting should say "You've reached John Doe at XYZ Company." Heloise

P.S. If you leave an important message, especially one that is time-sensitive, call back in a day or two if you have not heard back.

Fast facts

Here are some handy ways to use a lemon that you might not have thought of:

UJust cut an onion? Your hands will be fresh-smelling if you rub them with a couple of slices of lemon.

UDid you know that if you add a little lemon juice to the rinse water when washing your hair, your hair will smell delicious?

ULemon rinds are great to deodorize a garbage disposal. Give it a try. Heloise

P.S. Lemon juice is citric acid, so don't let it come in contact with real marble.

Dear Heloise: There have been info blurbs in recent columns concerning storing clothes and the inadvisability of plastic. Go to thrift shops and buy pillowcases. I have found them for as little as 25 cents each. Puncture a tiny opening in the middle of the seam end of the pillowcase to get the curved part of a clothes hanger through (it will eventually enlarge) and then pull the open end down over the clothing. I can put about four dresses or similar-type clothing in one case. Very reasonable in cost, and the garments can breathe.

You can put blocks or small bags of dried lavender in the pillowcase to discourage critters. Joyce in Virginia

Joyce, we printed suggestions to use pillowcases, but your update of buying them at a thrift shop is super! Glad you wrote. Heloise

Sound off

Dear Heloise: I will soon celebrate my 49th wedding anniversary. During these years I raised six children and have changed more than my fair share of beds. I wondered why manufacturers don't run a contrasting stripe across the foot of all sheets, blankets and bed pads that would instantly identify the direction you should place the sheet. I, for one, would happily dump my current sheets for the enhanced sheets the first day I found them on the market. Pat Villarreal, Houston

XSend a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000, or you can fax it to (210) HELOISE or e-mail it to Heloise@Heloise.com.

King Features Syndicate




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