Answering Machine in the clerks' office?

Discussions around standard phones and phone service in meetinghouses and what the future of meetinghouse telephones should hold
nathangg
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Answering Machine in the clerks' office?

Postby nathangg » Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:16 am

I was at the church on a normal weekday morning before work doing some year end financial stuff and the phone rang. It was a brother moving into the ward from out of state and he had initially intended to leave a message, not expecting someone to be at the church.

I ended up having a pleasant conversation with him, and passed along the necessary phone numbers and information (and got his details, too).

However, all of this left a question in my mind: is it okay to have an answering machine in the clerks' office? (especially for cases like this?) I have an "old" answering machine at home that I can donate, but I didn't know if this sort of thing was okay.

I can only imagine it being okay if perhaps no messages could be left on the machine, and instead it played a recording stating the ward's name, the Sunday meeting time, and giving the bishop's phone number? (just like people can look up the information on the maps.lds.org site, perhaps the recording would just have the exact same information?)

Anyhow, the brother said he was only able to find the clerks' office phone number and no other number (perhaps because he wasn't using the new maps.lds.org site, but instead found our ward through wards.lds.org... our wards.lds.org home page has the clerks' office phone number on it).

Actually, I might have answered my own question: we probably don't need an answering machine with a message (who is going to get that phone number anyway?) instead we could probably just make sure the same information on maps.lds.org shows up on our ward's page on wards.lds.org.

(I'm still curious what people think about the answering machine though...I'm kind of leaning in the direction of "less is more").

Thanks!

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:32 am

nathangg wrote:However, all of this left a question in my mind: is it okay to have an answering machine in the clerks' office? (especially for cases like this?)
...
I can only imagine it being okay if perhaps no messages could be left on the machine, and instead it played a recording stating the ward's name, the Sunday meeting time, and giving the bishop's phone number? (just like people can look up the information on the maps.lds.org site, perhaps the recording would just have the exact same information?)


I know of no policy for or against it. When I have been traveling, I have occasionally called a ward (probably a clerk's office) and gotten a recorded message such as you described, and it was very helpful. It's not standard equipment, but I don't see why a ward couldn't provide a machine with an appropriate message if they wanted to.
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russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sun Jan 02, 2011 11:43 am

aebrown wrote:I know of no policy for or against it.


Same here. I think most of our wards have answering machines. It frequently lists meeting times and sometimes even travel directions for the tourists.

And many of them do take messages. I think most people understand that it's not the bishop who listens to the message and I can't recall anyone leaving sensitive information that shouldn't be heard by someone who has a key to the clerk's office.

In our FHC, we have a machine, but it's set to "answer only" (it's a hard feature to find) since otherwise people tend to leave complicated requests that just take up staff's time. It's best if they call back when the center is staffed and discuss the issue directly. It won't get acted upon until then any way.
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kd7mha
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Postby kd7mha » Mon Jan 03, 2011 6:27 am

Our ward has an answering machine kept in the Bishops office
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kisaac
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Postby kisaac » Mon Jan 03, 2011 9:58 am

nathangg wrote:I was at the church on a normal weekday morning before work doing some year end financial stuff and the phone rang. It was a brother moving into the ward from out of state


I've answered the phone during the day several times, and it's always been a telemarketer. However, we just upgraded to an answering machine in our Bishops/clerks office. He listen's to the messages. During tithing settlement, when told the ward they could leave messages there anytime if they needed to change an appointment.

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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:29 pm

kisaac wrote:I've answered the phone during the day several times, and it's always been a telemarketer.

Sounds like someone needs to register the line with the Do Not Call registry. (Although as most of us know from experience, that's no guarantee some don't call anyway.)
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