When my farmer was on a school board the principal rejected the offer to buy an answerphone.
He said dealing with messages would take up too much time.
He didn’t understand that answerphones can save time for both caller and called.
They enable callers to leave a message without the conversational preambles which ensue if someone answers when you ring.
They let the called listen to messages, some of which don’t require a reply, choose to call back those which do at their convenience, or ignore them and wait for the caller to phone back.
It can be frustrating when callers don’t leave their names and numbers clearly at the start and end of a long message so if you miss it you have to listen to the whole thing again.
But that’s still better than missing an important call altogether.
They’re not fool-proof. Pressing delete too quickly or instead of replay or save can mean you miss a message but if it’s really important the caller will usually call back.
And on balance, answerphones have more pluses than minuses and I’m grateful for them.