I dubbed a local city council member, and also the assistant’s voice message said, “I am sorry I cannot take your contact. Please leave a message and also I will certainly speak to you back at my earliest convenience.”

The usual formula is, “Please acquire earlier to me at your earliest convenience.” I’d never heard it turned on its head before.

You are watching: Please call me back at your earliest convenience

Apparently the distorted version is acquiring some popularity on organization answering machines; a web browser search lugged up numerous company sites on which bloggers and commenters question the consumption.

No doubt the civilization recording message via this phrasing think it sounds polite. It doesn’t. Changing “your convenience” to “my convenience” transforms courtesy into arrogance.

“Your convenience” conveys the thought that that the originator of the message desires to hear from the various other perchild as soon as that perboy is able to spare the moment.

“My convenience” says, “I’ll obtain back to you once I’m great and also prepared.”

The idiom “as quickly as possible” is one more one that needs to be handled with care. I don’t recognize if it’s simply my reaction, however to me, composing out the words “as soon as possible” seems even more polite than making use of the common acronym/initialism ASAP.

Note: Some people pronunce ASAP as a word, however others name the letters one by one.


Fred,I need the revised magazine as soon as feasible.

Fred,I need the revised brochure, ASAP!

Little things, perhaps, yet many bit points regarded as disrespectful include up in the time of a day’s work-related.

If you have actually among the “my earliest convenience” messages on your office answering machine, you might take into consideration revising it. How about, “I’ll rerevolve your speak to as quickly as feasible.”

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16 Responses to “At Whose Earliest Convenience?”

Tracie Marquardton December 13, 2013 10:23 am

I agree on both points. Turning the expression around to “at my convenience” does come off as arrogant. And using ASAP is akin to an order, which doesn’t go over very well when you are asking someone to perform somepoint for you. Letting someone know the affect of not doing it currently is a great alternate to insisting on activity with those four capitalized letters.

Sarathon December 13, 2013 10:31 am

Ha! Correct. I share your feelings around ASAP and have always composed it out. Anyway, nice to understand that delicacy is not dead.


Jon December 13, 2013 10:51 am

Thank you for posting this!!! I’ve always thought that human being didn’t realize they were being rude by distorting this phrase.

Nicoleon December 13, 2013 11:04 am

I agree with”ASAP” sounding even more aggressive than”as shortly as possible,” and I think I recognize why. ASAP both looks and also, when pronounced as a word rather than spelled out, sounds a lot like”snap.” This, I think, in turn carries a connotation of either a finger snap (in itself, a symbol of impatience) or the phrase”snap to it!” In other words, the speaker or writer desires it yesterday, your own schedule or priorities be damned.

Just my 2 cents.

Dannyon December 13, 2013 12:01 pm

“… at your earliest convenience …” “… as quickly as feasible …”These both offer me pause as soon as I’m writing. In both situations, I feel as though I am presuming to prioritize MY repursuit for the recipient of the message. I take treatment to say “as soon as possible” just as soon as the matter is truly, and also objectively, immediate — crucial, also. “At your earliest convenience” is a bit softer, but the usage of “earliest” appears to overusage that sense of urgency.

My basic wanted phrase is sindicate, “once you can” or “as soon as it is convenient.” It seems these formulaic transforms of expression creep into prevalent usage and lose their original and also actual feeling.

People: ssuggest say what you suppose, and intend what you say!

Yvetteon December 13, 2013 12:41 pm

If you look at the whole communication, in my opinion, it makes sense to say “at my earliest convenience.” If I contact a company and I am routed to a voice mail, I would analyze that as the associate is company or unavailable. Tell me in there message that they will certainly return my speak to at their earliest convenience assures me that as shortly as they are easily accessible, they will call me. I perform not check out that as arrogance. I watch it as fact that they might be unobtainable at the moment of my contact.

How deserve to they call me at my earliest convenience? How will certainly they know when I am available? I understand the usage in written form in certain instances, however I do not understand it on a voice mail message.

Julieon December 13, 2013 1:47 pm

I agree through Danny.

I especially avoid the phrase “as shortly as possible” for voicemail bereason it ssuggest isn’t true 99% of the time. Tbelow is/are usually one/multiple little bit work we frequently execute before we reply to someone’s message. We’re not really getting ago to them as soon as POSSIBLE, nor have to we feel that kind of pressure unless it were an emergency.

I say, “please leave your name and also the best time to contact you, and I will certainly carry out my best to obtain ago to you at the time you repursuit,” through the just annoyance that I can’t figure out a way to not say “best” two times in the greeting.

venqaxon December 13, 2013 10:00 pm

People: simply say what you suppose, and also suppose what you say!

So…what’re you gaining at, exactly?

Dale A. Woodon December 14, 2013 11:23 am

To proinsurance claim “I’ll contact back at my earliest convenience” is the elevation of arrogance.In contrast, “I’ll speak to back at my initially opportunity” sounds a lot even more polite to me.Why is is that nobody else has carried up the word “opportunity”?

If the fire chief states, “I’ll contact ago at my first chance,” then I presume that he has actually fires to put out in the meantime….

If a colonel or a major tells a lieutenant or an enauthorize, “Do this ASAP and also PDQ,” then the premium officer has actually the authority to execute so, and also we cannot argue through that. In case you don’t know, PDQ = “Pretty Damn Quick”.D.A.W.

Seanon December 16, 2013 2:17 pm

I’m with Yvette. This post doesn’t make sense. If the voice mail message said, “I am sorry I cannot take your contact. Please leave a message and I will certainly speak to you earlier at your earliest convenience,” that wouldn’t actually be feasible. The perboy listening to the voice mail message wouldn’t have any type of means of discovering as soon as it would be convenient for the caller. They just know their very own availcapability. Yes, they might have used a different expression (e.g., as quickly as feasible, as quickly as I have the right to, at my initially opportunity), but in no way is this expression “turned on its head.”

I believe the general principle is one that the perchild that next is meant to connect must communicate at his convenience. If someone wrote a message to someone else, the message could say something prefer, “Please call me at your earliest convenience,” the expectation being that that recipient of the letter communicates next. But if a voice mail is being left, the heard greeting tacitly recognizes that the following perkid to connect is the perkid that videotaped the voice mail greeting itself. Therefore, it’s correct for the greeting to say that “I will contact you at my earliest convenience.” No arrogance below in either direction. It’s simply a question of who’s doing the following communication.

Laurion February 21, 2014 11:55 pm

Yvette and also Sean, you really simply don’t obtain it. When using the expression “…at your earliest convenience” the speaker is requesting an answer from the listener/reader, i.e., “Please carry out this as soon as you get a moment that works for you.” Using the same concept, yet reversing it to “…at my earliest convenience” is a misuse of the phrasing and also is mainly interpreted to expect “I’ll respond as soon as I damn well feel favor it” and/or “When I have nopoint else to carry out that has a reduced priority.”

Sampsonon April 11, 2014 5:50 pm

I am one of those who has “at my earliest convenience” in my voicemail and also I watch no difficulty with doing so. People who object to this expression conveniently gloss over the word “earliest” as soon as deciding just how to interpret the phrase. It doesn’t mean “once I damn well please.”

Terrell Sullivanon June 17, 2014 6:55 pm

To those of you that don’t obtain it, “I will certainly get earlier to you at my earliest convenience” as a voice mail message MEANS that you will carry out it as soon as you choose. The correct rotate of the phrase is once a caller states “acquire ago to me at YOUR earliest convenience.” The 2 phrases are totally oppowebsite and only the last is correct. The human being who use it erroneously have actually obviously heard it from someone through a remarkable intellect or terminal in life and are trying to emulate their betters. “It is better to remain silent and also be assumed of as a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt!” These “convenient” people are probably the very same ones that say “supposably” once the intend “supposedly”.

Brad Tittleon December 23, 2014 6:46 pm

I assume that the perchild utilizing this in the message suggests it as “as soon as I can”. All the people who have actually done it are not the arrogant kinds. I hesitate also to mention it. The difficulty though is how the message is viewed by others. We can all neglect stupidities favor these. We all perform for the a lot of part.

It won’t offfinish the majority of human being, however it will certainly offend some. A lot of civilization will be stuck in in between. It niggled me. A petty annoyance to neglect, however at the exact same time you are torn between helping the perkid out of niggling other human being and also appearing persnickety AND not helping them out and also enabling them to continue to look like an ass.

Little points like this include up and also haunt you without you discovering it. People make little bit up checks and down checks based on little bit stuff choose this. Sometimes those little bit points outweigh everything else you carry out.

Which action on my part is the assholic? Indeveloping the offender or not increating them?

Johnon June 22, 2016 8:17 pm

Terrell Sullivan: “The people who usage it incorrectly have actually obviously heard it from someone via a remarkable intellect or terminal in life and are trying to emulate their betters.”

Now THAT my friends, is the height of arrogance.

Michelleon November 04, 2016 7:31 pm

Ha, I know this article is old, but I came throughout it after being put off by hearing yet one more outgoing voice mail saying just this extremely thing, and also googling somepoint like, “What’s up through at my earliest convenience voice mail”. I ended up calling back hours later on to take care of my business, by the means, because I did not hear ago from this perchild.

The perboy with this as their outgoing message is not necessarily arrogant. The reason the message sounds arrogant, the trouble through it, lies not in the use of the word “earliest”: One require not at all “conveniently gloss over” the word “earliest” to be irritated by the message.

The concept that someone at job-related will rerevolve a business-related call as soon as it is convenient for them to do so is the trouble. For many of us–and also as likely is the situation for the world who document that as their outgoing voice mail message–job-related and convenience don’t have to a lot execute with one another. So the principle that someone would wait till it is “convenient” to execute their job is the concern. Even though it is most likely not the instance, it sounds choose they don’t treatment.

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I prefer the idea of an above commenter–the use of the word “opportunity” communicates the have to prioritize at job-related, while doing not have the baggage of “convenience”.