"Hi, you've reached Co-um, Ron Zook. I can't take your call right now, but leave your name and number and I'll get back to you soon."
That was attempt 38 to record a voicemail greeting, and, though it wasn't perfect, it was still a vast improvement over attempt 5 ("COACH ZOOK HERE, ENJOYING SOME RED BARON PIZZA, THE OFFICIAL PIZZA OF THE FLORIDA GATORS"), attempt 12 (a series of offensive signals barked at random), and attempt 26 ("This is Ron, currently in the dead period of life's recruiting season.")
Attempt 39 was another bust. Sure, Ron had seen his share of adversity in life - you don't get fired from two head coaching jobs on accident - but this was different. He felt so out of his element at Gateway Bank, and he'd told them as much when they'd first offered him the position.
"I'm not even sure what a Business Development Officer is."
"Well, you know how banks get customers, right?"
But Ron didn't. He'd always been afraid of financial institutions, finding it far safer and easier to create his own system. Every pay day, from his first job delivering papers, Ron had asked for his wages in cash, headed down to the drugstore, and purchased as many Starburst as he could. They were his currency, and each flavor had a value. A red, for instance, was worth 16 yellows (except, of course, for the Yellow Spike of 1994), whereas an orange was only worth .35 pinks.
They'd hired him all the same, insisting he'd be "a good face to get out there." So why did he need a voicemail greeting in the first place?
"You have reached Ron Zook, Bubble Screen Developm-"
And so it was on to attempt 41.