I have a bit of a problem with voice mail - I forget to check it! The old answering machine system worked for me because the flashing light said to me "Emergency! You have a message!" I could push a button when I walked in the door and listen to the messages as I unloaded my groceries, hung up my coat, placed my keys in a safe place that I would eventually forget about, etc. Voice mail works differently and not so efficiently for me.
Voice mail on my home phone only alerts me when I pick up the phone. I only pick up the phone when I am answering a call or wish to make one. By the time I have completed my call, I have forgotten about the beeping voice mail notification.
I often go several days before feeling the need to check my voice mail. This was a blessing during the recent general election. Why? Thanks to Caller ID I ignored any number that I did not recognize. My reasoning: if it is important, the caller will call back. I checked my voice mail today on this election day. I had thirteen voice messages! Of those thirteen messages, two were legitimate messages, three were from telephone solicitors, and eight were recorded messages from various campaigns around the state. The phone has been very quiet today!
So ... if you really need to contact me - identify yourself! Or ... you can always call back or send me an email. I apologize, but ignoring my voice mail just kind of works for me.