Don’t answer

Thinking it might be the person I’d just spoken to, I made the mistake of answering the phone. No Caller ID here and while the supposed National Do Not Call list initially worked for awhile, it stopped being helpful years ago when the phone peddlers realized there’d be no repercussions.

Me: Hello?

(Nothing)

I was about to hang up when I thought I heard something.

Me: Hello?

Girl: You are so hard to reach!! And I have short arms!

Me: [         ] Not recognizing the voice and thinking who the hell this is saying stupid things in such an overly familiar way.

Girl: This is Anna with the Children’s Fund…

Then I reached through the phone and cracked Anna across the head. That felt good so I beat her with the receiver. She stopped making bad jokes and trying to trick me into thinking I knew her.

 

 

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19 thoughts on “Don’t answer

  1. edgar62

    Yes – a lot of the time the “Do Not Call” rules do not work. I sometimes go all pretend American “Well, thank you for calling. Yáll have a nice day now, Y’hear” Then hang up. Sometimes I am very polite. “Why hello Joan, Lovely to hear from you. Glad you are so well. Please call again sometime. Goodbye “Then hang up. If there is no caller ID we sometimes just let it ring and go to voice mail – then they hang up. But telemarketers are not my favourite people!!!

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Oh, I like your replies! At least having a little fun with it. Maybe I should try a British accent or just say something bizarre like “Polly wants a cracker” over and over…

      The telemarketers feel like the terminator. They will not stop till I’m dead.

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  2. Maggie Wilson

    I hate getting suckered in like that. I used to listen politely to the entire spiel and then say no thank you.

    These days, as soon as I realize who is on the other end, I just say “Not interested. Goodbye.” and I may or may not slam down the phone, Though phone slamming is, as in your story, a figment of our imaginations with telephones being designed the way they are.

    I still harbor the tiniest bit of remorse though, for when I’m abrupt, since telemarketers are only trying to make a living. But then I tell myself, they are intruding. If they want to intrude, that’s their business. Protecting my space is my business.

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      I understand – I don’t ever remember just hanging up before this time. It feels so rude and goes against my craw. But I tell myself there are other jobs people can get and especially now when they are breaking the supposed law, I feel less bad. I’ve toughened up from SO SO many years of being/feeling constantly hounded by strangers for money. Your phrase is good Maggie and I may take it. I used to make a little speech, “Please put us on your ‘Do not Call’ list” which was supposed to be the magic words but I was wasting my time.

      Your conclusion is absolutely right – who are these people to us anyway? They will only exploit any kindness/politeness you show.

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Oh me too! But I slipped this once! Also- I am thinking about trying an experiment – picking up the phone and saying nothing. I did it twice already (someone is calling incessantly). I believe the calls are auto generated and only the sound of a voice sends it to an operator because nothing happened, there was just silence. I figure if it’s a regular person calling they will start talking, “are you there?” and so on. However, this takes stealy nerves and I feel a bit weird doing it.

      You’re smart. Got any other ideas? I’m losing it here.

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      1. battlewagon13

        Well I WILL say that caller ID is a wonderful thing. We get it for free with our cable package so it even tells you who is calling with a small pop-up on the tv screen. Basically it’s the perfect weapon for the terminally introverted and lazy. I.e. Me.

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  3. Peg Stueber-Temp and Tea

    I usually let it go to voice mail if the number doesn’t pop up with an actual name (meaning…they’re in my list of contacts). Occasionally, I’ll get repeats. If they repeat call with enough frequency to annoy – I’ll answer.

    They usually regret it, as by this time, I’m irritated to the point that whoever is on the other end of the line is gonna get an earful.

    Don’t make me angry…I get all green, muscle-y & growly – minus the green & muscle-y part.

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Oh I hear ya! Exactly right, my nerves are usually fried by the point I answer. HOWEVER… I hesitate to go off because it’s not my style (I’m more logical which I know is wasted in these instances but it’s my go-to) AND they have my number, probably my address, etc. They may just say to themselves, “Bitch thinks we’re calling a lot. We’ll show her what calling a lot really looks like…”

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      1. Peg Stueber-Temp and Tea

        Usually – I focus on the bitch part. They think I’m a bitch?…I’ll show ’em what a bitch REALLY is…

        I had this guy call me one time, trying to sell lawn care or windows or some such unnecessary crap like that. I said “No, thank you,” and hung up before he could get more than 10 seconds into his spiel.

        He called me back.

        I let the answering machine take it, to which he started with “I think that was very rude of you to do…” and started in on his spiel again.

        I picked up the phone, and tore him a new one for a good 5 minutes.

        Never heard from that company again…

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        1. writerinsoul Post author

          Haha! See now, Peg, I never think the person on the other end would actually listen to me let alone for 5 minutes. Oh how my blood would boil if somebody called back like he did to give you a “talking-to”. That’s outrageous!

          The main thing I have learned (in life) is don’t defend and don’t explain with these people whether they accost me on the phone or in person somewhere.

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Thanks Ron – I know people will say they are “just doing their job” but it’s not the only job available plus I expect being obnoxious is an individual specialty.

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