For being on the Do Not Call list, it's incredible how they Do.
They've got their loopholes worked out to the loopholiest. So politicians can reach out and touch you...
And not-for-profits can give you a ringy-ding...
And places you only ever once bought something from six years ago can play catch-up...
Not to mention, anyone doing a survey.
"Hi, I'm from the Bielsen Ratings in BigRedTree, California? And we want to know what are the last 27 movies you've watched, in alphabetical order..."
"I don't remember what I had for lunch today. I'm sorry. I have to go."
"Hi, I'm from Gargleblatt University and we're doing a survey and want your opinions."
Swallowing a bite of the dinner that was interrupted, I'm usually full of opinions. But probably not about the topics they'd like.
"Hi, this is a courtesy call from Bomflast about your cable. Did you know that if you combine your cable with your internet, telephone, water bill, gas bill, electricity and the tip you'd normally pay your garbage man at Christmas time--- you could get one big-giant-mondo bill from us instead? Making accepting all your hard-earned cash so much easier on our accounting department?"
"Was this that information you mailed me yesterday? And also the three messages you left on my answering machine? Oh, and also the people who stopped by personally at my door at 8pm last night?"
"Okay, probably not interested. Thank you."
Worse is, I am becoming Not Nice about it. I mean, I usually try to treat people in these sorts of jobs with respect. After all, they're only trying to make a buck. They don't make the rules.
But I went all Hulk on a student from my alma mater last night who was just trying to get donations. Normally, I'd politely chitchat and then say I'm not interested.
But this was the second call I'd gotten that evening in a string of such calls over the week. And I'm afraid my patience was worn to "Hulk Smash" before I picked up the receiver.
She began with talking to someone else in the background, until she was sure she wasn't wasting her valuable time on dialing me. And then broke into-- "Hi!! Mr. Thorson! Er, Mrs.... Mrs. Thorson.--"
I contemplated identifying myself as the whole hoard of them, just so she'd get to the point. "Ms."
"Mrs. Thorson," she persisted, "How are you doing today?"
She waited for me to tell her how I was doing.
I waited for her to identify herself.
But she was still concerned about my welfare and wasn't about to move on because the script said, "Caller says they are fine."
I didn't. I waited some more.
She waited some more.
"What do you want?" I finally growled.
This threw off her whole spiel. I am probably now marked down in the fundraising annals of my alma mater as the meanest alumna ever.
The kind of person who'd kick the school mascot and egg passing freshman.
The conversation ended with me telling her I didn't want any, and her backing slowly away without a fight, because... well, she had to wipe the egg off before it dried, and attend to the mascot's bruised paw.
Now I know, I don't actually have to answer the phone.
But the thing is:
- Sometimes people I actually need to talk to call, and
- If the telemarketers do not get you for their courtesy calls, they will courteously call you every half hour for several hours each evening until they do
Until your eyes go red... Your skin turns green.... And eventually, you're back at "Hulk Smash" from the sheer courteousness of it all.