Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The telephone seems to just ring and ring.

We’re getting some fairly nice weather this week. Oh, sure, there are possible showers in the forecast, but if any show up, they’ll probably be very few and very far between.

My trip to the dentist yesterday was exactly as I had expected. She’s a super person who really cares for the comfort of her patients. She knows of my childhood history with dentists (see yesterday’s post directly below this one) so both she and her assistant watch my reactions carefully to be sure everything is O.K. It always is. When I left, my tooth had been fixed. Now, when the Novocain wore off, those couple places where the needle went in told me a story. But that’s behind me.

When I got home, the telephone was ringing. I’m beginning to absolutely hate hearing that ringing telephone. It rang all day yesterday. I got absolutely no calls of substance; they all were what I’d call junk calls, you know, sort of like the junk e-mail. Unfortunately, the majority of them, actually probably all of them, were computer generated. I did get a chance of two or three chances to talk with a real person.

Yes, I know. And I do have caller I.D. The calls could get screened and I could only answer any that were known. I could let the phone just ring until the computer decided to try someone else, but that would drive me buggy, too. So I dutifully answer the phone. More than half the calls were empty. At least nothing happened, no beep, no hang up, no person beginning to speak, no recording beginning to spew its message, nothing, on those calls. I politely say, “Hello,” wait two seconds for a response, then count to five and say, “Goodbye” and hang up.

Quite frequently when a recorded voice begins, I simply hang up. If there’s a real person on the other end, I attempt to ascertain the sponsoring group or candidate. I then tell the person to be sure that group or candidate gets my message. “Because you have interrupted the privacy and sanctity of my home, under no circumstances will I support you.” I’m pretending the obvious problem with this attitude simply doesn’t exist.

Starting now, I might consider suffering through the calls and hope I can figure out the sponsor. Some, and I think all are supposed to, identify the sponsor. I’m going to start e-mailing them to let them know they will not have my support.

Since I now consider it extremely rude for total strangers to call me and interrupt the peace of my home to ask me questions that are none of their business, I no longer will be civil, either. I might say very unkind things to the callers or I may simply hang up on them. I know they are just, for the most part, paid workers trying to make a living. But it’s a living they’ve chosen to make and so, as far as I’m concerned, they’ve driven me into the “You called. Live with what you get.” attitude.

Yesterday I was rudely interrupted by at least a half dozen non-calls. I participated in a short survey about my voting preferences in the First District, the Senate, President, and beverage tax. I think I was a little rude to a caller from out of state who was having difficulty with English. I asked her why she wanted to know and all she did was repeat, I think, what she had said before. I disconnected.

I did get my annual call from the University seeking a monetary gift. I had a nice chat with a young man about the football team and the avowed pledge from an LSU lineman that they would “take out” Heisman winning quarterback Tim Tebow.

I will make a couple exceptions to my new “dump ‘em rudely” rule. If I get calls from the new coalition to save the beverage tax, I’ll attempt a dialogue to challenge their statements and give them the truth. I’d also ask anyone from a Democrat campaign to justify any statements since about all I’ve seen in advertisements from that campaign are basically untruths. I might also attempt a dialogue with proponents of the Oxford County casino question on why we should support a flawed law.

We’ve still got close to a month to go before the elections, but those darn phone calls are driving me into rebellion.


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