Alas, there is little we can do about the unwanted calls we get that want to convince us that we have won a cruise, must pay our taxes (even though they have already been paid), need a hearing aid or suffer from back pain.
The reason such calls really infuriate me is that we all have times that we can’t risk not answering the phone. Perhaps you have a loved one that is hospitalized or in a care facility, you don’t want to risk not taking that call. Likewise we don’t want to miss a call telling us that person of significance has been in an accident or is in urgent need of our assistance. When my mother was in a nursing home and with Hospice the wonderful workers would at times call me from their personal phones in order to get information to me in the most timely manner possible.
I realize that the person at the other end of the line may be trying to earn an honest living. There is a small chance that s/he is not a con artist and for that reason I am not rude. Not being rude doesn’t mean however that I can’t do everything in my kind and polite ways to land myself on their do not call list.
I first did this about 30 years ago when we all had a landline and caller ID was a thing of the future. The phone rang, during dinner as per usual.
Hello this is Sebastian and I am calling to tell you that you are already approved for a Mastercard.
Wow, that is good news!
Great, so you are interested. I just need to get a little more information.
Sebastian, that is the best news I have had in weeks.
Let’s get started, I have your name as…
Sebastian, I am sorry to interrupt, it’s just that I am so happy. You see, my husband and I have fallen upon some hard times. It seems he lost his job at the Piggly Wiggly and I am off on maternity leave with our fifth little bundle of joy. They repossessed out only car two days ago and we are in a real pickle. How quickly can you send this Mastercard?
Hello?…..Sebastian?…..Are you there?…..He hung up.
Fast forward to present day when these calls come at all hours. If you don’t answer they just call back in a few hours or if you block the number they simply use a different one. It can be quite frustrating. My solution (since at the present time I am not anticipating any urgent calls) is to have fun with it.
Today I got a call from Marco who informed me we were talking on a recorded line. I inhaled sharply and in a panicked voice informed Marco that I had not given him permission to record me and that he needed to destroy the recording immediately and send me any and all copies of the transcript. Marco hung up without a word.
Yesterday it was Grace that called telling me that according to their records either I or someone else in my house had recently inquired about hearing aids. I put on my sweetest voice and told Grace that she was correct. Why just the other day Bella completely ignored me even though I was shouting her name and I felt certain that she needed to have her hearing checked by a professional. I told her that Bella was so intent on chasing the neighbors cat our of our yard that her hearing had evidently temporarily shut down. Grace hung up. Bella is, of course, my Labradoodle.
Perhap the next time I get the call about hearing aids I can respond by saying things like, “Huh?” or “Can you speak up?”
Last week Juan called and asked to speak with Suzane (pronounced Soo-Zane with a long a). I politely asked if he meant Suzanne. He again mispronounced my name and said it again with a long a. I patiently instructed him, “Juan, it is pronounced Suzanne.” Juan was starting to sound a bit snippy and tried again this time calling me Susan.
“Juan,” I consoled, “Let’s take just a minute or two and I am sure you will get it correct, it is pronounced….Juan?….Hello?….
I have a few more in my arsenal that have yet to be used but should be good for a laugh or three. Maybe the next time I get the call telling me that I have won a cruise I will whisper in my most sultry voice and ask the caller to tell me what they are wearing.
When they call and demand immediate money in order for me to avoid being imprisoned I think I will take on my best childlike voice and ask, “Is that you Daddy?, I knew someday you would find me!”
Another good one would be, “I am really busy at the moment but if you give me your personal number I can text you some pictures, I bet you would like that now wouldn’t you?”
You get the idea! If we can’t stop them from calling us we can at least make it entertaining!
What is your favorite way to handle unwanted calls? Let’s get creative and share the joy!