This might be considered a public service. When someone calls me at home, I simply say, “I don’t give money to people that bother me by calling me at home. I’m sorry. Goodbye.” If you want money from me, don’t call me…And don’t come to my door either. The same rule applies. When someone calls to sell me something, I’m less polite than that. Normally, I just hang up the phone and add the calling number to my “blocked list.” Rude? Perhaps but is it less rude to hang up on an unwanted call than to make a sales call to a person who has enrolled in the “do not call” list? To those that call from “Microsoft” telling me that they’ve noticed that I have malware traffic on my computer…I’m even ruder! If I knew how to say “Fuck you, you’re a liar” in Hindi I’d say it but I have to register my displeasure in good ol’ English. Technology is wonderful and I’m on board with most of it. At one time the phone was the pinnacle of technology in the home. When I was a kid we had one on the wall in the kitchen and it had a very long coiled cord. My parents splurged on a “private” as opposed to “party” line so that when the phone rang it was supposed to be for us. However, we lived in base housing on the grounds of the Air Force Academy and our number was GreenWood 2-1006 which was one number off from the number for the kitchen at the Officer’s Club. You can imagine the phone calls we got:
Caller: “Is this the kitchen?”
Me: “Why, yes it is! How did you know?”
Remember, I was probably six when all this was happening.
After a very short exchange the caller would realize their mistake and apologize before hanging up. Now I’m wondering, why would anyone call the kitchen at an officer’s club? That’s probably not that important.
The phones were all “dial” phones back then. You put your finger in the number then dialed in a clockwise direction until you reached the end. Then you’d release the dial and it would spring back to its original location and wait for the next number to be entered. Also important was that no one owned their phones. They were all leased from the phone company and everyone had an electromagnetic ringer that would shake the wall. There were some that had a lever to quiet them somewhat but there was no ignoring a phone call. It was loud and intrusive and made you stop whatever you were doing to shut that son-of-a-bitch up. Very few people could sit idly by and let the ringer go 6 or 7 times. I still can’t. If the phone rings, there is something in me that makes me answer it no matter what I’m doing. Now you know why it ires me so to get phone calls from people begging for money. Every call is an interruption of my life. So use my line, if you’d like and when people realize that the phone is less effective than other methods, they’ll stop calling!