When Your Phone Don’t Ring, It’ll Be Me

What do you do when you get telemarketing calls?

The reason I ask is because I’ve been getting them more and more, and often with my daughter around. I’ll tell you what I do: I hang up. As soon as it becomes clear that this call is coming from a business with whom I have no business, I just hit the red button.

It’s like the George Jones song, “When Your Phone Don’t Ring, It’ll Be Me”.

Only, my version goes, “When I Hang Up, It’ll Be Me”

She asked me why I’m hanging up on people. It’s a good question, given that we want our kids to learn manners.

In fact, hanging up quietly is the politest thing I can do. 

Some of these are repeat offenders. Like the company trying to sell me a warranty on a car I haven’t owned in years. Or the repeated pitches for political donations. I can’t be on a list because I’ve never made one.

Unless that itself IS a list. 

I wonder if I made a donation to the Communist Party of the USA, would the capitalists stop calling?

Some of the callers I’m hanging up on will never know. They’re recordings. Have you had the one yet where the “caller” asks introduces himself and then earnestly asks,  “Can you hear me alright?”? I’m thinking, how do they know my hearing is going? Or is that just a good demographic assumption?

Believe me, I’ve tried the no-call registries. The call frequency has gone up.

I have tried the “please take me off your list” pitch to the caller. Half the time, they argue. The other half, they lie. What is this, Congress?

Admittedly, the whole industry fascinates me. Telemarketing must work, right, or else how could they keep doing it? But who the hell buys home security systems, car warranties, tool sets, solar panels and sundry insurance policies over the phone?! 

That’s like buying them at roadside stands. Or maybe you’re doing that too?

I explain to my kiddo that I’m not mad at the people calling, but what they’re doing is unwelcome and wrong, especially after you’ve expressly requested to not get the calls. (That car warranty call will follow me to my grave, and it’s only ever for one of the many cars I’ve driven in my lifetime). I tell her that my disconnecting simply means they can move on to the next sucker—er, customer—on their list.

What I don’t tell her is my silence is my most polite response, or as our moms used to say, “If you can’t say something nice…”



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