4.22.2009

The Telemarketer Always Rings

Well, well, well! It was a Red-Letter Day at my house today! A telemarketer hung up on ME! There's a man bites dog story!

My afternoon was filled with phone calls today, which is not usually the case. My lovely bride and I were trying to coordinate supper menu and timing as it's always close on Wednesdays because she arrives home about 20 minutes before we must leave to get to church on time. There was also a call from a friend who wouldn't be at church, but a friend of hers would be and she was sort of new and would my bride greet her and make sure she was put at ease. Another call saying that a man from our church was at the hospital and needed a ride and could we arrange that?

On top of all that, I got a call from a group taking a survey (READ: we have an opinion and we'd like to question you in a way that looks good for us) about highway safety in our state. It turns out they only had ONE question and it was about Missouri repealing the motorcycle helmet law. I said I had no opinion.

Look, I know that helmets reduce fatalities and head trauma and I would wear one and think everyone else ought to take that precaution. But should the state be mandating that for full grown adults who are willing to assume the risk? The intrusion troubles me. I like safety. I also like the freedom to decide for myself. I would choose to wear one. But should I make you wear one against your will?

Anyway, the other call of the afternoon was a recorded voice that announced I had won a Caribbean Vacation! The recording said I should press 9 to claim my prize.

I know what you are thinking. I thought it, too. Don't press 9. It's a scam. There may be a trip, but it sure won't be void of strings or catches or obligations. Don't do it. You are in the middle of cooking supper, you have to leave soon and it's a scam. Don't press 9.

I pressed 9. Temporary insanity is the only thing I can say because I really don't know why I did it.

In a flash some perky person offered me Congratulations (as the recorded voice had done) and she asked my name. I told her and she said, "Mike, when was the last time you had a really great vacation?" My insanity returned.

I hate this stuff and all the telemarketers are doing it. They call you by your name and act all chummy with you. They ask about the weather. Really? The weather? You called me for the weather? Hey, two words: Weather. Channel. Some of them have all this hokey, puffy complimentary stuff in their scripts like: "I know in these tough times that The American Brotherhood of War Veteran Police Sheriffs, Puppy Savers, and Flag Makers can count on a great guy like you, Mike! Am I right?"

C'mon! Don't they know that we know it's a put on and it sounds like it? They don't know me! I don't know them! Quit playing the game.

So, I said to my new friend on the phone, "Look, I'm in the middle of cooking supper right now and I don't have time for chit-chat, OK?" She hung up. My new friend hung up on me. My friend didn't bother to tell me about my trip to the Caribbean.

I know I started this post in a somewhat cheery mood for having had a telemarketer hang up on me. It seems like some sort of victory, anyway. But now that I think of it, she was my new friend and I offended her by . . . well, I'm not sure how. But, still, I've lost a friend.

Fortunately, I have all you great Central Standard readers to be my friends and to read my blog and write complimentary things in 'Comments'! Surely we can count on you to help us as in the past, right? Am I right?

1 comment:

KW said...

I understand your "no comment" on the helmet law... but thought I might point out that a lot of the human vegetables resulting from non-helmet accidents live on taxpayer money because there's no way anything else could pay all the medical bills created by their foolish personal decisions. Mandating helmets does sound like babysitting, but isn't that what the government does anyway? I may be too facetious... what I'm getting at is, I don't see any practical benefit to repealing the law.