Wednesday, September 26, 2007

To You-Know-Who-You-Are Surveys, LLC

Get a clue, okay?

If you call someone's home phone number a half-dozen times over the course of a week, sometimes during the day, sometimes at night, and you never, never get an answer, which of the following possibilities do you think is the most likely scenario:

a. Nobody's ever home at this number, but the people who pay for this phone would really, really like to participate in your survey and would feel terrible if you didn't keep calling back until you finally reached them; or

b. The people who pay for this phone have Caller ID and have no intention of talking to you, no matter how many times you call back; or

c. There's a remote chance that one of the people in the household you're calling might be sitting right next to the only phone in the house that doesn't have Caller ID and might be expecting a call and might reach out and answer the phone without screening it first.

Crap. The correct answer was "b," but you picked "c," didn't you?


  1. Oh Velvet, I hate those callers too. I usually just hang up figuring they were being rude to me by interrupting me so I don't owe them a goodbye.

    One of my favorite reactions to the annoying callers was when my mom had the flu. She answered the phone sounding like Death. She listened patiently to their spiel and when they tried to close the deal responded, "Hon, if I had any money, I'd buy me some medicine!" They wished her well and quickly hung up.

  2. My mom gets stuck answering our phone, we don't have caller ID either. She doesn't mind most of the time; she says it gives her exercise getting out of her chair and walking to the other room to answer the phone.

    Not too long ago, for some reason, Spot would start howling when the phone rang and sometimes kept howling after she'd answered it. Usually she shushes him but if it's a telemarketer, she will let him keep howling. She says it unnerves some of them. Unfortunately, sometimes he howls and sometimes he doesn't, but if I give him a prompt, he'll start. It's really funny.

  3. Holly, I usually catch them off guard by telling them, "I'm sorry to be rude, but you've caught me at a really inconvenient time and this is not something I'm interested in." Mostly they'll apologize and talk faster to get out a toll-free number in case I change my mind, then we both hang up knowing it could have been worse. If they persist, my tone changes, and I say, "I just explained that I don't want to talk about this, and I'm hanging up now. Good-bye."

    Janet, it's funny that Spot howls when the phone rings. My dogs don't seem to pay attention to the ringing as long as I move to answer it, but if I let it ring, Butch gets agitated and starts to whine.

    Oddly, both dogs are tuned in to when I *end* a phone call. When I hang up, they both get up and come toward me as if to say, "Okay, that's done, what are you gonna do for me now."

  4. When Mom has been on the phone a while, talking to a friend or relative and she says "bye bye", Spot will start barking before she hangs up, he runs up to her, tail wagging and still barking. It's like he's saying "it's about time you stopped being selfish and paid attention to me!".

    When Spot first started howling when the phone rang, it was a time when I'd gone out and left him with Mom, and he'd never howled when the phone rang before, so she was afraid the phone call was bad news about me. Obviously it wasn't, but it still creeps her out when I'm gone, the phone rings and he howls.

  5. There's a scathing tone here, Velvet, and I'll bet everyone who reads this feels pretty much the same way you do. No one likes to have their privacy interrupted by strangers wanting something that's of no particular interest to the listener!


    There's a national "do not call" registry & that's the address where you can put your phone number on it. Be done with the telemarketers!


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