Please Stop Calling Me.

Some time ago, I wrote this post about how I came home every day to messages on my landline answering machine, most of which weren’t for me.

Now that I work from home, I have the pleasure of hearing the phone ring in real time.  Because I can’t just sit there and let it ring, I always go to check the caller ID.  I find that if I don’t pick up the telemarketing calls, they call repeatedly until I do.  I’m hoping if I answer all the calls, maybe some day they’ll stop.  It’s been 5 months.  They haven’t stopped yet.

I still get the calls for the auto parts store and collection agency courtesy calls for people I don’t know, but they are not the bulk of my calls.

Rick Santorum called me the other day.  I’ve also gotten calls from the Tea Party.  I don’t know if they know I don’t agree with their politics and they’re calling in the hopes they can turn me.  Or, maybe, they know and they’re calling to annoy me (that might be working).  Or someone sold my number to the right-wing out of spite.

I get many, many calls from local agencies wondering if I have any household items or clothing to donate.  Lupus and Big Brother/Big Sister call me twice per month.  It seems like there will always be a truck in my area and that the driver can even give me a tax deductible receipt for my charitable donation.  (Is this supposed to imply that my receipt is tax deductible?)

Yesterday I did ignore a call.  It comes up on my phone as Children’s Cancer.  The first time they called a few months ago, the time I answered, the woman asked if I could make a donation.  I don’t make my donations based on phone calls, I have charities that I support and so I politely declined.  She was insistent that even my small $20 donation could make a difference and I replied that I’d already made my donations for that time period and I was tapped out.  And then she said this to me:

“Don’t you care about children with cancer?”

Holy crap.  Was she kidding me?  That sort of line has to be in some manual of telemarketing don’ts.  With that question, there was no way I was going to make a donation, even if there was some chance she could have changed my mind, which there wasn’t in the first place.  It wasn’t that I don’t care about kids with cancer, it was that I had already made my donations for the period and I was tapped out.  Like I said.

So when Children’s Cancer called me again, I didn’t answer.

We’ve also been getting calls for my husband’s business at home.  I’ve turned down more “merchant services” offers than I care to count pretending to be the owner.  Since they only ask if I’m the owner and don’t name the business or my husband, I just say yes.  I own some things, so, sure, I’m the owner.

Shortly after the Children’s Cancer call, I received one from Private Caller, which I always answer in case it’s a real person trying to find me.  Yesterday it was Kyle, calling to see if my husband wanted to support something with police and kids and an anti-drug program.  I said not now, but thanks.  He assured me that my “small, one-time $50 donation could make a difference and show that our business is against drugs.”  OK, no doubt it would, but no thanks.  And then he said this:

“Surely you can make one small donation of $50 show that your business supports the war on drugs.  You can afford that, right?  Your business IS against kids taking drugs, right?”

I briefly considered saying that the business actually IS for drugs, but decided that probably wasn’t a good idea.  Of course we are against kids taking drugs.  Way to strong arm a gal.  I again politely declined and his last ditch effort was to again tell me that of course we can afford $50.  Oh, can we?  Is he our bookkeeper now?  Awfully presumptuous and rude.  Whether the business can or can’t isn’t the issue.  Here’s a tip- tell me what exactly you’ll do with my donation and maybe you can sway me.

You won’t sway me, but at least that is an effort I’ll respect.

I wish the phone would stop ringing.  I wish everyone would stop calling me.  I wish I could just learn to ignore the phone.

Hooking up with my buddies at the moonshine grid this weekend.  Come check us out!

26 Responses to “Please Stop Calling Me.”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I was going to call you but have to rethink that mOve.

  2. Stacie says:

    I don’t answer calls that I don’t recognize. Caller ID is my best friend. Especially since those people NEVER leave messages. You might want to revert back to that strategy. These people are so obnoxious. I’m like you. I give to charities of my choosing – the phone and door to door ones just piss me off.

    • You may be right. But the curiosity always gets to me. And I can’t stand the sound of the ringing and if turn off the ringer then I might miss something when I forget to turn it back on (and I will forget!) and I think I’m really making a mountain out of a molehill over there.

  3. Shmoo Radley says:

    The answer to every question, including “Hello, how are you today?” is “Please put me on your ‘Do Not Call’ list.” You can also say, “Every time you call and disturb me at home, I am less likely to donate to your cause.”

  4. That is the rudest thing I’ve ever heard. I would have the same reaction as you – a strong arm tactic pushes me away.

  5. cynk says:

    We no longer have a landline, so telemarketing calls are now an anomaly instead of an every day occurrence. I hope the “put me on the do not call list” tactic works for you.

  6. Zoe Byrd says:

    I too have caller ID but I have a phone that will talk and say what the ID says so I don’t have to stop what Im doing to go see who it is… its great…

  7. I’m so mad at the manipulation. That’s such bulkshit. Who is in favor of childhood cancer?

  8. Vanessa D says:

    My current house phone has a feature on it that lets me add numbers to a blocked list. If it’s a number on the list calling it will ring once and then the phone disconnects it.

    • That is a cool feature. I keep saying I’ll make a list or something to see if the calls are all coming from the same place but then I forget. It would be a good way to get rid of some repeat offenders though!

  9. Kristin says:

    Grrr. frustrated for you. But mostly, I am curious about your new job/business from home. Clearly, I missed some blog posts over the summer. Do you mind filling me in?!?

    • Hi! I took a new job in April and I work from home almost all the time. Originally I thought I’d be in the office more – maybe once a week – but I am in maybe twice a month now. It’s great to not have to commute and to be close for school pick up/drop off. I couldn’t ask for a better arrangement. Thanks for asking!

  10. Kristin says:

    We get calls for a Pathmark. Do you have any idea how many people call Pathmark? Well, neither do it, but I do know that at least two people a week misdial Pathmark and get my house.

    Long story short: I feel your pain!

    • That is super annoying. For us it’s a tire store that used to have our number. I know this because I googled our number and I found so many generic yellow pages type websites where it is listed there. So if you’re looking for tires in my town, you can find me. I called the company and they can’t really do anything about it because it’s not their site with the error. I’ve marked a few sites as errors, but I don’t have time to report them all.

      Are they misdialing or did you get an old Pathmark’s number?

  11. Marcy says:

    I rarely answer my phone for this reason, although I sometimes just give a quick “Please put me on your do not call list” first. My kids are in the habit of saying on the machine, “Mom, pick up… pick up…”

    Some of those comments from the charities were so rude! They are not helping their cause.

  12. Robbie K says:

    So glad we no longer have a landline.

  13. Yikes, after this I’m really glad we opted to not get a land line when we moved.

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