Monday, March 20, 2006

"Answering Machine? What's That?"

In the past couple of years I've noticed an irritating thing with my phone.  If I'm busy working at home, I don't answer it - leaving the answering machine to take messages... which it could very easily do, but more and more people are hanging up as soon as they get the answering machine, and - worse - some of them call back every 30 seconds for a burst of five or six calls, hanging up each time without leaving a message, saying their name, or even saying "Ah..." "Ugghh..." or "Yabba-dabba-do!".  Not leaving a message doesn't bother me too much, but the barrage of calls from single callers trying to bully me into picking up the phone is really irritating and nearly feels like harassment, especially when they repeat the barrage every 30 minutes or so.  Sometimes I have to set the phone to sleep mode so I can get some work done (in which case the phone can still take messages, but doesn't audibly ring).

It's all due to cell phones I suppose.  People are now so used to getting in touch with anyone almost immediately that the idea of leaving a message on an answering machine never seems to occur to them.  In the situation of calling a cell phone and getting someone's voice messaging service (when their phone is off), then hanging up doesn't disturb anyone.  So, no problem there, but the people calling my regular phone should at least say their name and they shouldn't call so bloody often in a short period of time.  Yeah, I know.  I should just tell them, and I have told one person, but what can I say to the rest?  Maybe this:

"You know, your barrage of hang-up calls every 30 seconds is really irritating!  Would mind not doing that?  Why don't I answer the phone?  Because I'm busy you dolt!  If you would leave a bloody %$#%#%# message, then I could call you back when I wasn't busy!  Is that too hard for you to comprehend!?"

At which point I would either succeed in ending both the friendship and the calls or create an enemy who called even more often to "get even" for my "rude" (honest) words.

Why don't I make use of caller ID?  I do with my cell phone (when it's switched on) but my answering/fax machine is an old one that doesn't display numbers.  Why don't I get a new one?  Why should I?  That wouldn't solve the hang-up call barrages - it would more precisely identify exactly who was being a rude idiot though.

Okay.  Rant over.

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

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