Know What Bugs Me? Telemarketers

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How do telemarketers know to call at 5:30 on the dot? And why aren't they having dinner then too?

Sometimes before I think, I answer the phone, not checking to see who's calling. After all, it could be one of my children or grandchildren needing some sage advise that only I can give. (I hear your snickers.)

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A friendly voice greets me like he's known me for years and I surely wouldn't mind him calling during dinner. Right away I know I've been fooled. Again. 

Over the years I've come up with different excuses not to buy or donate. "My husband won't allow it. I donate through my church." (This one is true.)

The reply, "If he knew what a good cause this is I'm sure he'd be glad for you to donate."

Nothing works so I try to be polite until I can get off the phone. "No. I have no clothing or household items to donate right now. No, I don't want to purchase any children's movies. No, you may not send me an envelope so I can mail you my donation later." I look over at my dinner. It's getting cold. James is already halfway through eating.

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"Look," I say, still trying not to be rude, "I'm not sending you a $35 donation."

"What about $25? $15? Can you do that? I can divide the payments up over a few months." I scratch my head and wonder how desperate these people are. I feel badly for them because their job is to annoy others during dinner knowing they'll get cussed at and probably hung up on, so I take a deep breath and try once more to reason with him.

With a measure of calmness in my voice I say, "No, not any amount. Do you understand? I'm not giving you a donation."

Click. the phone goes dead. The person who was friendly enough to be my best friend five minutes ago just hung up on me. 

I turn back to my dinner and James gives me the look that says, I've told you to stop being polite to those guys. Just hang up on them.

Okay, another dinner ruined by the crafty telemarketer. I fork up my first bite of supper and think to myself, next time they call I'm going to pretend I'm willing to donate. Then just as they're about to verify my address I'm going to scream, "My house is on fire. While I was talking to you the grease caught fire and now I'm going to die. Are you happy?"

I'll hang up, a smile on my face, and sit down to my still-hot dinner.

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Written by Linda Sawyer

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