Do you remember the good old days when you would sit down to eat your supper, and the phone would ring? You would roll your eyes and sigh, maybe say a few words in your head, (or not), that you would rather the rest of the family didn’t hear. But you would always answer, because it actually might be something important that you needed or wanted to hear. Your curiosity always got the better of you. If the answering machine picked up the call, then you would have to leave the table to listen to the message, because again, your curiosity would not let you finish your meal in peace.
Yes, those were the good old days, and I thought back then that it couldn’t get any worse, but it has.
We were gone several days over the Memorial Day weekend. It was a lovely time, and as vacations go, it was over much too soon. I no longer leave on my answering machine. I check my caller ID to see who called while we were away, and I return the calls if needed. I do not return calls when I don’t recognize the number. That has worked very well for me over the past several years. And yes, we have an old-fashioned landline for those of you that are still wondering!
When we returned home late Monday night, I dutifully checked the caller ID. I found nine calls from a number I did not recognize. I didn’t even know the area code. But that caller was persistent! The calls were all made over a period of less than two hours. So, when our daughter told me that same number called two more times while I was at work yesterday, I wanted to make sure I answered it if they called again. My curiosity was really working overtime!
They called, and I pounced!
What happened to calling at meal times? What happened to introducing yourself and being polite? What happened to calling America, and speaking clear English? Yes, I do know that America is behind in the area of languages. I only speak one fluently. At one time, after four years of French, I could read it pretty well and pick up a word here and there. But if you’re going to call someone in America, odds are, you had better speak English fairly well.
That number that I did not recognize, an area code I did not know, was supposedly from the Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Many years ago I had a subscription for one year. This man asked me if I wanted to renew my subscription. How do you renew something you don’t currently have? After I scratched my head on this one, starting to boil a bit with his rude demeanor, I told him I hadn’t had a subscription for many years. Then I started to say, “And I don’t want to–“, and he hung up on me! I usually tell them to take me off their list. With this guy, I would have told him to quit harassing me with the phone calls every few minutes over the course of an hour or so!
Telemarketers and sales people have always been rather a pain to me. Usually, by the time I’m ready to purchase something, I’ve done weeks, months, sometimes years of research on the product. I know what I want and what I want to pay for it. If I have a question, I don’t want to be sold on the product, just answer the question…politely please. The more I’m pushed, the further away I’m going to go.
After working retail for a couple of years, I really think most people feel the same way. People don’t want to be nagged, prodded, pushed and overwhelmed to make a purchase. And if they do agree to buy that timeshare, insurance policy, vehicle or magazine subscription, just to get that sales person off their back, they probably won’t be very happy with the product.
I pray your Wednesday is off to a wonderful start. Don’t they make you want to smile?