Chairman Bao is a Shih Tzu. We travel a lot. I drive. He watches. We've logged at least 10,000 miles and he's never once said, Sweetheart, don't you think you should stop and ask someone?

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Being a dog means never having to answer the telephone.

A telephone used to be a convenience. When it rang, it usually meant someone wanted to tell you something, or at least, talk to you. And it was almost always someone you knew. At the very least, you expected another human being at the other end. But those were the good old days, and they're gone forever.

First came the telemarketers. I don't know them, and I don't want to know them. They are an intrusion of my privacy and my space. Being on the Do Not Call list gets rid of most of them, but the so-called charities are ubiquitous and blithely importunate. Why should charities be exempt? They're just as much of a nuisance as anyone else.

"Hi Gail!" says a voice. "This is Ken." And I'm thinking, He called me Gail. He must know me. Do I know him? Do I know anyone named Ken? By then he's launched into his spiel. So I say, "I gave at work. And I'm busy. Goodbye."

But if I'm working, I've totally lost my train of thought. And if I'm cooking, either I've burned it or it's boiled over and made a great mess on the stove. Even if I'm only watching television, I've missed the crucial conversation and will never be able to figure out why Arthur murdered Janette.

Yes, and robo-calls are worse. You answer the telephone, and a cheerful, automated voice starts telling you why you shouldn't vote for the Republican. Or the Democrat. Or why you need to buy insurance from some outfit you never heard of. These diabolical things even leave messages. Delete, delete, delete.

But a few minutes ago, I experienced the ultimate. The telephone rang, and I answered it. Of course I answered it. I was thinking it might be news about my friend Morag. Or it might even be my agent.

"Thank you for calling," said an automated voice. "All of our operators are busy at the moment. Please continue to hold and ... "

Good grief!


Blogger Betty said...

When I get one of those calls asking me to hold on, I just laugh and laugh as I hang up. I've even had some that ask me to call THEM! I hate telemarketers. The calls asking for contributions are easy. I just tell them I never commit to any contributions over the phone.

1:45 PM


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