Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Square Peg - Robocalls.... @#$%!

Robocalls.... @#$%!
Copyright S. Bradley Stoner

Robocalls. I hate those @#$% things. I can't seem to get through a day without some idiot calling. During the last election, I got not one, but several a day from every cotton-picking candidate out there. And the messages got nastier as the campaign wore on. I quit answering the phone. I figured if there were any real people trying to get hold of me, they'd leave a voice message. Politicians aren't the only ones... I think they sold their phone list to every scam artist out there. And who in Sam Hill gave collection agencies my number?!

I'm fighting back, though. When one of those pollsters calls wanting to know who I prefer in the coming election, I just answer none of the above... they're all crooked as a dog's hind leg." When that guy from India called and said, "Hello, I'm Sam calling for Windows..." I responded, "Listen, Raj, I know who you are and where you live... and I just killed a cow and ate it. Anything else?"

And I got tired of telling that collection agency they had the wrong number and asking them politely to quit calling. The last time it was some woman. I lowered my voice a register or two and rasped, "Heh, heh, heh, baby... whatcha wearing?" It went dead silent on the other end. "Come on baby... tell papa what kind of panties you have on..." Click. The next time it was some guy. I have caller ID... I recognized the number. I answered the phone, "Ajax Adjustment, how can I help you?" When he started his harangue, I yelled out, "Hey Guido! Call Vinny in Jersey... tell him I've got a trace on this line and I've got a job for him." Click. The last time, I just said, "Please hold," hit the flash button my my speaker phone, found an attorney's tort conference on YouTube for background noise, and clicked flash again. "Hello, you've reached the firm of Yers, Crewed, and Plenty specializing in harassing phone calls. To whom shall I direct your call." Click.

Then there are the sales calls. No, I don't need new windows, my double panes are just fine. No, I don't need new vinyl siding (I have a brick house for crying out loud!). Hey, if I wanted maid service I'd call you. Insurance... I've got it. Another credit card, don't need it. Tree service... I've got my own tools and I like yard work. I've just won a cruise and all you need is my credit card? I don't think so... and quit blasting that #$%^ fog horn in my ear when I answer the phone. Publishers... just clear out, will ya? Supplemental medicare plans... please... I have insurance and I'm not looking to support medicare fraud.

I'd like to know who put out the word that if you're over 65 you are somehow helpless and stupid. I'm neither and I don't think many my age are. And while there may be little old ladies out there whose kids don't call and neither does the rest of the family or their friends and they are looking for telephonic companionship, most of us aren't. Run your games on some other pigeon.

I've tried just not answering. Then they clogged my voice mail. I had to keep clearing it in case I get a call from a real person that I really want to talk to. I think I have a solution, though. I'm working on a personal robocall answering system. It's actually quite elegant. It will have algorithms for every robocaller out there. It will answer those calls on the first ring... and then remain silent until the robocall voice activates it. Then the program starts running.

"For English, please press one.Para espaƱol oprima dos por favor." Once a choice is made, the next series in the appropriate language will guide them in dulcet female tones through the rest of the program.

For political calls, press three. This will take the caller immediately to this message: "Your call has just cancelled my vote for you. Thank you."

For political polls, press four. This button gets you the following: "Anticipating your questions... yes, no, no, I don't care, and not on your life. Thank you for your interest."

For sales calls, press five. Pressing this provides: "Your call is important to me. I'm sure you have a top of the line product or service. Please hold for a response..." Then it goes to some gawdawful rap song that gets interrupted every two minutes with a repeat of the message.

For free offers, press six. Pressing this button simply disconnects.

For credit card offers, press seven. This will get the caller: "I'm sorry, but I am currently busy with another credit card offer. Please hold. Your wait time is approximately 45 minutes."

For collection agencies, press eight. - Yeah, they get to wait until last. This button takes you immediately to a 120 decibel blast of high frequency sound followed by, "Hello... hello... anybody there?" Click.

And for those audacious entrepreneurs who text me on my cell phone, I have it programmed to send an immediate response and this pops up on their screen:
Thank you, and have a nice day!

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