Thursday, August 3, 2017

I was mean to a woman on the phone this morning

I thought the call was from a telemarketer. We get a lot of those, mostly recorded messages concerning car warranty, insurance and free sea cruises. Sometimes the identifying area code is 501, which is the part of Arkansas in which we lived before moving here. The ruse there is to make us think the call is from a local number.

This morning’s call was from 941, which covers this area. The caller ID also had a name. At first I thought the caller was a recording. The woman said, “Hi. My name is Sherry, and I am calling about a free…” I couldn’t understand what was “free,” but as an experienced recipient of marketing calls, I know there is no such thing.

I said, “I’m sorry, but you are who?”

“Sherry,” the caller said. “I live nearby, and I want to offer you a free bible study …”

I said, “No, you are not. The caller ID says you are Dorothy Smith.”

The woman laughed and said, “Well, I am calling from Dorothy’s house.” She then went into why she offered free Bible study. “People often have questions as to why bad things happen …”

I interrupted. “I have several bibles, the accepted Christian version, and the tanakh, or Jewish texts, and, quite frankly, I don’t have any questions.”

“I see,” the woman said. “I am Jehovah’s Witness, and when we come to visit …”

“No, you will not,” I said.

“Oh,” she said.

“Thank you for calling,” I said.

I was short and at least a little mean spirited. I could have handled the call with patience and grace. I did not. I apologize to the caller for my lack of manners.


  1. I think next time you could just ignore calls from unfamiliar number. I have read so many similar complaints, like at regarding this robocall problem. I think the FCC should think about this matter seriously.

  2. Oftentimes I do ignore the calls. This one, though, was from a local number. You are right, though. Ignore the ones you don't know. Saves on stress.

  3. I always answer these telemarketer calls by jabbering in an unintelligible language and then saying in pidgin English that the person they're asking for "doan live heah no mo. He move to Hong Kong." Or sometimes I'll tell them I'm Johnny Carson and I'd like them to be a guest on my TV show. They usually hang up in a hurry.

  4. I have used the "He no here" and discovered that Indian/Pakistani telemarketers do not want to talk to someone whose English is worse than theirs.