Friday, September 25, 2009

Thank You, Mr. Bell, But You Can Have Your Phone Back.

Thank You, Mr. Bell, But You Can Have Your Phone Back.
by Judy Vandiver

I’ve been trying to think of some good lines to say the next time the phone rings and it’s a telemarketer. I don’t like telemarketers. Well, not them personally, but their annoying phone calls. It seems they love to start by inquiring about my health. “How are you doing, Mrs. Vandiver?”

The next time they ask here’s my response: “I’m glad you asked. I thought one of the relatives would call to check on me, but ever since the county started cracking down and limiting prisoner calls, I just don’t hear from them as much. And to tell you the truth, I’ve been feeling right poorly. I have a migraine in my big toe. I put a call in to my doctor, but she hasn’t called back. In fact, I thought it was her when they phone rang. I would go down to that free clinic, but after I drove the car into the lake, the kids hid my car keys. Hey, do you think you could come over and give me a ride to the clinic?”

Telemarketers aren’t the only annoying calls I get.  I once answered the phone and was greeted by a caller trying to collect on a neighbor’s bill. Whom was the collector with? The phone company!

The lady explained that they couldn’t actually call the customer directly because they had discontinued service to them. Then she asked me if I would go next door and tell the neighbors to pay their bill.

She seemed surprised when I told her no. However, just so she wouldn’t think me totally uncooperative, I suggested that she contact the woman next door at her place of employment – which just happened to be the phone company.

About four years ago, I had a second phone line, for business calls, installed in the house. The very first call I received was from the collections department of the phone company. No joke! They wanted to know when I could make a payment against the outstanding phone bill. When I tried to explain that I hadn’t even used the phone yet, the man on the other end insisted that I make a payment immediately or my phone service would be disconnected.

“But, I’ve only had this number for ten minutes,” I told him.

I “googled” my new phone number and found out it had previously been assigned to the police department of a near-by community. (Ah, now we know why the county is cracking down on those prisoner calls.)

Hubby and I moved again last year. New phone number. Old problem. Note to previous owner of phone number:  “Cassandra, call me. We need to talk. You know the number.”

And to top all my strange phone calls off was the one I received from the local hospital concerning an overdue bill. I explained that I had, indeed, been a patient recently, but it had been for minor surgery, not the delivery of a baby girl, as she continually insisted. After much arguing, I was informed that denying the delivery of my phantom child would not excuse me from paying the bill. By the way, she even told me that I had named my infant, Kimberly. Every year on April 15th, my husband again asks if we can claim Kimberly as a dependent on our tax return. I recently told him that Kimberly would now be thirty years old and had moved out.

So, if the phone rings in the night, I’m not answering unless the caller I. D. informs me it’s Cassandra, Kimberly, or the prisoner holding area of the local police station.

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