I used to be polite. Now I make exceptions, especially with unwanted callers. We screen our calls with caller ID. This means that occasionally we miss a few friends at the moment they call because we don’t recognize their cell phone numbers, but this doesn’t happen often, and unlike the other callers, friends leave a message. However, sometimes my curiosity gets the best of me.
During the recent political campaign we stopped answering the phone because no satisfaction comes with slamming the receiver down on robots, no matter how nasty their messages are. (Yes, I realize there aren’t many of us left who have phones with receivers, but there are advantages.) The volume of unwanted calls from unknown callers has slowed considerably since the election, but two still come daily. Against my better judgment I picked up one from North Attleborough, Massachusetts, population, 28,700, and found myself talking to a live being. The caller represented a non-profit wildlife organization that I know little about, except that it is relentless in its requests for donations. I received regular emails, lots of snail mail and always unwanted prizes accompanying the occasional donation. I take care of the emails by labeling them “junk,” and the letters by putting them directly in the recycling bin, but I don’t have a chance of stopping the phone calls unless I pick up the phone.
Charity ratings groups give this organization a reasonably high mark; despite this, it still seems like it must spend as much on buying and mailing its donors greeting cards and cloth bags made in China as it does on saving animals. Apparently, we have to add to the landfill in Washington to keep the animal population alive in other countries.
No sooner had I disposed of my wildlife caller without mercy, the call came in from our second regular pest: Yonkers. One of these days I am going to have to take on Yonkers and it won’t be a pleasant experience…for them.