i will physically kill you. do you understand me?

“Rachel from Cardholder Services” did not heed my warning. Rachel is now on my Wood Chipper List. That’s a technical term that describes a list I’ve made of people who will be….gently corrected…once I have taken over.

I used to be nice, or at least reasonably polite, with people who cold-call the house to beg for donations or sell me something. These days, as I am older and a bit more cranky, I no longer make an effort at civility. I don’t give a shit who you are or what you are selling–call my number uninvited and try to get money from me for whatever reason, I will respond to you wasting my time by being as harsh with you as the situation warrants. And that goes doubly if you try to talk over me, interrupt me, or refuse to take my first “NO” for an answer.

Among my major pet peeves are guilt trip donation calls for the Orphaned Unborn State Trooper Babies Association (“But they keep you SAFE, sir.”), calls from the aforementioned “Rachel” (a known scam operation), political polls (ESPECIALLY the heavily leading ones where the questions are along the lines of “Were you aware of the fact that Candidate Thatguy cannot conclusively prove that he doesn’t eat foil-wrapped babies for dinner?”), and any sort of robocall that asks me to hold for a person. If I don’t hang up right away, defensive phone tactics include talking to them in irate German, asking them in a breathy voice what they are wearing (male and female alike), asking them to “hold on” and then putting the phone aside for an hour, or telling them (in a bad pseudo-Russian accent) that they’ve reached the embassy of the Kingdom of Upper Cryogenica, and would they mind holding while the ambassador finishes his karaoke session with the Sultan of Absurdistan?

Spammers. I swear, if it wasn’t for the shitty cell reception here at Castle Frostbite, I would have ditched the landline years ago.


15 thoughts on “i will physically kill you. do you understand me?

  1. German works. So does writing down a few phonetic phrases in some of the obscurer languages and using them on the tele-vermin.

  2. I’m sure its of little comfort to you, but I get most of those kinds of calls on my cell phone still (and mostly while I’m at work). I haven’t had a land line since I graduated from college, but they still manage to try and defraud me or push-poll me.

  3. She calls my cell phone too, so thats no escape. I talk in a hushed mumbling whisper for a while, then SHOUT. Its fun.

  4. The land line phones here at the summer palace don’t ring, everything goes to the machine, which answers with the 3-tone “line disconnected” signal to discourage the robo machines (you need the correct tone duration – for number disconnected it’s short-short-long), followed by a recorded voice “add this number to your do not call list” in case it’s actually a human. Every evening I’ll check the machine to see if the light is blinking which indicates a message.

    Everyone who knows me knows that if they want to leave a message, call the house. If they want to talk to me, call the cell. Which, if I don’t recognize the number, I won’t answer either….

  5. A fun way to do it:

    “I am really interested in what you are saying, but if you want to keep talking, you have to come with me to the bathroom.” (they never let you hang up at this point)

    Make grunting noises.

    Say “That’s funny. I don’t remember eating any corn lately.”

  6. My father once answered a telemarketer call by doing the following: A) Talking in a hushed, child-like voice, one tremulous with terror and B) telling the telemarketer that they were hiding in the closet because Daddy was beating Mommy with the rubber hose again.

    It really worked well. They hung up pretty quick.

  7. I wish I had the wherewithal to hire the necessary lawyers to file a class-action suit against Card Services asking for some reasonable suitable settlement like:

    Every time any member of the class gets a telephone call where the caller id does not display the full name and number of somebody known to the class member, Card Services will be required to make a $10,000 payment to every member of the class. (That Card Services did not make the call shall not be a defense. Fairness does obviously require that Card Services would, at their own expense, bill and collect the penalty from the actual caller. They could also avoid the penalty by providing evidence satisfactory to the court that nobody anywhere in the galaxy had made a telephone on their behalf at their request for 199 days prior to the occurrence in question.)

  8. They STILL call my cell, on the other hand the cell has a nifty feature: any number that’s in my contacts list can be marked to “send directly to voice mail”. The phone never rings. SO: any such spam calls I get, I add to a contact in my contacts list named Spam. Calls from spam just get forwarded straight to voice mail. For some reason most of them don’t leave messages…..

  9. I had one call yesterday to “service your subscription to [left-of-center English magazine]”. I informed said dude that 1) we do not subscribe and 2) in this area code, servicing is what a bull does to a cow. He hung up right smartly.

  10. One of my sons was a world-champion talker in his early years. Kid never would shut up. Whenever I answered the phone to one of these cold callers, I would happily say, “Oh, hang on, you need to talk to [kid’s name].” Then I would hand the phone to the kid. Oh, how his little eyes would light up! Oh, how his little tongue would wag!

    I like to think it brightened their day as much as it did mine.

  11. I just acted increasingly “paranoid” and hysterical.

    Asking “How did you get my number?”, “Are you spying on me?”, “Are you people talking about me?” etc. and repeating at a higher pitch.

    Last one hung up pretty quick