The joys of caller ID

Posted: March 13, 2012 in Miscellaneous, Musings, Technology
Tags: , , , , , , ,

For a long time we didn’t have a phone that could utilize the caller ID feature included with our phone package and I never thought anything of it. But after we got our latest set of phones, caller ID showed up and my life has never been the same again (thankfully in a good way.)

The joy of not having to deal with people trying sell me something, tell me something or waste my time in other ways is almost indescribable. Since none of my friends and family have 800 or 888 numbers, I don’t answer those calls at all. Once my parents got Verizon, so that the entire family could call each other for free, I no longer answered calls from “Private Caller” and these days, cell phone calls from “Private Caller” are generally people making solicitation calls of some sort from their cell. (They must have a package with a much larger minute allowance than we do!) I admit that I’ve always enjoyed calls that want me to refinance our mortgage…because we don’t have one. The man on the other end of one such called exclaimed in a break from his script, “Wow, that’s great! I wish I could say that.” Another favorite was someone trying to sell me something for gutters and I told him our house didn’t have any. There was, as they say, a pregnant pause, followed by “You know, that’s not really good for your house,” after which I explained the odd, yet workable arrangement of getting water off the roof of our 1930’s experimental home.

Caller ID was especially useful during the days prior to the recent Ohio primary. The caller ID didn’t say that the incoming call was political or from which candidate’s group the call was from but they always fell into the categories mentioned above, the ones I don’t answer. However, these machines do leave messages, so I got to erase a lot of those from our answering machine. I got in the habit of hitting “Talk”, then “Off” right afterwards, which worked well, too. Not very friendly perhaps, but this is a war for my time and attention and I plan to win! You can’t answer those calls and tell them you’re planning to vote of whomever and please don’t call back. The calling machine doesn’t care.

Now that our TV, internet and land line (yes, we still have one) are all provided by the same company, the caller ID even shows up on the television screen if we’re watching something in the evening. Even easier to ignore!

I love listening to the voice on the phone trying to pronounce what shows up on the little screen, since it’s often an abbreviation of some sort. When the library calls to tell me a book I had on hold has arrived, the somewhat mechanical voices has to deal with “Call from Cleve Pub Libr” or something close to that. It adds a bit of humor to the constant barrage of calls.

Every so often, a call comes in from someone to whom I want to speak (or have to) and I’m happy to pick up that call. Until then, if someone really wants to talk to me, they can always leave a message and I’ll return the call. And I’ll enjoy less stress and extra time.

What do you think? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, that or the other thing.

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