horrible timing. just horrible.

I’m a huge Caller ID lover. It’s the greatest creation since Fred Thompson’s DNA. And before we got a digital phone, we didn’t have it, so I basically never answered the phone; everything went straight to voicemail. Frank did not understand this.

FRANK J.: The phone is ringing; why don’t you answer it?
SARAHK: BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW IF IT’S SAFE!

Then we got a digital phone after months of me needling him about cheaper phone bills.

SARAHK: Nyah nyah nyah. $40 a month for just call waiting? That’s craaaaaazy!
FRANK J.: You’re crazy.
SARAHK: THAT’S BESIDE THE POINT! THE DIGITAL PHONE IS $20 CHEAPER, AND WE GET ALL THE FEATURES!
FRANK J.: WILL IT SHUT YOU UP?
SARAHK: MAYBE!
FRANK J.: MAYBE’S GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME! LET’S SWITCH TO [THE DIGITAL PHONE]!
SARAHK: Yay Caller ID!

Frank still didn’t get why I was so happy with Caller ID. He was just glad it shut me up, somewhat. I still griped when he answered the phone.

SARAHK: Who is it on the phone?
FRANK J.: Um… 800 Service.
SARAHK: Then why are you about to answer it?
FRANK J.: Because the phone’s ringing.
SARAHK: Do you know anyone named 800 Service? Is that some relative I haven’t met?
FRANK J.: No, but what if it’s important?
SARAHK: You didn’t win the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes. We’ve never entered. So it’s either the Florida Blood Centers, a sales call, a call from the Republican party asking for donations, and until they get their act together, the answer there is a definitive NO, it’s someone else asking for money, or it’s the Men’s Wearhouse trying to collect on that phony bill that we don’t owe them. So… why did we get Caller ID if you’re still just gonna answer the phone without looking?
FRANK J.: To shut you up.
SARAHK: It’ll never happen. And if it’s someone who knows you and needs to talk to you, they have your cell phone number.

Still he didn’t get it. Until now. See, now he’s home all the time, and the phone rings about ten times a day, and it’s always either 800 Service, someone named Courthouse Square who always hangs up on us and seems incredibly surprised if we answer, or my mom. We answer when my mom calls, because we like her, and if we don’t answer, she’ll just call my cell phone anyway.

FRANK J.: I can’t believe it! It’s 800 Service again!
SARAHK: They want your blood. [Most times, 800 Service leaves a message saying that they would love for Frank to donate his super-awesome blood.]
FRANK J.: I can’t believe they call so many times!
SARAHK: Now you know why I never answered the phone and wanted caller ID. I was home all day with the phone ringing off the hook and never knew who it was.

Well. Now Frank is completely on board with Caller ID. But occasionally we’ll get a very persistent caller. For a while it was Men’s Wearhouse. We got fed up, called their American number, used the “h” word with them (harassment), and funny thing — we just got a $0 statement and a letter stating that all derogatory references have been removed from our credit report. The blood bank is another persistent one, but we understand, because Frank is a good donor and has a good blood type (I can’t donate because of my epilepsy stigma, even though I’ve never had a convulsion or anything close to one), and with the tornadoes here last year, they really need him.

Today I decided to do something different and answer the phone. 800 Service has been calling all week and not leaving messages. The blood suckers always leave automated messages, and Men’s Wearhouse is taken care of, so I wanted to know who was calling. Frank walked in the door just as this happened, so he caught the tail end of my horrible timing issue. Here’s how it went. Oh, just know this: I talked to my sister for a long time last night and subsequently left the phone off the charger.

Ring! 800 Service. Again. Ok, fine. I’ll just answer it.
SARAHK: Hello?
800S: Hello there! How are you doing today?
SARAHK: I’m good. How are you?
800S: I’m blessed, thank you for asking! I’m such and such from the Navy Veterans, and I have to tell you, it’s great to talk to you, everyone I’ve talked to today has been very rude, and you sound so nice–

SARAHK: [MY PHONE WENT DEAD.] NO! COME BACK!
FRANK J.: What happened?
SARAHK: The phone went dead, and the Navy vet was saying that everyone’s been rude to him all day, and he’s so blessed, and I sound so nice, and then the phone went dead, and he’s gonna THINK I HUNG UP ON HIM! NO!
FRANK J. [laughing]: Who was that? What did the Caller ID say?
SARAHK: 800 Service!
FRANK J. [laughing]: Why did you answer it?
SARAHK: Because I was going to tell whoever it was to stop harassing us! But it was the Navy Vets, and I would have told him no in a nice way, but now I can’t because he won’t call back, because he thinks I hung up on him.
FRANK J.: You have to blog that.

Frank is always getting onto me for leaving the phone off the charger, and now that Navy Vet is going to think I HUNG UP ON HIM!

I’m so ashamed.

10 Responses to horrible timing. just horrible.

  1. It will be okay – you were super nice right up until ………………. ;^) Don’t worry about it.

  2. I’ve experience the “phone death” on both ends of the line – and I’ve found out there’s a actually a difference between “hang up sounds” and “phone/line problems”. I’m sure he knew that too.

  3. Hi, SarahK:

    Timing is the essence of Comedy.

    Relax. The Navy Vet guy will call back.

    Jack.

  4. We still get calls for the woman who had our home number before we did. It’s been 18 months since we got this number and yet they still call.

    We also have gotten a few calls from collection agencies for OTHER people… people I’ve never heard of – that’s really weird. I’ve called them back because otherwise they’d call in the middle of the night – but they are annoyingly hard to convince they have the wrong number. Sometimes you do have to threaten them with the “h” word. Heh.

  5. Hi again, SarahK:

    About an hour after I read you Navy Vet post and responded to it, I decided to have lunch.

    In the middle of preparing my lunch, the phone rang. The woman on the other end of the line was soliciting contributions for “Children Suffering from Hair Loss”.

    I disconnected the call and I don’t feel bad about it.

    Jack.

  6. That “It’s nice to hear a friendly voice, because people have been rude to me all day, boo hoo!” must be a standard “gimme your money” line, because I get that with telemarketers all the time. See how it made you feel all sorry for him? Apparently it works. :-)

  7. You realize that they’re just using the line about how everyone’s been so awful to them to make you feel guilty if you’re mean, or superior if you’re not?

  8. And why do I get CRAZY error messages when I post to your blog, only to have the message show up? I can send you a copy of the error messages if you like.

  9. Alice are you using Internet Explorer or some other browser? I started getting that error after using Firefox. This is actually my test to see if it still happens with IE.

  10. It is so annoying that if you give money to one firm they tell everybody. Its like giving money to beggars in Calcutta (you get swarmed).