by Chrysa Smith

How many telemarketing calls would you say you get in a day? 5, 10, more?
I’m closer to 10, I’d say, and it all bugs me for a variety of reasons. Like everyone, these unsolicited interruptions in the day take me away from something surely more important–like washing the dog. I do get a little thrill when I think somebody interesting might be calling, just to have my little ‘needy’ bubble pop when I find out it’s someone who wants my money instead of me. But perhaps the most irritating of all, is when one of these solicitors tries to ‘trick’ you into buying, helping, volunteering through their sleazy, used-car salesman type fast talk. And the worst one of all happened today.
I usually check the caller ID and happily avoid conflict, being offensive, not being ‘nice.’ Evasion can be a great tool. But without my reading glasses on, I accidentally picked up the phone, and it was that annoying home siding company that calls so often, I’m sure I’m #1 on their speed-dial.
I explained that I already had a conversation with one of their reps, telling them to call us next year, when we might somehow, someway have some cash to actually do some bigger home repairs. ‘Oh ma’am, we don’t expect a sale today,’ he said, ‘We just want to give you a quote that’s good for a year, so you can take advantage of good pricing.’ Yah, right. I’m sure the pricing will drop like a rock by next year if they continue to do what they did next. ‘Thanks, but I’m not interested in even looking at it now.’ I guess I’m not a telemarketer for a reason. At this point, I’d sheepishly tuck my head into my chin and GO AWAY. But not the seasoned pro. ‘I understand. Can I just ask you what type of siding you have? Aluminum? Vinyl? Wood?’ I answer ‘Aluminum.’ And, he continues, ‘Ok, great. Well, I’ll have a salesman in your area next week who can stop by.’ UGH! I explained it again, and foolish me, we went around and around again only this time, with the age of the house and if I’m the original owner and if I have lots of equity in the home. Finally realizing I had the ability to just put down the phone, CLICK! I hung up on him. I never hang up on anyone. I just crossed the ‘nice girl’ line. Dang.
Well, I’ve decided, if I make the mistake of picking up that phone again, I don’t have to be the ‘nice’ girl. I can be a whole different girl entirely. I’ll have an answer ready for them alright—
Want me to replace my siding? Sorry, I just sold my house and will be moving to Indonesia 

Want me to lick and mail envelopes? Sorry, I have a rare tongue infection that dried up my saliva—never mind the loss of my fingers from an unfortunate postal machine accident

Want me to volunteer my time? Sorry, but I’ve just been convicted of a federal offense and will be spending the next 10 years in the state penitentiary

I’m betting this will reduce my nuisance calls by at least 30% for at least a week–give or take.