Thursday, July 14, 2005

Caller Beware, and Other Stuff

We've been receiving phone calls from a mystery organization. They're a mystery, because they never leave a message. The caller ID had a name that meant nothing to us. All we know is that they're in Ogden, Utah. Whoever they are, they're persistent. The calls would start at about 8:30 am, and stop at around 7:00 pm. Most of the time, we ignore them. If they don't want to leave a message, then it's not important. But the other day, this place called us four times before noon. If it's so damned important to call so many damn times, how friggin' hard is it to say who you are and what the hell you want? So... Deb and I agreed that we'd answer the next one. Her version of how she was going to handle the call was decidedly much more pleasant than what I had running through my head.

The phone rang, the caller ID said it was the mystery company, and I answered it. What follows is a transcript of that conversation.

(phone rings) Me: "What?" (Not "hello", not "hi", but "What?" This momentarily stunned the Ogdenite or Ogdonian or Obelisk or whatever the hell they call people from Ogden.)

Timmy the Phone Jockey: "Um.. can I speak with Deborah?"

Me: "No. Can I speak with your manager please?"

Timmy: "Um... sure, if you want."

(Followed by questions to his co-workers as to whether or not a manger is around. He finally found one and explained that he didn't know what the problem was, just that I had asked to speak to a manager.)

Billy the Manager: "Can I help you sir?"

Me: "Yes you can. I want you to put this number on your 'do not call' list. I have no idea what company you are with, and I really don't care at this point. All I know is that you call repeatedly and never leave a message. If you call this number again, you will be hearing from my attorney."

Billy the Manager: "Yes sir!"

Me: "Thank you." (click.)

They have not called again.

Have I mentioned lately that I hate the phone? Hate it with a passion. If you haven't done so already, sign up for the National Do Not Call Registry to stop most telemarketers. If you sign up for something, though, they have a right to call you if you provide your phone number. However, when either of us sign up for things, we always check the "e-mail only" contact preference. Seems it's easier to get someone to dial a phone than to compose something in writing. Even when you ask for writing, you get calls. Bastards.

Which leads me to this...

Typos leap off the page at me and stab me in the eye. (Not literally, as that would be bad.) I received the statement for my credit card. I read the bill and said: "Oh no!" Not because of the balance, but because of the following fragment found at the very end of the bill: " and your done". (Note: I put the period outside of the quotes because they didn't have one at all.) I guess I should really be happy. I've never had a done before, but now I do. I should go out on the balcony and yell "The done is mine!"

See... Amazon got its start by selling books. Books! Books with words in them and stuff. It's bad enough watching the English language die a long, slow, languishing death. Watching it be thrashed about by a purveyor of books is inexcuseable.

Yes, I e-mailed them. I doubt they'll respond. We shall see.

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