Cold Callers

Is it just me, or is there an inordinate amount of people calling who are interested in wasting my time with their sales pitch? I try to be polite to these callers, but that is asking a lot when they insist on being aggressive in their approach. The latest barrage of callers is trying to make me switch out my insurances. I tell them I am very happy with a forty year relationship with my insurance company, and the caller has the audacity to ask why am I so happy? One reason is because I don’t get aggravating calls from my guys and gals, but they do listen when I call them. That is when they make me very happy.

Over the last four years I have been questioning myself over the sanity of keeping a telephone line. Ninety-nine percent of the calls I receive are from telemarketers, and or scams. Why do I continue to pay a high price to have a service at my disposal that is not being utilized? How stupid can one be? Two stupid is what I say. I have two phone systems at my hand and only one of them is mildly useful. I have to admit that I like my cell phone much better than the land line. At least with my smart phone I can get the caller streamed right into my ears through Bluetooth. That means I can hear the caller. On the land, line I rely on getting the noise transmitted to my hearing aid microphone which does a somewhat crappy job of interpreting the noise and translating it into intelligible speech. My calls kind of go like this:

“Please speak louder I can barely hear you.”

“IS THIS BETTER?”

“Yes, but only slightly”

The caller then realizes he has a crack-pot on the phone and tries to hurry the call. I say, “please slow down your speech, I am very hard of  hearing and it takes me more time to process what you are trying to say.”

“Ohh, I’mm soorrry, I’ll try to speaak morre cleaarly.”

“You still sound like you are calling from a sewer in China.”

Thus goes the conversation, but inevitably I’ll finally figure out what the person is selling and then end the call. My goal is to make certain the caller is as relieved as I am at ending.

Things might be better if the phone services would send all the sound over the lines. In their attempt to streamline and reduce costs they eliminate much of the digital signal. I now understand why there is a resurgence in sales of vinyl records. People seem to believe that the sound they get from an old fashioned vinyl disk is much more rich than that of the digital noise they get from Apple.

Add the complications of phone companies trying to conserve bandwidth to the sound interface between the caller’s microphone to my telephone receiver, to my hearing aid microphone, and then into my tired ear mechanism and multiply it by the caller’s national dialect, his inability to enunciate, and the speed with which he speaks, and I don’t care. I think the phone companies should pay me for the calls they put through because of the extra time it takes me to get rid of these callers.

Some of the worst calls come from the Mid-eastern countries that learned to speak English from the British and have mixed it with their native language. To me they sound like they are speaking with a mouth full of marbles while under water.

Over the past many calls I have learned not to answer immediately. If I hesitate and stay quiet the call doesn’t connect me to the recording or an actual human. I wait for them to say hello and ask for me before I engage. When they do engage I wait long enough to learn what they are pitching and then hang up. I will often try searching for the number to determine where the call originated. Usually, I  learn that the company has a block of numbers from which they call. So If I place a block on a caller another caller from the same place will call a day later.

After insurance salesman, the next most aggravating caller is the professional fund raiser. My most polite answer is that “I can’t afford a thing at this time, thank you for calling” click. The worst experience is when I am too slow in responding and the guy takes off like a rocket with his spiel and I have to get a word in edgewise. Usually that occurs when he asks for an answer to a yes, I will donate question. I will tell him I can’t and he immediately goes into another endless rant about the importance of supporting his cause. When I finally get a moment to speak I say. “You didn’t hear me did you, I can’t” CLICK. The ugliest trick is when I put the receiver down and walk away. Eventually the phone gives me the disconnect signal.

None of these ploys is fun, nor is it exciting to me in any way. At times I empathize with the poor guy calling because it is his job and I begin to think about his situation  with a wife and ten kids at home all in college for a nano-second and then regain my sensibility. You have to love rejection to have a job like that, and I would have to be desperate hungry to become a telemarketer.

 

The Real Motive

A few days ago I posted a piece called A Racist Loves This Man. The racist is me, and the man is Col. Allen West  retired U.S. Army. In West’s rant about Kaepernick he basically told Colin Kaepernick to man up and live right.

Yesterday, I received several e-mails from friends on the same subject of Colin Kaepernick. It seems that Kaepernick has a different ulterior motive than the oppression of blacks in America.

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San Francisco 49er’s quarterback Colin Kaepernick, has a new ‘protest’…refusing to stand for America’s national anthem:

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.”

“To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

The 49er’s, of course, came out with an incredibly PC response to this:

“The national anthem is and always will be a special part of the pre-game ceremony. It is an opportunity to honor our country and reflect on the great liberties we are afforded as its citizens. In respecting such American principles as freedom of religion and freedom of expression, we recognize the right of an individual to choose and participate, or not, in our celebration of the national anthem.”

Now, the fact that ‘people of color’ have more rights under the law, more freedom and more economic opportunities in America than almost any other country on earth is something I suppose we can just ignore…Colin Kaepernick obviously has!

And I’m sure Colin Kaepernick’s adoptive family of Typical White People might not want to weigh in on this either.

colin-kaepernick.jpg

But there’s a little more to the story that the media and the NFL will avoid at all costs, because it explains the real reason Mr.Kaepernick has suddenly come out with the idea of inflicting his agenda publicly on the fans. And the media and the NFL have no intention of it coming out if they can help it.

As the French wisely say, Cherchez la femme, look for the woman.

In this case, the woman is hip-hop radio personality DJ Nessa Diab.She’s a Berkeley grad, a very dogmatic outspoken Black Lives Matter advocate and a Muslim. She and Colin Kaepernick are engaged, and Kaepernick converted to Islam during the off season.

The two are reportedly planning what Kaepernick calls ‘a traditional Muslim wedding.’

Pretty simple…boy meets radical girl, they find they have interests and ideology in common…except,it’s haram, forbidden for a Muslima (a Muslim girl) to marry a non-believer. This is not to say that Kaepernick wasn’t pretty far along the radical path anyway.

It’s a real love story…not only do they love the same things, but they can hate the same people too. There are certainly a fair amount of patriotic American Muslims, but many Muslims here follow the Qu’ran which says their first loyalty aside from Allah is to the umma, the worldwide Muslim polity. And no one with much common sense would call the folks at Black Lives Matter remotely patriotic. So it all fits together pretty well.

Another part of the back story is that both Kaepernick and Nessa Diab have been agitating the 49er’s to trade Kaepernick to New York, where Diab is based. Ideology aside, this might be Kaepernick’s way of adding some fuel to the fire.

nessa-girlcode-vma2.jpg

I wonder if Colin will like her in a burka . . .

The 49er’s have obviously made a business decision to keep Kaepernick on their roster and, with the collusion of the media, to keep this part of the story covered up. That’s fine, but it is a business decision. And although I have to admit that if I felt that way about America I’d vote with my principles and leave, Colin Kaepernick also certainly has the right not to honor the flag of the country that has treated him so well.

The Beauty of Age

BAC-ATM-with-Teller-Assist-photo-12

Having recently experienced a similar exasperation while dealing with my bank over the phone this piece stuck me as hilarious. I only regret that I did not think of this first. I guess I am not old enough to conjure up this kind of logical thinking.

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Elderly Banking… …………..PRICELESS

!! Shown below, is an actual letter that was sent to a bank by an 82-year-old woman. The bank manager thought it amusing enough to have it published in the New York Times.

Dear Sir:
I am writing to thank you for bouncing my check with which I endeavored to pay my plumber last month. By my calculations, three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his presenting the check and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honor it.

I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my entire pension, an arrangement which, I admit, has been in place for only eight years.You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account $30 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank.

My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial ways. I noticed that whereas I personally answer your telephone calls and letters, — when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the
impersonal, overcharging, pre-recorded, faceless entity which  your bank has become.

From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood person.

My mortgage and loan repayments will therefore and hereafter no longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank, by check, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must nominate. Be aware that it is an OFFENSE under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope.

Please find attached an Application Contact which I require your chosen employee to complete. I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative.

Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be countersigned by a Notary Public, and the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof.

In due course, at MY convenience, I will issue your employee with a PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me. I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modeled it on the number of button presses required of me to access my account balance on your phone bank service. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Let me level the playing field even further. When you call me, press buttons as follows:

IMMEDIATELY AFTER DIALING, PRESS THE STAR (*) BUTTON FOR ENGLISH
#1. To make an appointment to see me.
#2. To query a missing payment.
#3. To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there.
#4. To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping.
#5. To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to
nature.
#6. To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home.
#7. To leave a message on my computer, a password to access my computer is required. Password will be communicated to you at a later date to that Authorized Contact mentioned earlier.
#8. To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through 7 again
#9. To make a general complaint or inquiry. The contact will then be put on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service.
#10. This is a second reminder to press* for English.

While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration of the call.

Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrange-
ment.

May I wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous New Year?

Your Humble Client

And remember: Don’t make old people mad. We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to piss us off.

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