Usually I ignore the nuisance phone calls from people I do not know invading my home space. My caller ID tells me who is calling so I can avoid the caller whose phone number is 000-000-0000 or is from somewhere in Nevada. I don't know anyone in Nevada.
But during a day off this week, it was as if some drone was monitoring my every move. I barely got through the door, loaded down with my latest purchases from Jebbia's, when the phone rang. This happened more than one time. If I left the house to run an errand, the phone would ring seconds after walking through the door. It was creepy.
Once home, the calls kept coming. By the time the third telemarketer invaded my home on my day off, I picked up the phone and waited. It took a few seconds for the telemarketer to respond so I jumped right in.
"What do you want? I'm very busy!" I shrieked into the phone.
Of course, they immediately hung up. Wow, I thought, this is great. I finally figured out how to get them out of my life. But then they called back again and again. I picked up the phone and quickly replaced the receiver, hanging up on them. Two can play this game.
I make no apology for my rudeness. I did not invite these unknown voices into my life and when I try to ask them a question, they get very flustered because they are only accustomed to reading from their prepared scripts.
I've tried asking them for their phone numbers so I could call them back at their home while they are peeling potatoes for their evening meal, or better yet, when they are eating their supper. They do not comply with my requests.
The calls that really bug me are from people who repeatedly call asking for my son who has been out of our home for three years. And those warranty people who call don't seem to believe me when I say he sold his truck two years ago because they are trying to sell him an extended warranty.
While many phone calls can be exasperating, I am blessed to have some wonderful people who often call me at the office just to say "hello." Sometimes they tell me who they are and sometimes they don't. It doesn't matter. If they took the time to call me to comment on a story or just to shoot the breeze when they are feeling down about the headlines, I don't mind.
In fact, I would worry if I didn't hear from "Joe" who regularly shares his thoughts on politics, religion and family issues. And I was glad to hear from a lady caller from Warwood this week who loves to reminisce with me about the "good old days" I sometimes write about in this column. Often the callers will lead me to a good story.
These are the kinds of folks who make you stop and smell the roses even on the busiest days. They can be the bright spot in an otherwise dreary winter afternoon. For them, there will never be a busy signal on this end.
Heather Ziegler can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.