When my daughter was a baby, I remember having her on the changing table when the phone rang. In that instant, as I debated leaving the baby on the table to answer the phone, it occurred to me that I PAY for that ringing annoyance. So why should I risk my child’s life in order to answer a ringing phone?
And that was the day I stopped answering the phone–and that was before called ID was invented. Ever since then, especially since the advent of caller ID, I think of the phone as something expendable, like a blender. It’s nice to have when I need it, but it’s certainly not a necessity.
I’m sure this philosophy has spared me from many a conversation with telemarketers. But sometimes one of those calls will still slip through, usually when I answer because I’m expecting a call from someone else, or because I thought I recognized the number in the caller ID window.
Some brilliant European folks have come up with an answer: the telemarketer counterscript. You can find it here. It’s simple to use: the minute you realize you have a telemarketer on the line, start asking questions and filling in blanks. Turn the tables.
I find the idea so intriguing that I might actually pick up the phone one of these days . . .