Saturday, July 15, 2006


I realized pretty quickly something I didn't think about doing when I moved: I forgot to update my "Do Not Call" registry information.

Telemarketers have apparently gotten desperate since then. I got about 8 calls in the first three days just from some stupid "magazine sweepstakes" trying to send me magazines. Plus a number of other calls.

One came early one morning, but I think I outsmarted them. After I woke up, I grabbed the phone and gave the obligatory "Hello?", and heard the sounds of a call center in the background. As usual, the telemarketer didn't bother to actually be listening to the line when I answered, so I opted to just stay silent instead of speaking again like usual. After a bit longer I think they decided the line was dead and hung up.

In any case, I'm back on the list. Unfortunately, it takes time for this to work, although the calls have slacked off a lot by now. Which leaves me with the question, "Why do we need to opt out of the system anyway?" If there's someone out there who truly wants to get calls about magazines, aluminum siding, credit cards, phone service, newspapers, pest control, great deals on earwax removal, and all the rest, let them sign up to the "Please call and harass the hell out of me" list. I suppose there might be someone almost terminally lonely who might do this. But leave everybody else alone. To be honest, I don't get the exemption for political and charitable causes. I don't want calls from these either. And it's not a free speech issue here; free speech does not include a guarantee that anyone else has to listen. I don't care how wonderful your cause to collect a million postcards for little Timmy is, I don't want to get phone calls about it. Send me a letter and I can toss it in the circular file with the rest of the junk mail at my own convenience.

I love hearing from people I actually know. I hate hearing from some stranger trying to manipulate me in to buying something or donating to their charity or supporting their political candidate.

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