Just had our 3rd phone call of the day from who knows who. We get them all day. Usually, there is a phone call about 10 a.m. followed by a noon call. Finally, 3 p.m. brings the third call. Sometimes we get two more - about 6 and around 8 p.m.
All calls are either: 1-888 numbers, Wireless caller, toll free call, unknown name, Corsicana mattress factory, and my favorite Unavailable. Sprinkled liberally are names of cities and towns from all over the world: St. Louis, Victoria, Dallas, Buchanan Dam, Wichita Falls, Mobile - ah, they come fast and furious.
Finally, unrecognizable names of individuals darken our phone's window. We've never heard of these people, probably never want to. Most of the names are not good ole American names like John, Joe, Pete, William, Mary Lou ..... most are strange names like Fredri or Jimm or Pate. One of my all time favorite calls came from XXXXXXXXXX, TX. You may not recognize that number - it is a little porn store out on the highway.
I use to never answer any call - I'd look at the phone and leave it nestled on the cradle. Our phone has taken on a strange ring - it will ring 3 times and shut down. If we are nowhere near the phone, we never make it on time. If someone has left a previous message - un-erased - the phone rings once and goes to call messaging. Sad, but true.
One day a month or so back, I picked up the phone and answered, "Hallow." I tried to make it sound like a computer answering the phone - in my best imitation - Allow or Hallow or Howdy. After answering I sit and wait. I have found that my answering skills seem to be answered by silence. No noise. Then, after 5 to 10 seconds, the phone clicks as they hang up.
Think of the best computer voice you can create. Say one word, "HELL-ooowww." No noise, silence. Once when there was no answer or click, I repeated myself. With that I followed with, "It's your turn - hey, your nickel; you called me first." There was sputtering then silence and the click - no message ever,
The only problem with this method - sometimes a real person calls to talk to us. Then, I apologize and explain what I am doing. One lady said she thought I was a computer generated machine. Score!
and so we go -
Nuff for now. Oscar is calling me to the ball playing field. It is time to go.