Tag Archives: spam calls

What I’ve Learned So Far in 2014

6 Jan

I know, I know, 2014 is only 6 days old.  But, whatever, I’m like a sponge.  A sponge of learning.  And since I have found these new tidbits of information so titillating, I figured I would share them all with you.  Isn’t that great?  I think so.

1.  As many of you know, or have read, I have an intense dislike for companies that call me with fake credit offerings and the like.  Over the past few months, I have significantly altered my approach to these calls.  Instead of reporting said companies to the National Do Not Call Registry because it is fucking useless, I have simply been blocking the numbers from my phone!  Every time I get a bullshit call <BAM!>, blocked.  Of course in my case I don’t often receive calls from the same number more than once but still, it is so empowering.  I really feel like I show them, you know?  Anyway, that’s not what I learned.  Here’s what I learned.  I received a call the other day from a restricted number which I answered because my landlord calls me from a restricted number and I like him, he’s nice.  But it wasn’t my landlord at all.  It was a company asking to lower my interest rate.  So, obviously, I got mad and I was feeling sassy so I pressed a number to talk to a person to give them a piece of my mind.  After I had finished telling the dude on the other end what he could do with his lowered interest rates I hung up the phone, feeling good and strong and righteous.  Then I went online to see if other people had received calls from this same dubiously named company, “Card Member Services.”  In my search I found a very useful bit of information:  whenever I press the button to talk to someone to tell them that I think they work for a morally bankrupt operation, their computer algorithm thing thinks that I am a sucker and am actually interested in the “service” the company provides (AKA having them steal my money) and puts my number up towards the top of the calling list.  Then I get more calls!  I am my own worst enemy!  So this is what I learned: do not talk to a representative no matter how sassy you are feeling because, in the end, the joke is on you.

2.  I am not good at email.  This is something I have known for years.  In fact, for the past five years in a row my one and only New Years resolution has been to be better about email.  Every other year I have failed.  Considering it is now the 6th of the month (and year!) and I just checked my email for the first time, I am not feeling much more confident in my potential for success.  See here’s the thing:  my email is mostly junk.  I go in there and delete like a million things and then I have 4 or 5 actual emails that I want to respond to but by that point I’m so frustrated with the junk that I don’t respond to the actual emails.  The result of this is that emails go unanswered and then those people emailing me get frustrated and stop emailing, and then all I have is junk.  Just a bunch of stupid things from Yelp and Madewell and The Center for Food Safety.  So you know what I learned?  Unsubscribing is Life!  I just went on an unsubscribing-fest and it was AMAZING.  Goodbye Yelp! Goodbye Madewell! Goodbye Center for Food Safety!

3.  It’s really cold outside because of something to do with the arctic circle.  It’s so cold, in fact, that tomorrow we will supposedly experience a high of 13 degrees.  For those of you who are a little slow like me, that means that the warmest it will be tomorrow is 13 degrees.  That also means that at times it will be colder than 13 degrees.  Colder than 13 degrees.  I learned that tomorrow is going to be terrible but you know what is worse than tomorrow in Brooklyn?  Today in Minnesota.  The governor of Minnesota closed all the schools in the entire state due to cold weather for the first time since 1997.  So this lesson is two fold.  The first fold is that even though tomorrow is going to be insanely cold at least I can go outside without my face getting frostbitten within 2 minutes.  The second fold is that I never want to live in Minnesota.

4.  Last night I had a really hard time sleeping.  I felt sleepy when I got into bed but then I was wide awake.  I was just lying there, surrounded by cats, unable to move because despite the fact that each of my two cats only weighs 10 pounds they manage to take up all of the space.  I really believe that if I had a bed that was the size of the entire universe, my cats would still sleep in such a way that would leave me curled up uncomfortably in a ball.  Part of the reason I was having trouble sleeping was because I kept having itches. There was the itch on the bottom of my foot.  One under my left arm.  Another one in my hair.  I became convinced that I had bedbugs.  Then I thought, what if the ants escaped!  (They didn’t.)  Then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, I had the following thought: it would be terrible to be pregnant.  Not that for other people it is terrible.  For other people I think it is great!  I really do.  I love when my friends have kids.  But honestly, whenever one of my friends tells me they are pregnant (which is happening more and more often these days), after I am very happy and excited for them, I think to myself “better her than me.”  So here is the other thing I learned:  I probably should never have children.

5.  The other day I went to a bar to have a glass of wine and read my magazine before I went home, ate vegetarian chile and spent too much time watching shitty television.  There I was, minding my own business, reading about eating horses (???) when I caught the guy two chairs down staring at me.  I decided to pretend like I didn’t see him and went back to reading.  Unsuccessful.  The inevitable happened: he talked to me.

Guy:  Um, excuse me Miss?  I would like to buy you a drink.
Me: Oh, thank you but I actually think I am just going to have the one.  But if I change my mind you’ll be the first to know.
Guy:  (At this point I noticed some slight slurring)  Are you sure?  Because I was going to leave and then come back but only if I can buy you a drink.
Me:  No, I think I’m good.  I’m going to go home and eat dinner.
Guy, staring:  You have just the most beautiful hair.
Me:  Oh, thanks.
Guy:  It looks just like my mother’s.
Me: ……..

My philosophy, by the way, is to never accept a drink from someone at the bar because, aside from the fact that I am seeing someone,  you are then obligated to talk to them.  I mean, despite his obvious mommy-issues I am sure this guy was perfectly nice but no thank you.  Another thing that I learned: avoiding eye-contact with guys at bars is not always effective in combating off-putting pick-up lines.

So I guess that is it.  I guess those are the things that I learned so far in 2014.  Stay tuned because I am sure there will be equally interesting lessons to follow.  And now I will stop procrastinating writing this article that I am supposed to write by rambling on my blog and start procrastinating the article by making the Super Bowl pool thing for my job.  Okay, wait, here is another one.

6.  I love to procrastinate and I am really good at it.

Robo Callers can Robo Suck It

27 Dec

What follows is a rant.  For those of you that like my funny ones better and not my ranty ones (ahem Dad, I am talking to you) then maybe you should just stop reading.  Although there is a possibility that this post will contain at least a small percentage of humor, meaning that there is the admittedly outside possibility for this to be the funniest blog post I have ever written and you would have missed it because you are biased against my rants (because you have been hearing them for the past three decades in loud volume).  I’m just saying, choose wisely.

So listen.  I know that I have written about this definitely once but maybe even two times.  I believe it is important enough to warrant some repetition.  These goddamn spam callers are making me crazy!  Seriously.  I have been on the National Do Not Call Registry for so many years and yet I still receive these calls at least two times a week.  This is how it goes.  I get a call from a number I do not recognize.  I immediately get rage-filled.  Depending on my mood I either let the call go and research it on the internet to discover that it is some company trying to lower my interest rate or I answer the call and play the following game:  try to get the individual on the other end of the line to identify the name of their company before they hang up on me.  This game is really not that fun for the following two reasons:  (1) I always, I mean always, lose; and (2) the result is that I get even more rage-filled.  It’s as if I am a super hero and spam calls to my cell phone are my kryptonite.  I might be in complete control of my temper and my reaction to things and then my phone rings with some random 616 number and BAM any modicom of restraint I had flies right out the window.

So at work the other day I was talking to my one customer about my disdain for spam callers.  This came up because my dislike for spam callers is matched by my dislike for people who sell things on the television that are obviously pieces of crap but they market them towards people who are elderly, unwell, or stupid.  I think that is really mean-spirited.  So when my grandpa was all hopped-up on end-of-life pain medication he was watching TV and found this advertisement for newly minted nickels.  So my grandpa, bless his heart, spent something like $1000 on $500 worth of nickels because the commercial told him they would appreciate in value.  They were fucking nickels.  A nickel is worth five cents.  It does not matter how nice of a box you put them in or how shiny they are they are worth five cents from now until the end of time.  The only thing that changes about the value of a nickel is that it becomes less valuable because of inflation.  In his better days my grandpa knew that because he was good at things and also smart but when you’re sick and on medication and watching late-night television because you can’t sleep your judgement tends to go out the window.  And these people are there like little vultures, circling around just waiting to feast on you.  Seriously, fuck those people.  They make me so mad.

So anyway, I was talking to one of my customers about this and he said to me something that people say to me all the time because I have opinions and express them often and animatedly:

Why don’t you tell me how you really feel?

I hate that.  It’s like, I just told you.  That IS how I really feel and if you wouldn’t have made that “joke” I would have run out of steam and moved on to something else.  But now we both have to suffer because I am going to continue to get myself all worked up about spam calls and the value of nickels and you have to listen to it while you drink the vodka and orange juice I’m pretty sure you’re now regretting having ordered.

Anyway, in mid-rant this customer, who has obviously become accustomed to my antics or else is very skilled at blocking me out until there appears to be a break in the rant at which time he can sneak in a comment, said something about feeling badly for the people that work for the cold calling companies.  He pointed out what a terrible job it is and you know what?  He had a point.  In all the time I spent being mad at people who call me and tell me they can lower my interest rate it never occurred to me that I should be angry not at the person calling, but at the person who owns the company because, really, there aren’t that many jobs out there and maybe having a job, albeit an inherently dishonest one, is better than nothing?  I mean, who knows, maybe the grandpa of the woman who called me a few weeks ago also bought nickels at a wildly inflated price.  Or, maybe the woman was a robot.

And, actually, you should go read that article I just linked because it explains EXACTLY why these calls piss me off so much.  They piss me off because if you try to talk to a real person after dealing with a robot and ask them questions about the robot, themselves, or the company then they hang up on you.  It’s like, you called me so why are you being a dick?  No one will give you any actual information because the whole thing is a fucked-up scam.  And then when you finally do manage to get information* and then publish that information online, all of the phone numbers associated with the “company” go to busy signals when you call and the company’s website comes down off the internet.  The whole thing makes me see red.

In the next edition of things that make me crazy, I will write an open letter to both Chase Bank and Discover about the psychological damage their constant credit card come ons have caused me.  Stay turned.

*Apparently calling and telling them that you work for Time yields better results than telling them that you are the editor-in-chief and main (read: only) contributor at FranklyRebekah.com.