Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine. A police officer, working in the small town that he lives in, focusing on family and shooting and coffee, and occasionally putting some people in jail.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I KNEW I forgot to do something!




Groan. Thump. Stagger. Stagger. Stagger.

Collide with furniture.

I pick up the phone.

"This is Matt," I say with gravel in my throat.

"Mr. X?"

My wife's maiden name. That's how we list our phone in the new directory, because we don't want to be hassled by folks wanting to argue a ticket I wrote them (or worse), and we're too cheap to pay the $2.00 a month to be unlisted.


"This is Tasha Johnson. May I speak to Mr. X?"

"Who are you with?" I know it's a marketing scam.

"I told you sir, Tasha Johnson. May I speak with Mr. X, please?" She's sounding impatient. And East Coast. I have to listen to this, first thing in the... well, okay-- late --morning? Damn, is it almost 11:00? Well, it was almost 5:00 when I went to bed...

"Once again, Tasha: Who. Are. You. With?" I'm not yelling. I'm not cussing. I'm not sounding like I'm going to find her house, burn it down, shoot her dog on on the embers of her own front porch, and poop on her newly-delivered edition of Telephone Annoyance Monthly.

I am a hell of a guy. I may make coffee to celebrate.

But first, this bitch.

"We're with the Fraternal Order of Police, and..."

"Don't call me. Place this number on your do-not-call list. Don't ever call me again." At this point, I'm afraid that my voice might have been a teensy bit direct. Oh, darn. She might not have me over for catfish and beer this weekend.

"Are you Mr. X?" Oh, I can fairly hear her thought processes now: I'll show him! Only the registered telephone customer can tell me not to annoy him! That's the Law, and you have to obey the Law!

No, it's not. But anyway.

It's time to draw our telephone meeting to a close. I didn't want to have it in the first place.

"Mr. X does not exist. Mr. X is a pseudonymn. You may regard me as him. Remove our name from your call list. Do not ever call us again." And I hung up.

+ + +
I refuse to give money to ANYone who calls me and asks for it. If I want to donate to a charity, I will. I've sought them out before. But I don't give money to people who make money by calling me to ask for money. "But it goes to a good cause!" some of you may be saying. Some of it might, if it's not a scam. (Trust me: people do that.) But as this news story out of Houston shows, even the Texas State Troopers Association's fundraising sees only forty cents of every dollar going to the actual association that they're claiming to benefit, and most of that money goes to... LOBBYING. Nice.

Next time a local group puts on a barbecue fundraiser for a cop or firefighter who's sick or hurt, do 'em a favor and make a donation. But please don't ever donate to the associations that call you on the phone.

Oh, and those little stickers that you put in the back window to show that you're an upstanding member of the TSTA, or whatever? We don't give a tinker's damn about 'em. (And if we did, you'd find that the attention you got would probably be more negative.) Stickers in back windows do not get you out of traffic tickets-- they just imply that you think that they do, and that you spent $20 to try to get one like Thai folk buying Jatukams from temple holy men in an attempt to become prosperous.

+ + +

I flipped up the laptop, Googled and found the National Do Not Call Registry, and put my phone number on the list. Can't believe I'd forgotten to do that.

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At Wednesday, July 25, 2007 2:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They can still call you if they're registered as a charitable organization. Or a politician.

At Wednesday, July 25, 2007 2:51:00 PM, Blogger Bonnie said...

I have a story about that - I meant to blog about it last night. Thanks for the reminder.

At least you got an explanation so that you would know who you were hanging up

At Wednesday, July 25, 2007 5:39:00 PM, Blogger Sabra said...

I don't give money to people who annoy me. This doesn't make the Salvation Army very happy.

At Wednesday, July 25, 2007 5:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We also use a Mr. X telephone listing. So when they call I tell them "Please, tell me all about it". Then I put down the phone until the ringer tells me its off the hook and the caller has gone away.


At Wednesday, July 25, 2007 6:32:00 PM, Blogger none said...

I treat them the same way. I'm on the do not call list but it does not apply to charities, campaigning and any company or thir affiliate you've done business with in 90 days.

And if someone calls you despite you being on the list, you have to have their real company name, the name of the supervisor and their "real phone number" in order to file a complaint. These are almost impossible to acquire from people wanting to phone spam you ilegally.

At Wednesday, July 25, 2007 8:00:00 PM, Blogger Ambulance Driver said...

And on a related note, if Mormon missionaries come to your door, do not tell them you are sacrificing a goat in the other room and you have to get back to it before your pentagram dries out and your candles burn down.

It won't run them off. They'll just return with reinforcements.

At Wednesday, July 25, 2007 11:51:00 PM, Blogger HollyB said...

NO, AD, but if you answer the door wearing a wet towel and tell them you're a Druid...they don't come back. Trust me, I know.

At Thursday, July 26, 2007 1:55:00 PM, Blogger BobG said...

My dad used to light up his pipe and offer the Mormon missionaries a cold beer...

At Thursday, July 26, 2007 2:19:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

I've never had a problem with the Mormon missionaries. "No thanks, Elder-- we ain't buyin' none. Thanks anyhow."

Jehova's Witnessess have been a caution, on occasion, though.

At Thursday, July 26, 2007 2:35:00 PM, Blogger Murphy said...

I'll have to look for it, but I distinctly remember the audio file of a guy, fed up with telemarketers, pretend to be a homicide detective at the scene of a brutal murder. The homeowner told the guy that as Mr. (his actual name) was a known...uh...'sweet' type of guy, & expressed a strong desire to know what was the nature of the hapless (male) caller's business, and where was he between the hours of so and so the previous night. This was played on some radio station and was friggin hilarious. Plenty of forethought, had the marketer sweating what he had managed to get himself into.

Re: religious types, it gets really interesting when you have some combination of Mormons, Witnesseseses, or Adventists at the house at the same time.

"In this corner, weighing a combined weight of 170 lbs, from four states away...Let's get ready to ruuuuummble!!"

At Thursday, July 26, 2007 5:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before I moved to D., I'd go to the door naked, with a bad dog in one hand and a .45 in the other, screaming incoherencies.

They'd never come back. Of course, now that I'm in D., they come back and set up lawn chairs for the performance art.


At Thursday, July 26, 2007 11:59:00 PM, Blogger Gerald said...

Hey Matt, those talismen work...the Thai baht is now worth more so that means I'm richer now.

At Saturday, July 28, 2007 12:18:00 PM, Blogger Lisa Sarao said...

Those organizations are required by law to tell you what percentage of your donation actually ends up going to the charity, and how much goes to "administrative overhead," which is the telemarketing company. It's usually a very small amount that goes to the actual charity ... something like 15%, in my experience. The ones I love are those that tell me they don't have that information at hand (yeah, right), but they can give me an address to write for the information, or give me another number to call ... ha ha, as if.

It used to be that they weren't required to disclose that percentage, or they could be less than truthful about it. When they tell me the number, I tell them that it's not enough, and they usually leave me alone after that.

The ones that REALLY grate on my nerves are those that try to give you a guilt trip for not giving ... I tell them, "I'm a volunteer Paramedic. I paid my own way through school to become one. I volunteer in my community every week. What have YOU done lately?" Ha ha. Jerks!

At Sunday, July 29, 2007 10:12:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I usually say, "I only give money to people that I can see." Works for me.


At Monday, July 30, 2007 9:58:00 PM, Blogger Clarinazi said...

I've been on the no-call list for a little over two years now, and the FOP (among others) still calls every three months to the day. ...this time may have changed things, however. I talked to the guy for an intense 30 seconds before asking his hand in marriage...

At Wednesday, July 30, 2008 12:05:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work nights too.
When the phone rings at 11 Am I ask for their personal phone number. When they want to know why, I tell them since I work nights it is actaullly 2 am, I will be glad to discuss this with them as I like their outfit but prefer to do it when I have not been awoken from a dead sleep and if I have their mnger i an discuss the $$ I will donate.


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