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Feb 02

I hate when my time is wasted!

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I hate when my time is wasted!

I recently started doing something that I never imagined I would do.  I now let my answering machine screen most of my calls.  Why you ask?

Antique TelephoneI’m one of those who still has a land line.  While I use my smart phone when not at home, my land line has its advantages.  For one, I can send and receive faxes without having to go to one of those mail box stores.  And there are other benefits, too, that I will not go into here.

A number of years ago, I added my phone numbers to the national and state don’t call listings.  After a few months, the quantity of telemarketing calls diminished considerably.  I work from home and enjoy the peace and quiet that allows.  Wow, I thought, this is really great.  No longer interrupted while writing, during dinner, while watching TV, or doing other fun things.

rotary cell phoneRecently, however, I’ve been overwhelmed by the increasing number of “Survey” type calls.  Survey, political, and calls from companies you already do business with are exempt from the Don’t Call rules.  As I said, I hate when my time is wasted!

While these callers stress that “This is not a sales call,” they are collecting data that can and will fill my mailbox with more useless junk mail.  In addition, they are building databases with more information about me and my habits than I care to divulge. 

After all, who is actually conducting the call and where does the information go?

What can a person do to alleviate this type of stress?  There are two very easy solutions.

caller idFirst let your caller ID work for you.  It does more than let you know your best bud is calling.  Caller ID can identify when a calling party is a commercial interest, a caller who has blocked his identity, or just someone you’d rather not speak to.

Most, if not all phones, have caller ID features built in to them.  And most phone companies include caller ID in their standard plans, so check it out.  By looking before answering, you can eliminate the vast majority of waste of time callers.

manual answering machineSecond, let your answering machine do the balance of the work for you.  Many promotional calls are automated.  The system calls thousands of numbers automatically, only connecting a real person to the call if the computer calling system senses a real person has picked up the phone.

If you let your answering machine do that for you, you fool the system most of the time.  With that in mind, I have eliminated my voice from my answering machine.  It now uses the robotic voice it was originally programmed with to answer the calls.  By doing that, you also prevent the caller from determining the sex of the person answering.

It might take you a little while to get used to these tactics, but you will love the end result.  You will have more uninterrupted time to do what you want to do rather
than answering a stupid survey and exposing yourself to more useless calls.

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