Tales from the front pew
After careful rumination, I think it’s time the Smith family got rid of its land line. Granted, I’ve sort of wanted to hold on to it, just for old time’s sake, but some of the phone calls we’ve been getting are really starting to bug me.
First, there are all the estate planning people. I can only assume that my husband, Bob, and I are on some kind of “Old Geezer” list that kicks in when people hit their fifth decade. I make this observation due to the hefty amount of mail we receive daily regarding available cemetery plots, life insurance to cover final expenses and brochures from organizations we should join because “you’re only as old as you feel!” I felt a lot younger before they started sending me that stuff.
I’ve got to hand it to the estate planning people; they’re pretty smooth. I’m not sure where the company is based, but every representative I’ve spoken with has had a charming southern drawl. The conversation typically goes like this; “Hi Miz Smith. How are y’all today? If you have a teensy moment, I’d like to talk to you about an estate planning workshop we’re holding in your area.”
At this point, I usually say something funny — and completely true — like, “Thank you, but my family is pretty much estate-less.”
Needless to say, the caller then attempts to persuade me about how much we really need this service, followed by my continued assurance that we do not. By the time the call ends, I feel like I’ve run a marathon. The worst part about is the fact that they call every other day.
Perhaps an even more irritating call we get on almost a daily basis happens because of mistaken identity. Apparently, our current phone number once belonged to a brewery. At all times of the day and night — I guess drinkers don’t keep regular hours — the phone will ring, one of us will answer, and someone will inquire, “Is this Kelly’s (not the actual name) Brewery?”
“No,” we’ll respond with a level of patience that directly corresponds to the time of day. “This is a private home.”
Over the course of time, we’ve gotten a bit creative.
Ring … “Hello, do you have live music on Fridays?”
“Nope, sorry. Friday is mime night.”
Then there are the callers who automatically assume they’re talking to idiots.
Ring … “Hello! Mrs. Smith, this is your lucky day! Because of your past trips to our beautiful resorts, you’ve earned enough reward points to receive a three night/four day stay at the magnificent Jellyfish Arms in Miami, Florida. Oh, and the stay is all-inclusive except for food, drinks, shampoo, soap and bath towels!”
Past trips? Please. The last time I visited a resort in Florida, I was 8 years old. And do these folks really think I won’t remember that I never stayed at one of their resorts in the first place? They must have that Old Geezer list, too.
Life’s full of annoyances, but they’re temporary. One day God will call us home. Now that’s a call I’ll be happy to answer.