Do you hate phone solicitations? Then you’ll like this story.


Let Me Hurt Your Ear

I had just finished supper and nicely settled into the evening news on the television. Flight MH370 is still missing but new debris has been spotted in the southern Indian Ocean. I listen intently for an update on the fate of the missing plane and passengers. The phone rings.

“Hello, I’m calling about a problem with your credit card,” an unidentified man with an Asian accent informs me. “Could you please verify the number on your card?”

The number on my credit card? Yah – right buddy! Do you think that I have STUPID tattooed to my forehead?

“Who is this?” I said. “How did you get my number?”

“I’m with your bank,” he tells me.

“What bank would that be?” I scoff. I suspect that a scam is in progress.

“Your bank,” he says. “And I’m calling to tell you about a problem with your card.”

“I’m on the Government “No Call List” and if you don’t identify yourself and what institution you’re with, I’ll report you.” I don’t think I shouted, though I know I used an overly firm voice but I wasn’t rude.

He responded with a “click”, hanging up the telephone without further comment.

I make myself comfortable again in my recliner and try to pick up the news forecast. From the window I could see the branches on the trees swaying from a strong wind and I see that the snow has started to blow at an angle. The house is at a constant 22 degrees but the sight of it makes me feel cold so I pull up the cozy throw to keep my feet and legs warm. The phone rings again!

“Hello, my name is Andrew and I’m calling from Ontario Duct Cleaning Service,” Andrew says. “When is the last time you had your ducts cleaned?”

His question catches me off guard. Is he implying that I have dirty ducts? Perhaps he thinks the same of my housecleaning. I’m offended. I should ask him when he cleaned his toilet last but control my annoyance.

“I don’t recall ever dealing with you guys before,” I said. “How did you get my number?”

“You’re on our privileged client call list,” Andrew says. “You know dirty ducts are a major cause of common allergies.”

“Well my ducts are sparking clean and please take me off your call list immediately,” I say brusquely. “And don’t call me again please.” seems that this is the third time that ODCS has called our number this month.

Andrew thanks me politely and gently hangs up from the call. However, I don’t think he’s taken me off their list.

Well that was two calls this evening and I’m agitated by the interruptions and annoyed at the invasion of my privacy. Who do these guys think they are? I thought there was a law to stop this.

An hour passes and its eight PM now and the phone rings again. I get up to answer and notice that the number on the display is 1- 888. My patience and tolerance is at its limit.

“Hello,” I growl. “Who is this and why are you calling at eight PM at night?”

“Hello madam, my name is Manuel,” a cheerful voice with a Mexican accent announces. “I’m calling from Microsoft about a problem with your computer.”

“How do you even know that I have a computer?” I’m wondering what this guy is up to. I’m sure Microsoft isn’t in the habit of calling its software users about their computers. I’m getting paranoid now and wondering if he could get access to my personal information on my computer.

“My computer is fine thank you. Take me off your call list – now!” I yell. “Never call me again. Is that clear?”

“But madam, I see your computer has a virus that can damage your CPU,” Manuel insists.

“No,” I say. “You are a virus. Leave me alone. Goodbye.” I hang up the phone with a loud thud hoping that the abruptness of the action causes sufficient noise on his end to hurt his ear.

I really don’t know why these calls irritate me so badly but there is nothing in world that I find more annoying. We’re warned that unscrupulous individuals make it their business to prey upon unsuspecting hard working citizens and seniors trying to scam and rob them of money. If the police and authorities know about this why don’t they do something to protect us? There should be a law! I decide I’ll call Bell in the morning to report the unusually high number of assaults I’ve had tonight.

It’s now nine PM and I’m starting to snooze in my recliner. The phone rings and awakens me with a start. My heart is pounding in my chest and this time I’m furious. I jump up and look at the call display. It’s a I-800 number. I pick up the receiver and start punching the number keys of the dial pad making loud screeching noises with each number punched. Then the phone clicks – it goes to dial tone.

“Take that you bastards,” I’m talking to a hung up phone now. “That will teach you! Call me after nine PM and I’ll hurt your ear.”

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