How To End Unwanted Telephone Calls
November 14, 2017 1:42pm CST
I'm not writing about calls from call centres in which young men with smooth voices try to talk you into buying shares for copper mines in Chile or wheat in Canada. We got some of these several years ago but they stopped. Maybe there is a worldwide network and our stubbornness to part with our money to support fishy enterprises is known now. No. I'm writing about calls you get from people you know but don't want to talk to for one reason or another. I'm thinking of a man my husband got to know because he's from the same part of the world and they even have common acquaintances. My husband doesn't like him particularly and is glad if he doesn't hear from him. Unfortunately, the last times he called it was me who picked up the phone. My feelings are stronger. I actively dislike him. He was a car salesman and is used to sweet-talking to customers. This is not the problem. The problem is that he walks the tightrope between apparently harmless and swinish. His insinuations are subtle. My dilemma is: If I don't react, I'm cross with myself. I'm quick at repartee and usually know a good answer if someone talks nonsense. Yet, if I do react and give him an appropriate answer, I show him that I've understood the insinuation and fall into his trap. I lower myself to his level and become - if not swinish - at least indecent myself. Now I do this: Our (landline) telephone is in the corridor. I quietly open the door to the staircase and ring our own bell beside the door to the flat/apartment. I tell the caller that someone has just rung (which he has heard, too) and that, unfortunately, I have to end our conversation because a visitor has arrived. Of course, one can't get away with the same trick again and again. So I've invented the variety to call down into the staircase as if our neighbours from downstairs have rung in order to ask me something. The next time I won't do the doorbell ringing gimmick. I'll already have one foot out of the door on my way to an urgent doctor's appointment or something similar according to the time of day. White lies? Oh, yes. But no qualms of conscience.
20 people like this
I'm such a bad person, I simply hang up. I can't fake an exciting life, full of friends and friendly neighbors at my door, or various appointments. If the one who calls is a person I know, I'll let them know I'd rather be doing something else. Speaking in 'humms' and monosyllables is my specialty, modestly.
• United States
Lol you got creative with getting off the phone with people. My house phone my kids usually answer but if my cell phone rings I just ignore it and let it go to voicemail then text them back later. I hate talking on the phone. I do not have a doorbell so I’d have to come up with something else.
• Boston, Massachusetts
I don't want to spend a lot of time on the phone with people I like, let alone people I don't like. I find the phone to be very restrictive - while you are on the phone, you can't do much of anything else. I need my hands and even my ears for other tasks. I need a trick that keeps people from calling me. Sometimes I just answer the phone in ways meant to dissuade the caller from wanting to talk to me, such as brightly declaring: "Greendale Home for Wayward Squirrels". Sometimes, they just hang up.
Ha ha very clever ideas. It's good the mobile phone was invented and no more telephone on us. Now, if the caller is on the other phone and you don't want to talk to them, just don't answer... think of alibi when you meet in the department store.
• United States
Sounds like you have it covered. I hate talking on the phone, while on it you cant do much of anything else. When busy and the phone rings if I don't know the person I don't pick up, hmmm sometimes if I do know them I don't pick up! lol Unless it is my mom, you have to pick up for your mom.
• Dallas, Texas
You did the appropriate thing. A little white lie is okay and I do the same thing. I usually say, "Hey, I got to help with the laundry and have to get off the phone." I hate it when the caller wants to call at random times and talk my ears off.
I do not get too many calls these days - a few wrong numbers. My close family members and friends are on Whatsapp. One day I received a call from a prisoner (it had to be a wrong number) which I told him and hung up. He called back and told me that he was incarcerated and liked the sound of my voice - I thanked him and hung up. When he called a third time, I turned off my phone - luckily I had two others.