I rate Caller I.D. among the top 5 recent technology advancements that have made my life more livable. Since I know who’s calling, I don’t have to waste words, and I know what tone to answer in: “What the hell’s the charge this time, officer?”
But even better than knowing how to answer, I know whether to answer. For example, I never answer when my voice caller I.D. warns me that “Breast Cancer” is calling. Why should I make it easy for Breast Cancer to reach me? I don’t think so.
I’m also never going to pick up the phone when an entire city tries to contact me. Lately, Phoenix, Arizona has been the peskiest city wanting to talk to me, but I bet I’ve been called by over half the major cities in the United States.
Some of my favorite I.D.’s are the ones that indicate defrauders are trying to dupe me—I.D.’s such as “Invalid Number,” “Not Assigned,” or “Not in Service.” Sometimes the identification is even more blatant. This might be hard to believe, but several times I’ve been dialed up by “Phone Scam.” I LOVE Caller I.D.
I also like it when the scammers are more devious but not so clever that they don’t give themselves away. Often my phone displays a local number with the same area code and first 3 digits as my own at the same time that my telephone’s robotic secretary announces, “Out of Area.” They want me to think they’re in the neighborhood, but they’re not being very neighborly. Though these calls annoy me, they also make me feel inflated pride in my amazing Sherlockian sleuthing skill.
Caller I.D. has also defended me against the most obnoxious of all my harassing callers, some guy identified by my phone only as “Spencer, Bill.” As I said, since I got Caller I.D., not even scam calls have bothered me much, but the fact that I call myself from my own number is just creepy. It’s coming from inside the house. Somehow he has my number, but I’ve got his number, too, if you know what I mean. I’ve repeatedly not taken his calls, but he won’t take the hint. Bill Spencer is pig-headed.
If he really wants to talk to me that much, shouldn’t he do it face-to-face? Why not in person? Why on the phone? Is that sonuvabitch trying to record our conversations? It’s my own number, so I can’t even block the jerk.
On top of everything else, he keeps calling at the most inconvenient times, almost as if he knows exactly what I’m doing at any given moment. One thing he does that I especially hate is he’ll call right after I hang up from talking to someone else. It’s like he’s saying, “I know you’re there, Bill. Answer the damn phone!”
So, if you’re reading this, Bill Spencer, I’m on to you. You’re an inconsiderate creep, and as curious as I am to see what I have to say to myself, as much as I’m intrigued about what urgent message I seem so stubbornly intent on delivering to myself, I’m never going to answer. I don’t care how good-looking, or brilliant, or hilariously funny you probably are; I’m not picking up the phone. Ever.