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I’m a nice person in my opinion, but I’m sure there are other opinions – descriptive words such as “fantastic,” “hilarious,” “gorgeous,” “benevolent,” “serene,” and let us not forget “talented.”  PLEASE let us not forget “TALENTED!”

But on occasion, even wonderful people such as I feel the need to let the world and its inhabitants know what they are doing wrong, and even offer remedies for their transgressions. As I have always considered myself an adviser to the Almighty, it strikes me as odd that the Almighty so seldom (if ever) takes my advice. My sterling advice, mind you. In any event here are a couple of random rants with suggestions for putting things right. You are invited to spread the word. After all, what I have to say can be of use to everybody everywhere.

1.  Who was the idiot creative executive who actually believed that a “no-call” list for telemarketers would actually be a viable solution for putting to an end those incredibly annoying nuisance calls that start at about 8 a.m. and don’t quit on some days until 9 p.m.?  No matter how many “no-call” lists I have registered for, there seems to be a never-ending supply of those calls   Now, granted, if a person actually answers when I say “Hello,” I do my best to be my usual courteous self and tell them politely that whatever they have to sell, or whatever danger I might be in because of what the FBI reports tell me I might be in, or how badly I am in need of new siding for our house, I am not interested in what they have to sell, and if I was, I would be the caller and not the callee. And, by the way, trips to hell are relatively inexpensive at this time of year and are highly recommended (open end tickets encouraged).  Oh, I also beg to be removed from their call lists.  That never happens.  Even if you wait to the end of the call for the magic number to push that supposedly removes you from their call list.

Now those sorts of calls are annoying, but the most maddening, the ones that send me running round the house screaming and pulling my hair out by the roots are the computer automated calls that have nothing but silence on their end of the line after I answer, in a cheery, chirpy tone, “Hello!”  This is where I apply the ten-second rule – a rule that is rapidly being downgraded to an eight-second rule, eventually to become five-seconds, and inevitably the one-second rule.  Immediately after saying “Hello,” I count to ten.  If no one answers me, then I slam hang the phone up, but only after banging in about twenty or thirty ***’s, ###’s, @@@,s, or any other random meaningless key I can think of.  I do not know if this messes with their system, but even if it doesn’t, it makes me feel a little better.  Stress the word little.  Try it for yourself.  It does give an odd sense of satisfaction sometimes.

2.  Again, a rant to do with the telephone:  What idiot creative executive go-to fella decided that automated answers were the solution to a customer’s problems?  You know what I’m talking about:

“If you have a question about your bill, please press “One” now, or simply say the word “one.”

“If you have a question or problem related to technical problems, press “two” now or simply say “two.”

“If you wish to make a payment by phone, press the number “4,” or simply say, “I’ve got money for you now.” Your call will immediately be answered by a real live person, more than willing to take any and all financial information you are able to provide, for a $10 processing fee.

“If you are unable to pay your bill, please answer your doorbell.  The police are waiting to take you away to jail after taking possession of your home and all your belongings.”

“For all other questions or problems, or you wish to speak to a customer service representative, press “0,” and grab a cup of your beverage a choice.” Then have a seat in a comfortable chair, and be prepared to listen to approximately one and one-half hours of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass playing the Pachelbel Canon in D in their own inimitable style.  This concert will of course be interrupted about every three minutes (just when the music gets to the best parts), to tell you that you call is important to them and they will be with you a soon as possible.  They also wish to remind you that they are #1 in the USA in customer service. And, by the way, many of your questions can be answered by logging onto http://www.forgetit.com.  This convenient tool is especially helpful when you are calling because you can no longer access the internet.

As I have surpassed 750 words at this point, I will save other rants – some even more maddening, (I like to save the best for last), for a future post.  If any of you have rants of you own, please feel free to vent in the comment section below.  You know, things like jars, packages, and bottles closed so tightly that arthritic people are completely unable to open the jar without hydraulic equipment, which in itself costs a fortune, and comes in a package that is impossible to open. . .oops!  I got started again.  Really now, I’ll stop.  For now this is enough. . .

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