(What’s the one guilty pleasure you have that’s so good, you no longer feel guilty about it?)
Hoo boy. So many guilty pleasures! Reading. Coffee. Tea. Chocolate. Retro TV. Music turned up LOUD! My wonderful bed. Privacy. Quiet. Having the house all to myself. Enjoying breakfast and my one cup of coffee per day with no interruptions. Oh, wait, I know!
Hanging up the phone without responding to the person on the other end who is trying to persuade me of something, get something from me, or sell me something.
Seriously, I used to think I had to be polite to telemarketers. After all, it has to be the world’s most miserable job. I’ve talked to people who used to do that work, and it’s easy to feel some sympathy for them.
BUT! Big but here. Telephone solicitations are annoying, aggravating, and intrusive. I did not ask to be called. I did not instigate the call. I especially resent being called during the supper hour. I REALLY get annoyed when the calls come on Sundays. I’m dreading the fact that, as we draw closer to the November elections, the pre-taped political calls are going to start up again.
Some years ago, I foolishly agreed to a charitable donation to an organization that shall remain unnamed. I sincerely wanted to help, and it’s still a cause I believe in. However, they wouldn’t leave me alone. Constant phone calls, and as I continued to say no, the calls became true harrassment. They tracked us halfway across the continent when we moved 20 years ago. There could be a long period of silence, and then all of a sudden the calls would start up again. I decided just to hang up. No more conversation. As soon as I recognized what the call was, I would hang up. And they were crafty. They used different people, different approaches. I got pretty good at knowing what it was, though.
Finally one day I did speak.
“If you don’t stop calling me, I’m going to inform the police and begin the process of bringing charges against you for harrassment. Do not call me again!”
The person laughed at me. I hung up and called our local police, who put me in touch with the proper authorities. It took some time, but eventually the headquarters of this outfit was located. They were, as I said, crafty. They operated under several aliases and finding them was like trying to pick up a tomato seed. They just kept spurting out from under my thumb.
This was one instance in which the little person–me–actually won. The stalkers were informed legally that any more calls to my number would be actionable. I got a copy of the letter. It was pretty intimidating. And I haven’t heard from them since.
So now I just hang up. I feel no guilt whatsoever. The first time I did it, I felt bad. The next time, not quite so much. Now–not at all. It’s just a pleasure. No guilt.