I’m loaded down like a pack mule. I have a purse so big it could double as a gym bag. I have my padfolio, with papers poking out the sides. I have my lunch, an assortment of snacks and an iced tea the size of San Diego. You never know; I could get stranded during my five-minute commute to work.
But what’s that? I stop halfway down my stairway and listen. Is that…? Yes, it is. It’s my cellphone, vibrating from the depths of my gym bag purse. It sounds like there’s a giant fly trapped in there.
This could be important. I set everything down on my steps to dig for my phone, and in the process, I bump my gargantuan iced tea. It tumbles down the stairs, spraying the walls, the stairway, and me. Ice cubes fly every which way. A few hit my cat, and he bolts like he thinks I’m throwing things at him. I dive into my handbag and emerge wet, annoyed but victorious; my phone is still buzzing.
I answer it and…DANG! It’s her again. I have spilled a gallon of iced tea, upset my cat and made myself late for work all so that I could take a call from the queen of phone scammers: Elizabeth from the Resort Rewards Center. And I would have known it was her—or Rachel from Card Services or Sam from Travel Promotions or some other phony phoner—if I had only looked at my cellphone before I answered it. Elizabeth is calling from a Madisonville, Tennessee phone number today. I bet she doesn’t live in Madisonville, Tennessee. And neither does anyone else I know.
A look at my call history shows I get more phony phone calls than real ones, and by a wide margin. You would think knowing this, I wouldn’t have been in such a rush to answer the phone. I would think so too.
I’ve about had it with phone call scams. And I’m worried that one of these days, I’m going to snap, answer my phone without looking at the screen and start ranting as only I can. It could be my husband or my boss calling. It could be you calling. Please don't take it personally. Just stay on the line until I calm down.
That could take a while. In fact while I was mopping up iced tea, picking up ice cubes, changing my shirt, comforting my cat and driving to work late, I was muttering all the things I’d like to say to Elizabeth, Rachel, Sam and the rest of them: (POST HERE) “Isn’t it bad enough that I spend half my work day deleting spam emails. Now you’re using up the other half. I’m sure American productivity suffers because of the likes of you. I know mine does. And another thing! I was just in an accident because of one of your kind.” I wouldn’t tell them it was an iced tea accident.
I was still mad an hour later when my phone rang again. It was someone pretending to be from Brookhaven, New York where I know no one. I picked it up and said loud enough for the people in the next room to hear, “Stop calling me and get a real job.” Wouldn’t you know it? It was a recording.
(Dorothy Rosby is the author of several books of humor, including I Used to Think I Was Not That Bad and Then I Got to Know Me Better. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.)