Yesterday, I blogged about the robocalling robo-women, Rachel, Bridgette and Carmen… told how the persistence of these scammers… their flat out refusal to take my “no” for an answer… has ruined my life… has gotten me to the point where I actually dread answering my landline phone.
My true story, in this day’s post, points out why we must never permit these vile entities to sour our view of our world…
‘Twas in the waning days of December ‘15, when my phone rang. Glancing over at the clock… it was still well before 9 p.m…. so… the window of opportunity for more robocall abuse was still wide open. I had even considered letting my answering machine field the call… but…
Just before the fourth ring I picked up the handset… time seemed to freeze. Palpable was that moment of hesitation, both the caller’s and mine. Then I heard a female voice. No, not that damned robovoice… this was an actual, living, breathing person and she softly, tentatively, was asking to speak to someone.
It had been a dozen years since I had last heard my 89-year-old, late mother speak and the caller’s inflection was so close to hers that… if I hadn’t known better…
Well… suffice to say… I knew she was on in years. I hadn’t quite heard her all that well so I asked her to repeat the name of who she was trying to reach. I then informed her she had reached the wrong number.
Normally, I’d have simply hung up at that point … yet something told me not to. She went on to tell her story… how she had so wished to chat with a dear friend of hers that holiday season… and now… she’d not be able to.
Hearing that tugged at one of my heartstrings.
It hadn’t been all that long ago that I had been there for my aging and ailing parents. In keeping with that same spirit, I told her that I had a phonebook… that, together, we might be able to figure out what was wrong.
I asked her to spell out the first and last name, provide the address and city, etc. Turns out her friend now resided in my lifelong, small hometown and, oddly enough, even lived on the very same street where I had dwelled the first seven years of my life.
There went that second heartstring tug.
Leafing through to the correct page, my first try was to no avail. When I told her I was coming up blank, she sounded more dispirited than before. That’s when I spotted another, far less conventional phonebook on my shelf… this one listed residents by the streets they lived on. I told her I was not ready to give up.
Lo and behold I had located the person she had tried to call. It turns out she had transposed a couple of numbers in the street address and, as for the phone number, itself? While the last four digits were identical to mine, she had an incorrect three digit prefix.
As I read all the valid information to her, she muttered that her pen wasn’t working too well. I told her to take her time and then slowly repeated everything. She was profuse with her thanks and we wound up warmly wishing each other, “Happy Holidays!”
I had no sooner hung up than the deeper significance to what had just happened started to sink in.
I had made friends with a complete stranger…
And had her to thank for restoring my belief that… in spite of all the robocall abuse I had been experiencing (and still am experiencing)… the telephone still plays a vital role in creating a vibrant, close-knit global community.
Consider for a moment the social isolation, which Rachel, Bridgette and Carmen have caused. Undoubtedly… their harassing robocalls have forced us to view our telephones as something evil.
Personally, I cannot help but wonder how many genuine calls I may’ve missed when… in my efforts to avoid robocalls… I had totally stopped answering my phone for over one month.
The robocall has also become one of many reasons why people are cutting the cord to their landlines and relying on cellphones.
Cellphones, which are usually turned off… have unlisted numbers… cut us off and isolate us even further from our world… extinguish our, for the common good, spirit.
“Peace on Earth and goodwill to (wo)men!”
That is the spirit, which should run high… not only during the December holidays… not only in one’s hometown… but on each and every day in every corner of our world.
The robots, Rachel, Bridgette and Carmen are trying to take all of that away from us… and we cannot… MUST NOT… ever allow that to happen.