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Published: Sunday, March 23, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

If robocalls could hear, they’d get an earful from the kids

If you are a telemarketer, you have my sincere sympathy.

It must be a big challenge cold-calling people, especially when they are enjoying dinner.

I believe that any legal job that brings home a paycheck has merit. But it doesn’t mean I like the perpetual interruptions.

What happened to the “do not call” list? Has that expired? I signed up a long time ago but still get at least five random calls a day.

When somebody calls on behalf of cancer research, I am always polite. I have a standard rule of not giving money to people over the phone, but I try to say that in a nice way.

However, I do confess to being a little bothered by calls for police fundraisers because they really confuse me.

If I say no, will I be put on a blacklist? I’m a person who respects and trusts police, but it feels weird when they ask me for money.

Politeness goes out the window when it’s not even a real person on the other line. Robocalls are a modern-day scourge. Usually caller ID gives me a heads-up, but not always.

Guess what! I’ve won a free five-day vacation from a raffle I may have entered in the past year someplace somewhere.

Rachel from cardmember services is giving me money because interest rates are at an all-time low. The only hitch is that my nonexistent grandchild is stuck in a Mexican jail and needs me to immediately wire him $3,000.

Maybe my free vacation will take me to Cancun so I can bail him out. What do you think?

Perhaps a better idea would be to direct all robocalls to my son. He spends quality time developing new ways to answer the phone. As soon as he sees “toll-free call” on the ID, his eyes light up.

“Hi! You’ve reached the Poop Pie Bakery. Would you like to order some pies?”

“Hello (in a whisper), you’ve reached the Institute for Overly Sensitive Eardrums.”

“Toll-free call? I’m sorry, but we only accept troll-free calls.”

In our house, robocalls have become entertaining.

My 4-year-old daughter wants in on the fun, too. The last time a robocall came through, it was her turn to answer the phone.

She picked up the receiver and said in her very sweet voice, “I’m sorry, but we’re eating spaghetti right now. Could we please call you back?”

The rest of us stared at her in amusement. “No,” I said. “This is your chance to be rude! If it’s a recording on the other line, go for it.”

I made a fake ringing sound so she could practice.

This time when she picked up the phone, she stuck her tongue out at the mouthpiece.

I guess that’s close enough.

Jennifer Bardsley is an Edmonds mom of two and blogs at teachingmybabytoread.com.

Story tags » Parenting

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