The phone just rang a moment ago. I checked the Called ID: an 866 number.
I let the phone ring. After the fifth ring, it stopped.
In another time, I looked at Caller ID as a convenience, and the thought that I might not answer the phone because of the incoming number seemed, well, cowardly. If someone calls me with something unpleasant, I would take the call and face the music.
But now 95% of the calls on my landline phone are junk. Sometimes, I’ll pick up and hear the other end of the call disconnect. Or I’ll get an announcement from a machine. My response is to blow into the phone. A person will stop, believing that the line got noisy. When the voice goes yammering on about how I can save money on my mortgage or get out of debt or whatever, I hang up.
If nobody speaks, I suspect that the machine has called me, and will now connect me with a representative. If no voice comes on in two seconds, I hang up.
It turns out to be very rare that there’s actually a live voice at the other end that has placed the call and is waiting for a real answer.
My son has suggested that I ditch my landline phone and just use the cell phone. He may have a point. But having a home phone number always seemed to be part of the basic package of being an adult in this society, and I’m not quite ready to let that go.
But in the meantime, if it’s from a toll-free area code, or a place where I don’t have any relatives, I won’t answer.
OK, it’s cowardly. But it works.