Thursday, September 17, 2009

[spam] and the imperious command of the telephone


Lord T focuses on an issue affecting us all:

It seems that the recession is hitting really hard. At home the amount of junk mail I get through the post has doubled over the last few months. Items from the general junk mail suppliers is pretty constant but the amount from people I have had some dealings with has increased significantly.

In addition I have received a cold call every night for the last week. Most were the usual cold callers but again two were from companies I had dealt with in the past that I had not spoken to for a while and I’m not convinced I gave them my number in the first place. Data miners, Grrr.

There are two approaches we can take. One is to bring in super-improved spam filters and pay for expensive software to gird our blogloins with the armour of computer-slowing technology ... or two, we can cease to worry about it.

It's not what the issue is but how you feel about it that counts.

Thus, when Mrs. Susan whoever opens with, "Dearly Beloved," from her home in Nigeria or when the British Tobacco Lottery tells me I've won a million pounds and all I have to do is claim it by giving my bank details or when someone sends "κάτι που γράφεται στα ελληνικά", then it just goes straight to the bin and never gets a second thought.

Paraphrasing the truisms of Dr Phil again, the trick is not to let anyone else impose his/her reality or constructs on you. When someone says he/she feels betrayed by you, that is his/her construct. When someone appeals to your compassion or greed in a scam, that's his/her problem ... unless you click on it.

Manifesto

I will not be hustled or bullied into doing anything I don't want. I will not feel remorse for something I never did - there's enough of that for things I actually did do - and above all, I will not be told how to think.

This extends even to the telephone. Why should I answer it? Why? It is an imperiously toned command to drop what I'm doing with someone I really do wish to be with and attend to something I have neither solicited nor do I particularly want.

This is where answer machines or services are good. If it is a worthy person who phoned, then naturally you'll phone back as quickly as possible or if you can see the name in the display, then you will interrupt your doings and answer it.

But there is no automatic obligation I feel to answer a phone or a knock on the door.

One consequence of this seemingly selfish policy is peace of mind. Peace of mind leads to calm and to feelings of well-being. Feelings of well-being brush off onto others we have contact with and inevitably lead to a pleasant time for all.

Win-win.

8 comments:

UBERMOUTH said...

'When someone says he/she feels betrayed by you, that is his/her construct.'

That's overly simplistic and delusional and allows no room for one person's actions ever betraying another.

Sometimes people do betray each other and it's not some distorted reality of the person feeling betrayed.

Longrider said...

We filter all calls. If it is a number we recognise, then we answer - if it is withheld, we leave it to the answering machine. If it is someone genuine, they will leave a message, if it is a junk call then they won't.

That way I never have to answer a junk call.

James Higham said...

Uber - some people simply must adopt constructs to protect themselves.

There's no point actually showing them the error because they're not following any logic known to man - they're determined, almost fanatically so, not to see it.

When this becomes a long, long habit, a system, then the self-defence automatically kicks in and that's the end of all negotiation.

Longrider - it's a good system and the only way I differ is not to answer any "withheld" unless I know the person personally. So yes - that's the way to go.

UBERMOUTH said...

True. I have bumped into people who adopt constructs to protect themselves from examining their unacceptable conduct.

But whatever self defence mechanism they employ does erase the intial betrayal,only the accountability.

Anonymous said...

The problem with leaving it to the answering machine (which I do generally do) is they just keep on calling so sometimes I have to pick up the phone to get off their list. Usually I just give them the silent treatment; but once, after an American voice had told me "Congratulations, you have won a holiday...." (while in the background I could faintly hear a few dozen other operatives saying the same damn thing to others) I just broke in at the first pause and said "Well that's a coincidence, because you are my one millionth cold caller, so congratulations to you, and if you just give me your bank account details I will transfer your prize of one thousand pou..." And the line went dead. Too much hassle to do regularly, but it amused me once. Give it a try.

Gracchi said...

James I agree- generally I delete as spam whenever I see something like that- that tech must come to phones eventually which allows you to id the spammer and just turn them down.

Incidentally just as irritating as people ringing you up is trying to get in contact with people like banks over the phone- sometimes I wonder if half the people employed spamming were employed answering the telephone at HSBC whether life would be easier all round!

James Higham said...

These are the things sent to drive us out of our brains.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I agree with you, James.