There’s a myth circulating about senior citizens, that we are up with the birds and asleep before sunset. An entire culture has been built on “Early Bird Specials.” Because old people purportedly eat dinner by 4pm.

I eat around four, but I call it lunch. Dinner is around eight. Please call before you show up.

72-Mobile and Regular Phones_07

In my experience older people, especially retired ones, are up when they feel like getting up. They go to bed when they feel ready to sleep. For us, that’s around one in the morning or later (earlier?). Even when we should go to bed earlier (because we have something we need to do in the morning), “Just one more show?” always wins over “Are you ready to go in yet?”

Thus when the phone rang at eight this morning, I wasn’t happy. I’ve recently changed my phone. At least my new ring tone — a Mozart sonata — is pleasant. Not like the old one which had all the grace of a nail gun to the head.

It took me a few moments to reconnoiter, to recognize the source of the sound. The phone, Marilyn. It’s the phone.

When I’m awake and focused, I don’t answer calls from “Unknown Callers,” survey companies, or 800 numbers. None of them are people to whom I want to speak. Most of them aren’t people. They are recorded messages (talk about annoying).

I can’t see the caller ID from the bed. It’s easier to snake my hand around the lamp and grab the phone.

I see an unfamiliar name on the caller ID.

“Hello?” Big improvement on my usually hostility-tinged “Yes?”

“Good morning, this is Rita from the Milford Daily Telegram.”


Speechless, I stared at the receiver in my hand, trying to get through the clouds in my brain to remember what to do next.

“Hello? Hello? Is anyone there?”

I was there, sort of. Shortly, I remembered what to do. I clicked “End.” Put the phone down. Plumped the pillow and went back to sleep. I was pissed, though well short of a killing frenzy. I save murderous rages for back-stabbing former friends and moronic customer disservice personnel. I’ve outlived most of the back-stabbers — in which there is some weird consolation — and no matter how frothing at the mouth crazed I may get at customer service drones, I recover almost immediately. I may not even remember the details an hour later.

Actual solicitation calls, of which this was one, should not be coming at all. I’m on the “DO NOT CALL” list. Nonetheless, I get up to a dozen or more such calls every day. If I’m alert, I don’t answer them. When I don’t recognize the name but doubt it’s anyone I know, I respond with a hostility-laden “Yes?”

Note: Putting yourself on a “Do Not Call” list seems the perfect way to distribute your phone number to organizations who want to sell your data to spammers.

Why eight in the morning? Anytime they call me will be annoying, but do they believe they can sell me something if they call before I have time to drink my coffee? Or my defenses down because I’m not fully awake?

What they accomplish is to rob me of a couple of hours of badly needed sleep. I curse them for that. Sleep is precious. Nobody should attempt to solicit anything from anybody before eleven. Or ever, if it were up to me.

I’m sorry about not having a criminal rampage to report. I promise to write about it as soon as something appropriate triggers one.



But why is the hatter mad? Did his hats not sell? Is he mentally unbalanced or merely angry? Inquiring minds want to know.

Categories: Communications, Customer Service, Humor

Tags: , , , , , , ,

46 replies

  1. I sit up late most nights but I don’t like late night phone calls. I feel anyone that calls after 9pm is rather rude, I forgive family members who live in a different time zone though. Late night phone calls can be a bit scary, has someone been in an accident or died? I don’t like being woken up by the phone either. Normally we don’t keep a phone in our bedroom although I have for the past few weeks. We have an answering machine and if anyone has something really important to tell us they will call back. Actually if it were up to me I would never answer the phone. I just don’t like them.


  2. I could quite possibly be the only person who has no issues with being completely disconnected from the world. When I am asleep (which of course, is usually during the daytime), the phone is in another room where it can not disturb me. If something truly important happens, I’ll find out about it when I wake up…..


    • I’m going to turn off the ringer in the bedroom. If I’m awake, I’ll be able to hear it anywhere in the house anyhow, but if I’m sleeping, the answering machine will take it. This is hardly the first time an early morning bullshit call has ruined my sleep.I’m not an easy sleeper. Time to stop complaining and fix the problem. I used to not worry about this sort of thing. I gave up carrying a cell phone without a moment’s hesitation, but the landline is another thing. I’m always afraid I’m going to miss THE call. I suspect it’s a remnant of my working years, when Garry was always on call and I was always hunting for the next job.


  3. I hate those telemarketing calls too. My husband works crazy hours and often has to sleep during the day. We’ve been on the Do Not Call list for years, yet they still keep calling! Unfortunately, we need to keep the phone on in case of an emergency with one of our kids, but on days when those calls come in, he often can’t get back to sleep. Why is it that companies think just because you have a phone that they’re entitled to call?


    • I don’t know. DO NOT CALL has no power of law, so I think mostly, telemarketers get information from it. I don’t answer the calls. I press on, then off, to make it stop ringing, But when it wakes me early in the morning, that’s usually “it” for sleep. Garry used to work bizarre hours. Anyone who works shifts is tired all the time. Sleep is the MOST precious commodity.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I haven’t heard those pesky little morning birds for years, and if I’m in bed by midnight, it’s early. And anyone who rings at 8.30 is just plain rude.


  5. I love it that you are having dinner late, like young people! Agree that getting older doesn’t mean being an early bird, morning and evening. I think that the freedom of not always running on a clock is wonderful and you should enjoy it the way you like. Regardless of age, I hate early and late phone calls since they always trigger anxiety from my part. I expect bad news when people call at odd hours.


    • Me too. Early or late phone calls have traditionally been bad news, so when it’s just a telemarketer, I get really mad. Not only have they ruined my sleep or my dinner or my movie, but they’ve upset me. Someday they’ll invent a “junk phone call” filter. Software whose time has come.


  6. It’s taken me a long time to learn to sleep in, after years of working crazy shifts. Any time after 6 a.m. is sleeping in, for me. A phone call that interrupts sleep can ruin the whole damn day- or night.


    • Thank you! Not everyone can just go back to sleep. Once I’m awake, the brain locks in and starts grinding away, even if I’ve just fallen asleep. I want to reach through the phone and tear out the throat of the caller. Not a good way to sell me something.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. We get up at 4:30 am every morning. I can’t wait to be retired. I am going to sleep until noon and later. That’s at least the plan. My phone is in the drawer of the nightstand during the night, in case something happens.


  8. I hate those calls too. An invasion of privacy. I have an unlisted number so I don’t these calls anymore. They used to call just as you sit down to dinner, bad timing or maybe they hope that you will give in just to get rid of them. No chance – hit the disconnect button.


  9. The mad hatter is mad because of the mercury he used in making his hats. Also, he got a little upset with the early phone calls too. I’m right with you, Marilyn. If anyone calls before eleven, they may not get a pleasant response. Of course I always deny that fact that I’m still in bed. (But I am)


  10. I have Vodafone number and they can turn anyone crazy by making en number of calls through out the day. Their timings are so weird that one can’t imagine. That day as soon as I locked the bathroom to have a bath my phone started ringing up. I somehow managed and rushed to pick up the phone only to find a girl calling me from customer care to apprise me with the new scheme they had regarding internet data. I felt like killing her for this. What that Rita must be wanting to tell you at 8 in the morning? 😉


  11. I will always sleep late and stay up late. If that is weird, then I will just be weird.


  12. I don’t have a phone. I haven’t had a phone for years. Ok, technically, I have a very good smart phone, but I only had service on it for a few months, a few years ago.

    99% of the time it is blissful. 1% it is sheer hell.

    Also, if you want to watch people get very confused looks on their faces, tell them you don’t have a phone. For some reason, some customer service people, will insist on asking you for your phone number. “I don’t have a phone.” Puzzled pause. “What about your cell phone number?” “Um, a cell phone would be a PHONE. I don’t have a phone.”

    You can tell they are confused. How are you speaking with them if it isn’t face to face? Over my computer. I can call out, no one can call me. (Right now because I’m looking for work, that’s not a great arrangement, so I’m using my housemate’s landline.) (Speaking of which, gah! I wish it would RING!)

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I ignore the 8:30 p.m. calls because I’m already in bed under the warm covers. Then I get up at 1:30 a.m. and call the missed caller back and wake them up. When they groggily ask who this is I answer it’s the guy you woke up at 8:30 returning the favor.


    • Sadly, that method only works with people who aren’t in an office … and are PEOPLE. I wish it did work because I would happily use it. It is an especially unsuccessful for recorded messages. They just don’t CARE 🙂


  14. OMG! That was YOU?

    Just kidding, of course, but it brings back memories of my days as a market researcher (survey taker). I often wonder how many of my new blogging friends I might have called while doing that work. We called numbers all across the U.S.


  15. Having an almost 100 year old father in another country, you have a sort of Democles Sword hanging somewhere, so I had to do some clear thinking. If anything happens in the night or at unearthly morning hour, I can do nothing. I cannot hop on a plane, make decisions or organise and let’s face it, no-one will be going anywhere and so when I go to bed in the evening I put my iPhone on flight mode as well as my iPad. when I have my golden oldie sleep at lunch time the same, all phones are switched off until we return to life. I have heard the story about old people (who’s old?) do not need so much sleep – forget it, I don’t know who found that one. On my first days of work freedom I celebrated by staying up until later than midnight. Mr. Swiss was already retired since 3 years, so he was doing what he wanted in any case and never really needed more than 5-6 hours sleep per night. He was already doing a golden oldie training session at lunch time. It is now an unwritten law in the Angloswiss home that there will be no communication during the night or after lunch. I go to bed when I am tired, heedless of what I can do, and that might be any time from 11,00 until 11.30. Mr. Swiss is still watching TV, but he must arrive some time in the night in the bedroom as he is there in the morning, although already up and running. Golden oldie life is good, just do not stress and do not forget, you can always switch the phone off.


    • 99.99% of my phone calls are survey takers (no, I do not want to participate), sales (I don’t need one, thanks), fake charities (I will NOT donate), and doctor’s offices reminding me of an appointment. After all these years, I have decided the doctors offices make their reminder calls early in the morning because they don’t have time later in the day when the switchboard is busy. So them, at least, I forgive. I’m like your husband. Garry is like you. We both go to bed late, but I’m up hours before him. And that’s okay. I love the freedom to live on my own personal schedule and not answer to a boss or anyone else. I totally LOVE retirement!


  16. Hatters were mad, as in nuts not angry, because their work involved Mercury. Over time the ingestion of this stuff drove that batty. But even they wouldn’t make a sales call at eight in the morning. I hope she wasn’t calling to tell you about the trip you had just won.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think the Milford Telegram (and Gazette) doesn’t give anything away because they are struggling to stay alive. It’s a local — very — paper that depends on public announcements, high school sports, and Little League play-by-play. I’m sympathetic to their cause and have bought subscriptions from them in the past because I feel an obligation to support local newspapers. But. They have terrible delivery and tend to dump the paper in puddles at the top of the driveway. I stopped ordering it. I never read it anyway, but I was willing to chip in. I doubt they are giving me the trip of my dreams (or nightmares) because they are very poor.

      Eight in the morning is unseemly.

      I didn’t know about the hatters and mercury. THAT is terrific trivia!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • One of the few perks of being hard of hearing is that I do NOT hear the phone ringing when not wearing my hearing aids. I don’t wear them while sleeping. As for those myths about the schedule of retired people, they are so very inaccurate. Or maybe it’s just us. After decades of crazy work schedules, I glory in staying up very late. I also love to sleep late in the morning unless we have something special — like medical appointments. Back to phone calls. Never liked them during my working days. Usually it was a directive to cover murder, mayhem and disaster. Nowadays, I just don’t like answering the phone. That’s Marilyn’s department. What??


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