“What do you want?”
“Hi Mr. White,” a cheerful voice on the other end of the phone responded. “I’m calling about a private matter. Can you please verify the last four digits of social security number?”
“Who is this?” I hollered, which was the only tone I could muster after being so rudely awakened by this early morning caller who wouldn’t stop calling.
“I’m calling regarding a private matter,” the young man replied. “Can you please verify the last four digits of your social security number?”
“No,” I answered. “If you already have my social, then you need to do the verifying.”
“Sir, if you won’t verify the last four digits of your social, can you verify your date of birth?”
“If you have my social, then I’m sure you already have my birthday,” I stayed on the defensive.
He replied politely, “I have it, Sir. I just need you to verify the day and year before I can discuss this matter.”
“Well, that’s not going to happen,” I snapped.
“I’m sorry, Sir, but I’m not going to be able to discuss this matter with you unless you can verify that you are Anthony White.”
“Then good-bye,” I said and waited for him to hang up the phone.
He didn’t. At least not right away.
“Sir, if you would just verify the last four digits of your social security number and birth date, I can tell you why I’m calling,” he pleaded.
I told him goodbye again. And then again. Finally, because he wouldn’t hang up and because I’d learned my lesson about hanging up on people trying to help me, I gently pressed the end-call key on my cell phone.
As I rolled back over and pulled the covers over my head, I thought about the young lady who convinced me that it was wrong to hang up on people whose job it was to call and try to help me even if I didn’t want their help.
I didn’t know what the young lady was selling when she called, but I ended up buying it.
“What?” I yelled into the phone after seeing an 800-number on the caller ID.
“Hi,” a saccharin-laced voice responded. “How are you?”
“What do you want?” I cut to the chase.
“I’m calling to tell you about the incredible discount we’re offering to residents in your area,” she replied. “It’s…”
“I’m not interested,” I yelled then slammed the phone down before she could finish.
Two seconds later, the phone rang again, and the same 800-number appeared on the caller ID. Before I could scream into the phone, a jalapeno pepper-laced voice yelled, “I know you didn’t just hang up on me!”
“Well,…” I tried to respond.
“Well, that was rude,” she cut me off. “Here I am calling to try and help you relax and you hanging up in my ear. You’re wrong for that.”
I quickly apologized.
“That’s okay,” she said in her saccharin-laced voice. “So, would you like to pay by credit or debit?”
I was too scared to call and cancel whatever I had ordered because the young lady had my phone number would surely call to curse me out about cancelling the order.
A week later, I received a voucher for a weekend stay at a beach resort in Destin.
Did I use the voucher?
No. I was too scared the young lady might be there.