Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Caller ID vs ESP

It's all true. I'm cheap. I refuse to spend an extra $7 a month for Caller ID on my telephone. I even have the courtesy-habit of picking up the phone when it rings. I run in from the garden to greet callers, even tape-recorded voices. But when the phone company calls and asks why I don't buy extra services from them -- particularly Caller ID, I tell them I don't need it. I have ESP.
Last night, I was watching an episode of Utawarerumono (my latest favorite anime) on Netflix when the phone went on overdrive.  We're having an election and every judge has a recording requesting my vote. This is further complicated by the fact that state law forbids judges from mentioning anything they think might be an issue and their stand on that issue. So, they don't talk about death penalty, or homeless people who want to camp in court rooms at night, or the value of jail as a deterrent. They just say, "vote for me."  The frequency of calls was annoying.  Each episode of Utawarerumono is 22 or 23 minutes. It is nice to sit down and watch the whole thing. After the 3rd call, my husband said, "Let the answering machine get it."  But it felt like a relative.  It was -- my mother wanted me to find a book for her online. 
Even though we hung up on the recordings for judges, and finding a book online doesn't take long, it still took over half an hour to watch our 22 minute show.  I don't think it takes less time to let the phone ring 4 times and then go to the answering machine and delete the recorded call than it takes to answer it and hang up in the first place.  Caller ID would not have saved us any time, and the noise of the phone interrupted our show.  ESP meant my mother has her book. Why would I pay $7 a month to confirm my ESP?
Okay -- unsolicited plug to a service with which I do not have affiliate program.  If you want an out-of-print book, check at -- more than half the time, they can find it.

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