Cold Calls

With the kitchen project, electricians, plumbers, dishwasher installers, etc. all calling me the last three to four weeks, I’ve been answering unknown numbers more than usual.  Some of the time it’s been someone I want to talk to, some of it’s folks looking for my money. 

Yesterday morning I was still expecting a couple more calls about the dishwasher so I picked up an area code “952” when it rang.  I knew straight away it probably wasn’t the dishwasher but I usually wait to hear what my unknowns want before I give them the brush off.  She jumped right in an identified herself as calling from a colonoscopy center and asking when my last one was.  I was able to truthfully tell her I had done the mail-in a couple of months ago and then we ended the call.  Who would have thought you’d ever get a call like this?

I spent all afternoon thinking about it and imagining what she tells people at parties when they ask what she does.  “I make cold calls to talk people into colonoscopies” aren’t words that I’d be willing to say to strangers.

What is a current trend that you just don’t understand?

41 thoughts on “Cold Calls”

  1. I don’t understand this “woke” business. I’ve followed politics quite closely for decades but can’t figure out if being “woke” is a good or bad state of mind. I think I’ll just do this:

    Liked by 6 people

  2. As a psychologist I know that there truly are individuals who experince gender dysphoria and dissociative identity disorder. Both conditions are rare. With the influence of social media platforms however, it seems that every other Middle School student in our community believes they have these diagnoses.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Especially gender identity—they get it confused with the normal (yet distressing) identity issues inherent in that particular developmental stage. I have had a remarkable number of DID clients because I work with trauma and Borderline Personality D/O so much. It is one of the most confusing disorders of human experience. My tip off is when I start feeling confused and disoriented as a therapist. Then I start watching carefully.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. I’m going to stick my neck out here. I know that this is a subject that tends to get people all riled up, but here goes:

        I can’t help but wonder to what extent labeling these issues as “disorders” is helpful. It seems like religious, societal, and cultural constructs over the centuries have been attempting to control human behavior by classifying “aberrant” behaviors as either sin, mental disorder, or criminal. I happen to believe that what falls within so-called “normal” human behavior has far more nuance than many people accept. When my mom grew up, the nuns tried to break her of being left handed. How many gay folks to this day remain closeted because their church, family or friends might find them unacceptable?

        I don’t think most heterosexual folks ever question their sexuality. They have no reason to; they are accepted as normal. I’m not so sure that a young person questioning their sexual orientation or gender is necessarily a bad thing or a sign of any disorder.

        Guess you can classify me as woke.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Gender dyphoria is considered a “disorder ” because those who have it are very distressed. They need a diagnosis to proceed with medical treatment.Hmosexuityis no longer labeled a disorder.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. The Middle School youngsters who say they have it by and large do not. It is the ones who have been insisting they are the other gender since they have been preschoolers who are the ones who more than likely have gender dyphoria.

          Liked by 2 people

      2. As you all know, I’m not a psychologist, but it seems to me that slapping the label “disorder” on something, anything, at the very least implies that something needs to be “fixed.” I’m well aware that homosexuality is no longer classified as a disorder, nevertheless, I would posit that a lot of the “distress” experienced by homosexuals over the years was due to professionals trying to “cure” them. Of course it didn’t help that society at large, and various churches in particular, were hell bent on viewing them as sinners, mentally ill, or criminals.

        I have no doubt that Jacque’s assessment is accurate, and I can appreciate how carefully you both have to navigate these issues to be helpful, and/or not cause undue harm. Honestly, I’m not trying to be gadfly, I know these are difficult and gut-wrenching issues.

        I have a very dear friend, a man I have known since I was in college. He’s a Viet Nam War veteran, is married to my best friend, they have two adult children. At the age of seventy-five he has come out as trans, is seeing a counselor, and has commenced HRT. For the first time since he was five years old, feels like he’s being his “authentic self.” I’m sure you can imagine the amount of upheaval and disruption this is causing. I have not seen him since he started the HRT, but we speak on the phone regularly. I can tell you the amount of abuse he has heaped on himself in order to deal with this has taken it’s toll. I can’t imagine what courage or desperation it took for him to finally admit there was a problem. Am I nervous about seeing him as her? You bet, and we both know it.

        Liked by 5 people

  3. The last time I signed up for something online that required a password, there was no-password option of some kind, or a different process for storing the passwords… I just backed out, decided to forget it. I can handle the technology I am already familiar with, mostly, but it feels at this point that I can’t add in anything totally new.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Smartphone addiction, cryptocurrency as a valid investment, the dumbing down of society (I’d like to think we hit rock bottom after the 2016 presidential election, but somehow I doubt it), economic ignorance, . . . I could go on and on, but it’s a lovely winter day and I’m taking my wife snowshoeing at Rice Lake State Park in an hour. 🙂

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 5 people

      1. I understand ripped clothing as a fashion statement, I just don’t understand paying so much for it. If you want it ripped, go home and rip it yourself!

        Liked by 6 people

        1. YA knows not to wear her ripped jeans (I didn’t ask how much you paid for them, because I was afraid to know) when we go someplace together.

          Liked by 3 people

  5. So many things…
    While I also don’t understand this “woke” business, I don’t understand why anyone would choose to identify as a Republican. I don’t understand white supremacists or the NRA. I don’t understand the appeal of rap music or auto-tuned singers. I don’t know why so many people would voluntarily put so much personal information on social media. I don’t understand why, seemingly, 90% of the programming on television is either mysteries or police procedurals. I don’t understand the appeal of professional sports or organized religion.

    We get a lot of calls from unknown numbers, none of which we answer but sometimes the same caller will call up to twelve times in a single day. The calls usually originate from some smaller town and they markedly increase on the weeks leading up to our receipt of our Social Security. I wonder if these small town call centers deliberately target seniors for their scams. I suppose having a land line kind of targets you in that way.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. I would sooner admit to being a telemarketer selling colonoscopies, cryptocurrencies, or extended car warranties than to being a Republican these days. What are these so-called leaders within the Republican Party thinking? Speaker Keven McCarthy has clearly sacrificed principle to retain power. What a mess!

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Whatever principles the Republican party once professed to represent, those principles have been abandoned. Anyone calling themselves Republican these days have to look at the clowns controlling the party and declare, “Those are my people!”

          Liked by 2 people

  6. I think I understand “woke”, but now you all have made me doubt myself. I thought it just meant having empathy for a group that is very different from yourself. I think it started with the Black Lives Matter movement, didn’t it? I’m not entirely sure. But I felt I could empathize with the anger the summer George Floyd was murdered. I could empathize with the protesters – NOT the looters, of course not that – but the anger and frustration the black community must have been experiencing. I can empathize with that. I can also empathize with people who don’t feel right in their own skin.

    I don’t understand the Republican Party at all. Before 2016 I could at least give them some grudging respect and try to see their point of view. Nothing they do makes any sense anymore and it just seems that they want to make war with everyone who doesn’t agree with them. If a Democrat proposes something that they might have proposed they will find something to disagree with about it and shoot the whole thing down, even tax cuts. My brother is a Republican. We get along just fine. We frequently talk politics and find all kinds of common ground. His attitude toward some Republicans is, “Get out of my party!” He has talked about running for office. I hope he doesn’t.

    I get calls from unknown people too although it hasn’t happened in awhile. I should be more polite, but I’m not. I tell them to get a real job and stop bothering hard working people.

    OT: I am going for eggs. Leaving in a minute or two! I’m getting 8 dozen eggs from Ben. I’m meeting VS on Friday, I think. Anybody want any — ? I would love to drive to Janesville, WI, and meet you, Wes, but I don’t think it’s in the cards. Maps says it’s 241 miles from my house… I might be able to meet BiR though… want some eggs, Barbara?

    Liked by 4 people

      1. BiR, we can arrange something. It’s a nice drive for us, or I’ve got people could make a drop off in Winona. And there’s always Farmers Park! (when it’s open!) (An inside joke about meeting there a few years ago and it wasn’t open for the season yet. )

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Some of the people I know who proudly profess being “woke” are smart, well informed, and deeply engaged in political and social issues, and they care about their fellow human beings. Some just jump on any liberal bandwagon without much thought or knowledge about the issues. Personally, I don’t think of myself as “woke,” though probably I am, but it seems to me that having declared myself a feminist when I was fifteen has led to an inordinate amount of useless discussions over the years. Fortunately, it has also helped identify my “tribe.” Identifying as “woke,” “progressive,” or “liberal” has that same effect. People who have no clue what it stands for will attack you and try to make you defend your stance. It will also signal to like-minded folks that you’re an ally.

      Whenever you take a public stance on a controversial issue, you had better be prepared to stand up for yourself. Krista, I’d encourage you to dig deeper and not let beliefs that are contrary to your core values sway you. A friend has a refrigerator magnet that proudly proclaims: “Average is NOT where it’s at!” It was the message on a note sent to her by a six year old granddaughter.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. “Woke”, as Krista suggested, is just displaying empathy. Whether or not one uses that term, I can’t see why it should be a bad or threatening thing. Of course you can only be woke if you were previously asleep and empathy was somehow foisted upon you, which is an insult to naturally empathetic persons but it says a lot about the perspective of resolutely unwoke individuals

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I agree. I have the same reaction to people who consider liberals with scorn. When words and phrases such as “woke,” “Black Lives Matter,” “liberal,” “Me too,” and “conservative” are weaponized (I don’t like that word, but in this context it nicely describes what I’m trying to get at) it’s an attempt to rob them of their original meaning, intent, and power. It is an attempt to devalue them, make them seem ridiculous, stupid, and wrong. How could you possibly be opposed to truth, fair play, and justice for all? The answer, it turns out, seems to be: if doing the right thing costs us the power of the majority, we’re going to ignore every principle we have ever held dear.

          For what it’s worth, my definition of “woke” includes an ever expanding awareness and understanding of issues that I previously didn’t really think much about. When you begin to really understand the trauma and pain inflicted on various groups of people over time, you’ll have much more empathy with their struggles.

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  7. We kept the home phone for many years because that’s the number I would give out. We rarely got any important calls on it. And then after an extraordinary quiet period, we realized the phone wasn’t even working. Ha. So it’s still there. Haven’t even had a message on it in several weeks. I need to cancel it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I still have my landline because despite the number of times I have said to Nonny “please just call me on my cell phone – that’s the one that’s the most reliable” she still calls 50% of the time on my landline. I even made sure when I was in St. Louis in August to label my landline and my cell phone as such in her in her phone. Maybe next time I’m there I should re-label the cell phone “call this one.”

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I just heard of something that somebody referred to as a trend called a “bed shower”. Apparently when your kid goes after school, you send out invitations for people to buy things for your kid that go on the bed in their dorm room (that they presumably need for college). This strikes me as just more gift grabbing. Presumably when this kid graduated from high school three months prior to going off to college, they got a lot of attention and probably a lot of gifts at that point. We do seem to really work hard to figure out how to get people to give us stuff these days . Sigh.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I searched my two free data bases for a few things, and when I typed in “embarrassing” I got the baby elephant. And it just struck a cord.

      Like

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