I bet you know Rachel, the gal with the too perky “Hello, I’m Rachel with Credit Card Services, there is nothing wrong with your credit card we just want to tell you . . . .”  I have to admit I’ve never heard the rest of the story.  I think Rachel is the same girl who calls herself Abby and is thrilled we have won a vacation to Altoona, Iowa.  

The mature, authoritative voice of the IRS threatening to lock us up if we don’t return their call within ten minutes was startling the first time but by the twenty-seventh call we simply announce it’s Hazel again.  

Microsoft  must have a lot of trouble with their operating system.  They employ an army of young men, named Sean, that sound just like Raj on the Big Bang Theory.  The fact that we tossed our Dell computer when windows 8 arrived means nothing to Sean.  He can still fix our computer if we just give him our bank account number.  Monty got so annoyed one day that he asked Sean where he was calling from and Sean replied, “Brouha” Monty asked, ”Where is that located” and Sean was indigent when he replied “The United States”, Monty said there was no state or city with that name.  The call ended when Sean hung up.  

I love the calls from Steve with the firefighters, he has a sexy voice and acts like we just met at a Speed Dating event. If I will only send him $20 we can continue our relationship.  I’m all for firefighters, there has never been a better looking group of guys, I still have the 1989 calendar to prove it.  But unless Steve is going to send me a new calendar I’m not sending him any money.    

We have new land line phones, yes, we still have a land line.  I know, we also remember when dinosaurs roamed the earth.  These phones have a call blocking button that we are happily poking every time Rachel, Abby, Hazel, Steve or Sean call. There is certain amount of satisfaction in punching ‘call blocked’. The fallacy is that these people have hundreds of numbers and they just call from a different one.   Is call blocker a profession? It has become a part-time job for us.

I can hear you, just don’t answer the phone if you don’t recognize the number.  OK, I’m just asking, but other than your mother or BFF how many phone numbers do you actually recognize?  A few names actually come up on our phone screens, but the majority of the time just a number appears.  I know Susie’s home phone because I’ve called it for years. I don’t recognize her cell phone, so here I am once again talking to Rachel from Credit Card Services.  Maybe if I took the time to get to know Rachel better I might actually enjoy talking to her. Naw.  

A couple of years ago I read about a woman who sits in her home studio and records messages for the New York City Transit System.  Really, she uses her smoothing alto to inform passengers that the train to Schenectady is leaving in four minutes at gate seven.  She probably is paid well to tell people to keep their hands and heads inside the car at all times.   I’d recognize her voice anywhere.  She doesn’t have the annoying enthusiasm of Rachel or Abby.  She sounds more like Mae West when she said, ‘Come up and see me sometime’.  

I gotta run there’s the phone.  

Hi, Rachel.


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