My paper has this column where people can write in with random questions. Today's issue (Feb 1, 2006) included:
QUESTION: Every few weeks I find a recorded message on my answering machine criticizing Rep. Mike Sodrel.
Today's message came from "Working America."
How can I make these calls stop? I find them annoying.
ANSWER: Many readers in Indiana's 9th Congressional District may be getting these recorded messages.
Working America is affiliated with the AFL-CIO and can be reached at (202) 637-5137.
Call and ask to have your name removed, but since the political calls are legal under our state's telephone privacy law, Working America is not required to stop calling you.
Does that make you a helpless victim? Not quite.
You might register your protest against these unsolicited recorded messages by voting for Sodrel this year.
The problem? Apart from the evil innate in voting for Mike Sodrel, their advice is completely valid. When someone goes out of their way to annoy you in order to influence your behaviour, the only way we can really get them to stop is to make it an ineffective technique. And the way we do that is by voting for Mike Sodrel. It's as simple as that.
So I called up the AFL-CIO to let them know that they were hurting the cause, rather than helping it. Annoying people will not get them to vote for you. So I eventually got transferred to someone, and this is what he told me "I don't have time to listen to this."
Imagine that, someone who doesn't have time for an annoying phone conversation.
The good guys don't use tape-recorded sales pitches. It's that simple.
An update from March 2011. I'm running for office so I got a robocall from a company identifying itself as "Creative Consulting of Florida and California," which hopes to take my money and turn it into annoyed voters. Their phone number is 866-502-9445, and another at 321-277-4831. Some detective work reveals that they also do business as "Win Your Race, LLC" (win-your-race.com).
So I called them back and left a voicemail, saying "fuck off and die."
To my surprise, he called me back! And I told him I wanted to make sure he understood what it was like to receive an unpleasant phonecall and would he please fuck off and die.
He did not seem to appreciate the artful synechdoche I was trying to pull off -- an unpleasant phonecall about unpleasant phonecalls. Because he just started saying "faggot faggot faggot" into the microphone over and over.
Yeah, you're offensive. I got that already. Thanks for reminding me.
Remember, robocalling is evil. While the robots are hard at work interrupting your dinner, there's this man in the background raking in the dough.