I’ll Outlast You, Mystery Caller

Getting a lot of sales calls is a side effect of my job running a small IT department. In fact, most times when my phone rings it’s a vendor, wanting to sell me anything from toner cartridges to consulting services to satellite Internet. If I wanted the latter I’d ask friends for recommendations – I think one got something set up with https://www.satelliteinternetnow.com/ recently? In any case, some are follow-ups from people I’ve talked to, but a lot are cold calls. I can see the number, and based on that I decide whether to pick up. Saves me a lot of time talking to salespeople I don’t want to talk to.

And then there’s 603. Someone with that area code calls me several times a day. I never pick up. He never leaves a message.

(Super-persistent sales callers are always male.)

His number ends in a bunch of zeros so I know he’s calling from an office, and he calls so often, he has to be a salesman, more than likely with training from somewhere similar to this company. He has my direct line, so I must have given it to him at some point. Maybe at one time I was interested in what he was selling. Maybe I even told him to get back to me “next quarter,” say. Just to get him off my back. Or maybe I sincerely wanted him to follow up. It happens.

But if 603 really wants to follow up on whatever he’s following up on, he’d best leave me a message. You hear me, 603? Leave. A. Message.

Otherwise this game will go on indefinitely. Oh, I thought you’d give up, but it’s been months, maybe a year now, and you still call at least twice a day. This is truly no good for a relationship. How can I decide once and for all how I feel about you if you won’t give me my space?

I can see you, you know, in my mind’s eye. Thinking and scheming. Trying different times of day. Calling early in the morning, after hours, at lunchtime, trying to trip me up. I know you come in extra early some days, stay late other days, vary your own lunch breaks, just to try and nail me. Catch me unawares. Or break my will, make me get so tired of your incessant ringing that I’ll pick up just to get you off my back at least for a little while.

But I ain’t picking up, 603.

No sir. You ain’t gonna break me, 603. You want an easy mark, 603? Forget about it. You’re messing with the wrong IT guy.

I’m not in right now. Leave a message.