Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

When the political campaigners call March 1, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
Tags: , , , , ,
I photographed this American flag recently in downtown Owatonna.

I photographed this American flag recently in downtown Owatonna.

THE PHONE RANG at 8 a.m. Not a good time to call. Early morning calls like that launch my heart into my throat. Nothing much good ever comes of a call made that early in the day.

The call came from a woman claiming to be with a cancer research group. I didn’t listen long enough to hear more. Her opening line caused me to slam the receiver into its base. She had no business phoning me; I’m on the do not call list. Plus, the timing of the call unsettled me.

Many times this past weekend I found myself hanging up without listening to an entire lengthy spiel. Not from some supposed charity. But from individuals representing Presidential candidates. Bernie Sanders. Donald Trump. Ted Cruz.

I tried to wedge my way into the scripted calls without sounding mean. It is not my nature to treat an unwelcome political caller with rudeness. Or at least I used to be that way. Now days I find bluntness almost a necessity to handle these unsolicited intrusions.

And so, when I could, I told the campaigner I’d watched the debates, at least some of them; am following the races; and am fairly well informed. And then I hung up.

Will today, Super Tuesday, bring a deluge of political calls? I hope not.

But I suppose I should consider the positive. At least I live in a country where I can get such calls, where opinions can be expressed, where I have a voice and where I have the option of hanging up.

Thoughts? I’m especially interested in hearing any creative ways you handle political phone calls.

Β© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


27 Responses to “When the political campaigners call”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    I screen calls. Simple. If they are important I will recognize the number calling (caller id) and answer. If I don’t recogize the number I let it go to voice mail and if it is important they will leave a message. Having had to go back to having a land line after 15 years has made me realize how much I do not like having a land line. πŸ™‚

  2. Dan Traun Says:

    I don’t answer any call if I don’t recognize the number. I’ll review the VM after the fact.

  3. Luckily I have not received any of those calls lately. Plus I have worked with Government for over 5 years now. Maybe they just assume I am informed and leave me alone – ha! I have to agree with you in that we are fortunate to live in a country where we have freedoms and can express ourselves and of course the option to hang up. I still remember a few years back getting a political call and I told the caller I worked for a particular state agency and instead of me hanging up the caller hung up on me. My spouse loves to mess with callers like this and some of the stories he creates cracks me up. Hopefully the phone is not ringing off the hook today for you. Happy Day – Enjoy πŸ™‚

  4. After reading your post this morning I have just now developed a strategy for dealing with those political phone calls.. As soon as I realize what the phone conversation is going to be, I’ll interrupt the spiel and simply tell them that we have a “Secret Ballot” system in this country for a reason and then I’ll hang up…What do you think?

  5. Littlesundog Says:

    I simply do not answer calls from numbers I do not recognize. If it is important they’ll leave a message. There is enough chaos in a day… why engage in more of it? πŸ™‚

  6. Jackie Says:

    We still have our land line as well Audrey, but luckily we have caller-ID. Typically I don’t answer if I don’t know the number , I figure if it’s important the caller will leave a message. Also have you noticed that in most cases the calls made by solicitors stop ringing after 3 rings…. that’s another way to know not to answer it. We have not received any campaign calls that I know of…Lucky I guess!

  7. Don Says:

    I have a land line love it and use it too. I absolutely detest cell phones. Way too many people waste their time on them and the drivers using them errrrr gets my blood pressure up! I grew up with a land line and never became a victim of jumping up to answer it just because it rang. If my friends wanted me many times they came to my house knowing I frequently would not answer the phone. Now my work requires me to have a cell phone errrrr!

    When it comes to political calls I like to mess with them too. When I determine which political party they represent I tell them I am a member of the other party. If Dem then I am Rep, if Rep the I am Dem. When they talk nonstop to the point I cannot get a word in edgewise I politely say “I’m going to hang up now, good by”)! Whether they hear me is their problem, at least I was polite!

    I hope you don’t get a bunch of calls today! If you get them during supper time (or is it dinner time) just chew your in their ear!

  8. Well, like many others here, I let the calls from numbers I don’t recognize roll to voicemail. Usually. I love having a cell phone! No landline here. Haven’t had one for three years. We got rid of ours when our youngest graduated from high school. The only thing I miss about it is that Mick and I got to talk to each other’s friends and family more when they called the landline looking for one of us. Now they simply go to the cell phone of the person they want. But that’s a simple thing to remedy. Back to your original question about handling unwanted solicitors in the event I do answer the phone and get one of them….my mother trained me well from the time I could answer the phone to say, “No thanks, I’m not interested.” And hang up. Immediately. I have to admit, thought, it’s a lot more fun to make something up and see if I can get the solicitor to hang up on me.

  9. Um, I have ID caller, so I don’t pick up any calls I don’t know.
    My friend received a call the other day that said, “Don’t vote for a Cuban.”
    Anyhow, I don’t want ANYBODY telling me what to think or whom to vote for!

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