Facebook Requests and Answering Machine Messages

I'm getting ready to head to Las Vegas and the TV was left on The View. Usually I'll run in and change the channel when I hear those women start yapping. But I figured I'd listen, because I was curious as to what they'd say about the idiotic Gates and Obama, and how they weren't smart enough to apologize to the police officer the other day over a beer (I love how they each had their own beer they had to drink...they couldn't just order a pitcher of Coors from the White House kitchen).

Instead, The View talked about babies and whether or not you should put sunscreen on them. And whether or not you should confront the parents.

Barbara Walters said that her producer of 11 years was mad at her because he sent a friend request on Facebook and she didn't respond. She had the same problem I have. She once signed up, but never uses the account, and now gets requests each day from people that she ignores.

Whoopi then something like: That's exactly why I don't have an answering machine. People will get mad if I don't call them back. So, if you call me, you either get a hold of me or you don't.

Now, how stupid is that logic?

You don't have to become a slave to these pieces of technology. If I come home and have four messages on my answering machine, I can decide if something is an emergency. If a friend had a few things to say, I may or may not call them back. If I forgot, the next time they call me I may apologize, or I'll quickly remember what they said and I'll comment on it.

Jeff Goldblum once told a story on Letterman about getting caught by "star 69" before he knew what that was. It involved a guy at a party that always wanted him to call about a business deal. He wanted no part of it and always tried avoiding the guy. So Goldblum called the guy when he was sure he wouldn't be home. Well, he was home. And Goldblum did what people used to do. He hung up when he heard his voice. But this person star 69'd him.

I watched on Gene Simmons reality show once, when a winner got to have lunch with him. He was so thrilled, wearing his KISS shirt and asking all these questions. Simmons looked bored out of his mind. Probably because it was a man sitting across from him.

When this guy brought up a business idea, Simmons was visibly upset. He walked away from the table and started making phone calls. When he got back to the table, the guy apologized.

Now what I can't figure out about everyone is...why is it so hard to just be polite and explain things to people? Goldblum and Simmons could've said, "Look, I have a certain degree of fame, I'm always shown these kinds of offers, and it's hard to always listen to them. I have business people to do all that. If you want to send any ideas to them, that's great."

When I worked in radio, I had friends that wanted me to listen to their songs, hoping I'd get them played on the radio. I had no problem saying "We play the Beatles and Doors. I had the singer of Country Joe and the Fish yell at me during an interview for us not playing his song, and he played at Woodstock." And I can tell them now, that Jewel used to send us cassettes, and we just threw those away, too.

Now, at the Reader, I have friends that are in bands. Or friends that have businesses. And a variety of other things. I have no problem telling them that I can't help them out and explaining why.

One guy I always run into at concerts, told me he manages a Rolling Stones tribute band. He claims they're going to be the next big thing and how we should cover them.

I explained the type of coverage the Reader gives to local bands, even though it was going in one ear and out the other.

But really, nothing beats email.

You get home and have 20 new messages. You can respond at length to the interesting ones.

The idiot friend that still has the sense of humor he had as a drunken frat boy, will send you the list of reasons why women are like donuts. And you can delete it. Or you can reply with a simple "ha ha ha".

And it takes no time out of your day.

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Well, two songs pop into my mind. Obviously, the Stones. But remember, Tone Loc in 1986 (or so), sang in Wild Thing about "getting no satisfaction" also. Oh wait...and I believe Justine Bateman of Family Ties, did a cover of the Stones song as well. It might go down as one of the worst covers ever. But I digress.

The problem with filling a voicemail with noise, is once they hear it, they can immediately delete it.

Why not go in there with a screw driver, and pry one of the machines open until quarters come pouring out of there like a slot machine paying off? Obviously, you could get into trouble for vandalism for that...maybe call the police first (NOT 911, of course), and ask them the best course of action.

And, there's always small claims court. You don't just sue for $5. You sue for the court fees. You sue for the time you wasted calling (you say you spend a few different days, etc). You don't make the mistake of asking for $4,000, because then the judge thinks YOU'RE the insane one. But, you ask for $200, on top of the $5. And the judge sides with you.

It's a lot of work, for a small amount of money. But it sounds like you put in some work, and didn't get any money back on the deal.

I recently found out something valuable about those annoying credit card company calls. I started getting calls from Alliance One because apparently, the husband I divorced in 1986, isn't paying his bills. I haven't even used his last name since '86. I called the company and told "Betty" that she had a big nerve hassling me to cover his debts, I don't even know where he is. She said, "I have a right to call."

Furious, I hung up and called Alliance One continually for a solid hour. The manager, Frank, called a couple of times to tell me that he had filed a telephone harrassment report with the authorities. A woman who answered once said they had been "Laughing at me for twenty minutes." I continued to call. When the hour was up, I quit calling and I haven't heard from them since.

Well storyteller, that seems like a lot of work. But hey, if it worked for you, good job.

My stepdad made the mistake of giving some Indian group money. Who knows for what. He's a hardcore liberal, and will give any liberal group money, even though he hardly has any money. Now they call every day. Seriously. Every day. My mom keeps telling them not to call, and they won't stop. I told her to tell them they just inherited $10,000 and want to donate $2,000. But they need a number they can call back (as their number doesn't show up on the caller ID). Once they get it, we're going to employ the storyteller technique, or at least call them back EVERY TIME they call my parents.

Regarding the texting, towelhead...I never text or answer texts. I type 120 words a minute. But that doesn't mean I want to add MORE TYPING to my day, but doing it on a cell phone!!! I mean, it's a friggin telephone! Imagine if you can go back 50 years, and show people how you have a telephone with you everywhere you go. They'd love that, right? Well, imagine then how insane they'd think people were for not just calling the person they want to talk to (when it doesn't cost anything) but instead type a little message like "See you at Stingaree tonight at 8. ; - )

I had a laundramat change machine jip me out of five bucks once, and could get no satisfaction from the owner, so I used to call and fill up his voicemail with radio noise. I'd just call over and over, figuring he'd have to waste his time listening to them.

I would have been more satisfied to just get my five back, though.

BTW, it's the laundramat in Poway next to Round Table Pizza. If anybody lives in Poway, don't go there.

PS: Why are women like donuts? I really want to know!

"I had a laundramat change machine jip me once and could get no satisfaction..." Do I hear a song developing here?

You're right, I should have played that into the voicemail over and over.

Email and texting are the best routes for me too. My friends always get pissed when I don't pick up my phone, but when I'm driving or doing something, I just figure I'll wait for the message to see what's going on. I'd rather text then talk though, and that doesn't fly with everyone. Email is the easiest form of communication and it doesn't take much time out of ones day to respond, especially when a majority of people's work forces them to be at a computer most the day. I hate putting a lot of effort into an email though and getting the short response of "too busy" though. I feel like reading and responding to email takes 2 minutes tops, and that would be a lengthy response. Nobody is ever going to be happy with how people communicate. I wonder if people got upset back in the day when someone didn't respond to a smoke signals, or decided writing that little letter to put in the pigeons mouth just wasn't worth it.

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