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The former Daily Statesman is now The Dexter Statesman and currently does not have an operating website.


Posted Wednesday, August 22, 2007, at 11:19 PM

How many remember a time when you dialed "0" on your rotary dial and an actual, real live human being (always a female) would answer and help you find a number or a friend or a good restaurant or just about whatever you needed. I always felt that if my dog had fleas, she'd be the first one to go get a remedy and deliver it to my door. I suppose that would have been about as likely as talking to a real person nowadays when you dial "0" or 411, or for that matter any company number to try to gain information.

Dial a company number today or a cell phone company to pay your bill electronically or AT&T or even Busch Stadium to try to purchase tickets for next Sunday's game and you will go through a series of automated messages, sometimes a half dozen or more, before getting to your desired destination. If you're lucky, you'll get a human on about the fourth push of a button, but it may likely be someone sitting in India being utilized by a company that has "out-sourced" its work to barely English-speaking students whose goal it is to someday work in the states, and they most likely will. In the meantime, we are faced with struggling with trying to decipher what they are telling or selling us. I figure someday I'll have an appointment for a pap smear and I'll be looking at this same individual just over the stirrup...the same guy who called Missouri, "Mee-zoooo-dee" just a few short years before analyzing my innards.

I'm told that if you call United Airlines to make a reservation and you're hooked up with one of these "out-sourcers," you can tell them you prefer to speak to someone in America and they'll transfer you to a state-side English speaking ticket agent. If I could afford to travel, I'd do so. I fear that we're about to out-source our way right out of business!

A few years ago before the days of the "no call list," (upon which Minnie's name now appears) it was not unusual to receive two or three calls a week from MCI or AT&T or other long distance companies begging for my business. Usually it was a foreigner attempting to sell a package that they were obviously reading off a script. I used to enjoy putting them on hold. Sometimes I ran the vacuum while they hung on. It served as my only retaliation.

Brace yourself for 2008 during election time. We'll all be the recipients of pre-recorded pleas from various politicians trying to sway our vote their way. I haven't quite devised a method to retaliate against this method of madness just yet, but I'm working on it.

In the meantime, when the foreign solicitors somehow manage to get past the "no call" regulations, I first repeatedly ask them to repeat their message, over and over, and THEN I start the vacuum. It's amazing how clean my house gets when those calls start coming in!

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Some time back I wanted to change my Internet provider, so I actually dabbled briefly with SBC (This was before it was AT&T). I signed up and was sent the CD to do the set up, but I needed to call with a question. Of course, I got someone in India, and I could NOT understand her. After saying, "What?" about five times, I asked for someone who could speak better English. She gave me over to another woman, whose English was only slightly better. Finally, I panicked and said, "No, No!! I've changed my mind! I want to discontinue the service!"

Only then did I get a Native English- speaking person! It was SO GOOD to hear his voice! I managed to find a more local provider, but for how long??

Automated voices, indecipherable English -- Where is all this going to end up? Will we be foreigners in our own land??

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Aug 23, 2007, at 7:34 AM

Oh Ladies, you are missing some mischief making, although I love the putting them on hold!

I speak with the greatest Silver Dollar City meets You Might Be A Redneck accent,complete with the redneck vocabulary!I race to answer the phone now,to practice my Jed Clampett "whoo doggies" and my Gomer/Goober Shazams!

I even used a little "O Brother"on one poor heavily accented "Steve Smith" when he asked to speak to my husband. I replied that Mr. Hogwallup had R-U-N-N-O-F-T! I had to spell it I said on account of the dog being in the room!

He still has not called later,as he promised!

When they ask me if I'd like to have DISH network for three months free, or if I have credit card protection(which means that they are looking at my credit report at that moment in India-that worries me the most) I ask them if they would like to have Jesus Christ as their personal savior? Then, I usually begin singing "What A Friend We Have In Jesus" until they hangup.

When I need tech support and Apu answers, I start by asking him if I will need an electrical outlet,then I ask him to spell EVERY word I don't understand until he breaks and sends my call back to the USA!

I don't appreciate sales calls after 8:00 pm,and I'm sorry that they are in another time zone in Mumbai, but when did it become ok to stalk people from across the globe who are just trying to relax at home?

My folks and I are on every state and federal no-call list, but it doesn't stop.I have even reported the more obnoxious callers and nothing happened,so that's when I decided I needed a safe outlet for my aggressive feelings! I know, I'm a mean one,Miss Grinch!

-- Posted by Yellow Rose of Essex on Thu, Aug 23, 2007, at 6:16 PM
Minne O'Pausal's response:
Yellow Rosie...

By now, I'd bet that the telemarketers have a "Don't Call" list of their own with "Yellow Rose" right on top! Ingenious!!

Minnie, you must have the cleanest house in town! I must rev up the old Electrolux in antcipation of my next call. The Cake Lady's most recent irritant is having to "push #1 for English". Do you have any words of wisdom to remind these spurious citizens that they are residing in an English speaking country?

-- Posted by letseatcake633 on Thu, Aug 23, 2007, at 6:57 PM
Minne O'Pausal's response:

Good to "see" you. What bothers me more than being told to press "1" for English is to be told to press "1" for Spanish and "2" for English!!! Now that riles Minnie's feathers!

Oh, Yellow Rose, I can hardly wait for the next telemarketer!!

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Aug 23, 2007, at 9:36 PM
Minne O'Pausal's response:

I'm right with you! Almost makes me want to call one myself if they just wouldn't block their numbers all the time. I'm on the second stanza of "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." Practice makes perfect!

I haven't posted in a while, been on vacation ,then the kids are back in school, and of course I have a REAL job that doesn't allow net surfing, but I must tell you about little sis.

Just pray you don't have anything in your mouth or need to pee when she talks to any telemarketer-it really is funny!

Some poor lost soul called my folks house last Christmas Eve and she almost broke her neck to get to the phone.She then proceeded to sing "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" until he hung up. If I knew how to post that on YouTube, I would because it is very funny, my Dad could barely hold the camera,he was laughing so hard.

She has another bit that when someone with an obvious accent calls,she starts talking like Apu from The Simpsons and then tells them she only speaks English and Ozarkian,her family is originally from Bugtussle or Petticoat Junction. It is bizarre entertainment I know, but thank God for speakerphones! I have no idea how she keeps from laughing.

I wholeheartedly agree with her on this issue-when did it become okay for people in foreign countries to pester us at all hours?

I do try to read this blog, because you posters are very clever,sometimes even little Rosie makes me smile.

-- Posted by Queen of Essex on Fri, Aug 24, 2007, at 2:08 PM

Sometimes???!! Queenie, you have become jaded by over-exposure to your talented sibling!

We're takin' her On the Road with us one day! Comedy Tour, here we come!!

The Minnie O'Pausal Comedy Tour, starring Minnie herself...with her entourage -- letseatcake63, Ducky, Yellow Rose, and goat lady!

We'll start with downtown Essex.

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Aug 26, 2007, at 4:35 PM

We shall traverse the country! My satchel is at the ready! "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" - led by Yellow Rose and Minnie! With a grand chorus of Ducky, Goat Lady and the Lady of Cake. We must depart before Mr. Truthy gets wind of our tour!

-- Posted by letseatcake633 on Sun, Aug 26, 2007, at 6:46 PM

-- Posted by I.B. Le Truth on Mon, Aug 27, 2007, at 9:49 PM

Hey, I.B.!! When you post, you have to make a comment! What sort of message is THAT??

Just lettin' us know that you know our plot, eh??

Or - too tired to comment?

Or - you were kidnapped in mid-comment?

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Aug 28, 2007, at 7:39 AM

He probably had to answer the phone and explain to Steve Smith that he did not want DISH network,then explain to Mrs.Truthy why he was vacuuming and singing at 9:49 pm,while she looked up signs of "nervous breakdown" on WebMD!

-- Posted by Yellow Rose of Essex on Tue, Aug 28, 2007, at 8:17 AM

Hey! Another road trip. I just love going on the road again with ya'll. Who knows, maybe this time I.B. will consent to come along with us. He did go on the road trip to welcome Ms. Madeline back to the state of Missouri after visiting the armpit of the South.

I can't wait until my next telemarketer phone call. Telemarketers beware!

-- Posted by Ducky on Tue, Aug 28, 2007, at 2:52 PM

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