When you’re a teenager (or a toddler with a phone, as the case may be today) the only people who call are your parents, your BFFs, your boyfriend and maybe the occasional prank caller.
But once you have your own money and an aging body, you start getting all kinds of new and interesting phone calls.
I try my best to never answer the phone.
I figure if someone really needs me, they’ll text me, or track me down via drone or carrier pigeon.
But occasionally a call falls through the cracks.
In my experience, these correspondances fall under one of three categories.
The Insurance Call
Today I received a call from my obstetrician’s office saying that all of my recent medical claims had been denied by my health insurance company – because they have me listed as a male.
I’d like to know how many males named Julie are visiting the OB?
And how many of these male OB-goers are submitting gynecological claims for pap smears, urine samples and ultrasounds?
Now I will have to spend 30 minutes on another phone call with the insurance company navigating numerical prompts and shouting voice commands to a robot agent.
Is the robot agent going to ask me to somehow prove I’m female over the phone?
Sure, should I just scan you a copy of my lady-parts identification card? Or read you the serial number stamped inside my labia?
It’s also super fun to get a call from the car insurance company.
The one where they’re just calling to give you an update on that fender bender you got in six months ago – you know, the one where you side-swiped that 1995 Bronco?
The one where you left a scratch that would take a 1500X Phase Contrast Inverted Flurescence Microscope to actually see?
The one where the driver sprinted over to your car, using both of his legs, to give you the finger?
Yeah well, that driver was apparently very injured, and is suing you for $100,000 and your first-born child.
The Scam Call
This kind of call can involve any number of exciting offers like free cruises, complimentary Madonna concert tickets, membership into the European Cheese-of-the-Month Club, and so on.
A few years ago, I got a call from “Bank of America” saying my account had been hacked and they needed to issue new cards.
In order to do so, for security purposes, I would need to confirm my name, address, birthdate and social security number.
Because I’m a little bit
dumb naive, I willingly obliged.
I gave my name, address, birthdate, social security number, blood type…
hacker “Bank of America representative” promptly hung up and stole my identity.
The Doctor Reminder Call
As you get older, these types of calls become more and more frequent.
The dentist, the ophthalmologist, the dermatologist, the gastroenterologist, the gynecologist…..
“Hi, it’s Jenna from [insert specialist’s office] calling to remind you that you’re due for your yearly [insert aging body part] check up.
Would you like to schedule your appointment now?”
“Oh yes! I’ve been waiting for your call.
I was hoping to get in right away for [insert doctor name] to look at this strange spot on my [insert body part.] In fact, it’s throbbing and changing color as we speak!
Oh, you can get me in for tomorrow at 2 p.m.?
Great, I’ll plan to sell my body on the streets in the morning then, so I can afford the specialist copay and the time off from work.”
If you’re a parent, you also get to experience a fourth type of dreaded call.
The School Call
This call usually involves one of two things – vomit or poop.
If you’re lucky, it’s only the school secretary calling to remind you that it’s Early Release Day and you forgot to pick up your kid.
If you’re extra lucky, it’s just the PTA president reminding you that you signed up to bring in three dozen safari-themed cupcakes tomorrow.
My advice is to avoid having a phone all together.
Let them email you, or Facebook-message you, or better yet, send you a piece of snail mail, which is actually kind of fun and nostalgic to receive.
If that doesn’t work, and you accidentally answer, it’s best to feign a foreign accent and hang up.
Que? No entiendo. No comprendo. Au Revoir!”