Are we being driven to rudeness?

I have thought lately about how often I have to be rude or bordering on rude to get through to some telemarketing lackey that I really don’t want to discuss whatever goods, services or cause they are calling about. More and more these intrusive callers just don’t take “no thank you” for an answer. All too often the only solution is just to hang up on them. Is that rude? Perhaps, but it seems to be the only thing that theyangry on phone understand. Just as often it is a robo-call anyway, so I’m really only hanging up on a machine.

I have one west coast company that calls me every week to try to sell my real estate leads. I listened once and said no thank you. They called again and again and again. For the first few of those calls I took the time to tell whoever had called that I wanted them to stop calling; that I wasn’t interested and that I wouldn’t be interested next week either. They called and called and called. So now I don’t even answer calls from their area or, if I do answer, I just hang up as some as they start their pitch. Unfortunately that happens a lot lately. There are just tons of telemarketing companies making millions of unwanted calls every day. Now that they also have our cellphone numbers I get those same calls on my cell phone, even though I signed up on the do not call list for my cell phone.

So, all that is left is to be rude… just hang up…no “no thanks”…just click. I suppose that the folks who do these calls for a living get used to being hung up on. Some have even called back and left a message that we somehow got cut off.  Some of the robo-calling machines even are programed to call back and pick up in the pitch right where they left off when I hung up. Now, that’s hutzpah!

I also read recently about the degraded civility in the nation’s capital between members of congress. The Senate in particular has always been a bastion of feigned civil behavior, with members calling each other “the gentleman from” or “the gentlewoman of”. Lately they have been calling each other something else, none of it gentle.

I’m not sure what has caused this decline in civility and increase in rudeness, although I have a theory that it is somehow connected to technology (especially the robo-calls), always being connected and the greatly increased pace of life. It does, after all, take a bit longer to be polite or civil that it does to just hang up. And the polarization of the political parties in Washington is just reflective of the extreme views out in the public these days. I suppose taking the time to call a congressional colleague “the gentleman from (insert a state here)” would lose its affect if the next phrase were “is a jackass”; though one might get credit for the accuracy of the statement.

So if you’re on the west coast and you have something to sell, please don’t call me. I’ll just hang up. I may feel bad about being rude for a nano-second or two, but I’ll get over that and it’s sad to have to say that.

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