People who know me and my personality know that I'm a determined (some might call it stubborn) person. If I think something is wrong or I have a peeve, I usually try to do or say something to make it right, though I try to pick my battles (sometimes).
Much to the dismay of my parents (R.I.P), I consider myself a fighter, not in the physical sense, but I was blessed with a big mouth and I enjoy writing, so I do my fighting with my heart (most times), head (sometimes), mouth (often), and pen (actually keyboard ... not too many use pens anymore).
I've written hundreds, maybe thousands, of letters voicing my opinion on varieties of things I consider both good and/or bad. I've written many letters to newspapers and to groups/organizations, throwing my two cents in on something. I've written to my school board, superintendent, teachers' union and still have things to say about experiences I encounter as a retired teacher substituting in schools today.
J. Paul Lombardo
I've written to numerous politicians asking questions, and made contact with many who have sent me information or wanted my vote and said I should feel free to contact them at any time if I ever have questions or concerns. Often (not always), I receive responses that include a resume and/or a litany of accomplishments, composed by the politician herself/himself, nowhere addressing my question or concern. Most times they can't - or won't - help me, but always seem to want me to help them.
One of my greatest pet peeves is receiving phone calls from reps of those politicians, or people soliciting money, taking surveys, or trying to get me to join a bank or take advantage of new money-saving programs, which usually ending up costing more money in the long run.
One of my favorites (sarcasm) is the flood of political calls asking me for whom I'm going to vote. Maybe we should disband the present-day voting system and just wait for a call, and whoever calls first gets our vote. It'll probably increase voter "turnout" tremendously. People wouldn't have to worry about the weather on Election Day, or whether or not they have transportation to the polls. This peeve brings me to the meat of today's "Voice from the Bullpen."
In my desire to find, and be able to watch, my beloved (yet sometimes extremely frustrating) Cleveland Indians, I became a customer of Dish Network, which offers Sports Time Ohio, which broadcasts 150 Tribe games each season.
My subscription offers many other perks, one of them being an on-screen caller ID. I have caller ID on my phones, but this one displays the incoming call on my television screen. Wow. That is great.
This gives me the opportunity to literally screen my calls and - for the most part - know who wants something from me or who wants to interrupt my dinner or my watching the ballgame or anything else I might be doing that is more important than listening to a pre-recorded or live piece of drivel from someone who doesn't give two hoots about me, but rather about what they can get from me.
Now I let the answering machine live up to its name and take the message for me. Funny thing, though, these extremely important calls, pleas, offers, etc. are so important that when the answering machine tries to take the message, those so bent on interrupting me seem to just hang up without so much as a friendly hello or anything. You can see why my Caller ID is climbing the ladder in becoming one of my best friends.
Now that's not to say that the political groups, telemarketers, bankers or solicitors aren't persistent. Some call upwards of 10 (sometimes more) times a day, including Sundays. Some are now using cellphones.
I previously answered cell calls, especially New York cellphone calls, as I have family and friends and don't know all of their numbers by sight (contact listing ... another perk), but now I figure that if they start talking when the machine answers, I can get to them, or if I don't, they'll leave a message, and I can get back to them immediately. So now, if I don't recognize the caller or the number, I don't answer the phone, and boy has my life been made much less frustrated and a lot happier. All of this made possible courtesy of my caller ID.
I've made no secret about my ignorance of - or my reluctance to try/learn, or my frustrations in - much of the technology of today, but there are some aspects and components of technology that have done great things for me. caller ID is near the top of that list.
I know I'm paying something to get this service, as in this world, the only thing you get for free is advice, and please don't get me wrong, some advice is welcomed and helpful, but some of it, well ... let's just say sometimes you get what you pay for.
Anyway, I know I'm paying something for my caller ID, but aren't our best friends worthy of investments on our part? Do we not buy gifts for loved ones and friends? Do we not spend money on dinners or refreshments for them on occasion? So, if my caller ID is such a good friend (and mine certainly is), then isn't it worth an investment of appreciation?
So look out telemarketers, political groups, solicitors, groups and organizations. Batman had Robin, the Green Hornet had Kato and I have caller ID. Know that when you mess with me now, you now have to get through both of us. And remember, we fight for truth, justice, the American way and the right not to be disturbed.