When I took over my parents’ lives, I had to answer every phone call, even if they were from unfamiliar numbers. I’m too tired to explain why. I’ll just assume that everyone understands how calls from banks, doctors, caretakers, pharmacies, and asshole credit card companies work, namely, that their numbers are unknown numbers and don’t show up in your contacts. Unsurprisingly, sprinkled throughout those legitimate phone calls were spam phone calls, and I answered those too. It’s hard to differentiate between an asshole spam caller’s number and an asshole bank’s phone number.
The phone calls for my parents have died down, but the spam callers have identified my number as one attached to a human who will answer any trash call. Now I get anywhere from 25 to 45 calls a day. The FCC says to just stop answering these calls, and LOL this does not work. I tried. I really did. All it does is cause your voicemail to reach capacity, because these cretins will actually leave a voicemail message. I will admit that full voicemail box is kinda nice, so sometimes I let my voicemail fill up with this dreck just so no one else can leave me a message, a la my childhood in the 1970s.
But full voicemail box aside, these calls are torture, coming at all times of day. I’ve therefore also tried Verizon’s spam caller blocking thingy, and the Robokiller app. But those don’t work either, because they also block the doctors calling to tell you that your dad is in the emergency room.
So eventually I resigned myself to just answering every call, including the spam calls. And because I am not well, I then started to fuck with the callers (whoever they are). I told myself that if I kept the spam caller on the phone with me — an unwell person, sure, but also a person who is not scammable — that was one less nice, gullible elderly person who picked up the phone and got scammed. But the truth is that I fucked with them as a way to express rage. And yes, I know I need a shrink.
I’ve fucked with them in a variety of ways: fake credit card numbers (all visas start with the number 4, and are sixteen digits); I’ve pretended I couldn’t hear them, and asked them to repeat themselves multiple times. This is…