There’s nothing quite like waking up early on a Sunday morning to a voicemail ping that a new message is waiting to be heard.  Imagine my non-delight as, at 7:00am, I listened to some woman start a five-minute rant against and article I wrote eight years ago — and she started it all off with this sentence:

“You’re a piece of sh@t.”

I’m not spelling out the her word of the day, but you get the idea of where the rest of her message was heading.

Based on the Googly mess that is a Google Voice email transcription of that voicemail, and the manner in which it started, I deleted the voicemail after that first sentence without listening to an insane person trying to wield imaginary power against ruining my day.

I found it highly amusing that the Google Voice email transcription ended the call with the woman admonishing me to be kinder and gentler and to become a “compassionate person!”  Harr!  There’s nothing quite like the cold fish of irony slapping a hapless caller right in the face as payback for drunk dialing!

Yes, I knew there was always a risk in publishing my phone numbers on the internets — even with Verizon Wireless call blocking on all my lines, and even with Google Voice’s excellent call blocking, and even with the new ability to block people directly from my iPhone via iOS 7 — the unsavory can sometimes break through because most of those protections only work after you get the first unwanted call.

You can’t — perfectly, yet! — precog screen first time callers.

I still feel the benefit of having the phone numbers published on the web outweighs the risk because I still need to publicly re-associate those numbers with me and not with the previous owners.  That decision burns backward when I get Sunday morning voicemail from the unsettled.

Here’s a hint for future hate callers of all ilks and purposes in the world — don’t bother. Just like all my hate mail gets measured and filtered so I don’t have to see it, so too, does my voicemail and that’s true of anyone in the same sort of public station; anyone else you’d dare to call will have the same protections in place.  Sure, a nasty word or two may get by the first time, but never a second or a third.

We Who Have to Deal With You — understand the price we have to pay for putting ourselves online, in real-time, in public, using our real names — while sorts like you get to snipe at us anonymously and from a distance with zero repercussion.  At least we have your phone number on file.

If you really want to protest and make a human difference — do something other than complain and blame and curse out people you do not know. Start your own blog to purge your boils. Join in the comments stream of the article you do not like so everyone can share in your vile nature.

Or, just do the right thing, and repress and internalize your need for expression so everyone else can remain calm and happy and un-bothered by your desperate need for attention.

This sort of “Me First” behavior is now the rue of our everyday — where any little thought or protest gets moved to the individual forefront for instant expression without editing or clarification or an ounce of composure.  If those people can vomit on everyone, and not just themselves, then the point of their day has been taken — or so they think.

2 Comments

  1. First of all, sorry you had to be at the receiving end of that. Second, I’m really interested in reading that article. And good for you on deleting the message at the first sentence. My curiosity would have gotten the best of me and i would have had to hear it out. Then I would have been upset about it for several days.

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    1. This sort of thing comes with the everyday territory of what we do here and elsewhere online. I don’t like it much. I don’t care what other people are thinking or doing while there are others who seem to obsess on just those things about me. I’ve never understood it.

      When I saw the mangled Google Voice transcription, I knew I didn’t need to listen to it — even though what I thought it was about wasn’t what it was about at all — but I wanted to make sure this wasn’t the same person who’d been nagging me about something else a couple of weeks ago across all avenues. Different person. Same distinction without a difference.

      It’s easy to let these things get at you and gnaw on you — and I find that sometimes writing about them is the best sort of revenge. If I really wanted to have fun, I could have posted the Google Voice audio file here for everyone to hear — but that wouldn’t shame the caller as intended — she’d think she was a star and important and worthwhile. I’m not into in that soft of ego scraping while shaming! SMILE!

      This sort of hate mail used to really bother my wife. When I told her about this one, she just looked at me and said, “That sort of goes with it…” Oh, how right she was! I feel better know that she now cares less about these crazies than I do.

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