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.