Bombs, taxes, and telemarketers

Published 9:26 am Thursday, April 20, 2017

Well, after a week of seeing America’s wrath at its best…the retaliation bombing of a Syrian airfield…someone has to pay for all that military action.

Is it just me or did anyone else notice that just a few days after those 50-to-60 U.S. missiles were launched, Tax Day 2017 rolled around?

My check is in the mail, Mr. Trump. I know it’s not a lot of cash (added on top of all that dang money I forked over during the entire year), but perhaps it was enough to purchase a bottle cap full of the propellant used to fire one rocket approximately three feet in the air!!

So, what else is happening? The RC Publications staff has been so immersed in the task of producing our latest Front Porch Living magazine (due out by the end of this month) that we perhaps missed other important national or international news.

I did take note that the NC General Assembly is proposing new legislation that will lower the personal and business income tax rate. That’s fantastic news…..but a bit too late to prevent me from not having to cut a check to the NC Dept. of Revenue for my 2016 state taxes.

But you know how that old saying goes….the only two guarantees in life are death and taxes.

Perhaps were need to add a third guarantee to that list….telemarketers. It’s almost like you can set your clock on them.

All one has to do, after arriving home following a long day at work, is sit down at the dinner table and the phone will ring.

Thanks to Caller ID, one can immediately identify the person on the other end of the line as a pesky telemarketer. If you’re like me, you ignore the call, but it still gets on your nerves to have someone rudely cause an interruption during a meal.

But it really doesn’t make any difference what time of the day it is. I’ve gotten sales pitch calls to my cellphone while at work.

If you really want to have some fun, and don’t mind fielding a call, here are some tips that will frustrate “live-call” telemarketers.

Three words that really work are…“hold on please.” Saying this, while putting down your phone and walking off (instead of hanging-up immediately), would make each telemarketing call so much more time-consuming that boiler room sales would grind to a halt.
Then when you eventually hear the phone company’s “beep-beep-beep” tone, you know it’s time to go back and hang up your handset, which has efficiently completed its task.
Do you ever get those annoying phone calls with no one on the other end? This is a telemarketing technique where a machine makes phone calls and records the time of day when a person answers the phone. This technique is used to determine the best time of day for a “real” sales person to call back and get someone at home.
What you can do after answering, if you notice there is no one there, is to immediately start hitting the # button on your phone. Do it six or seven times as quickly as possible. This confuses the machine that dialed the call and it kicks your number out of their system. Gosh, what a shame not to have your name in their system any longer!
You can also have some fun with all the junk mail you receive.

When you get advertising enclosed with your phone or utility bill, return them with your payment. Let those companies throw their own junk mail away.
When you get those “pre-approved” letters in the mail for everything from credit cards to second mortgages and similar type junk, do not throw away the return envelope.  Most of these come with postage-paid return envelopes. It costs them more than the regular postage ‘IF’ and when they receive them back. It costs them nothing if you throw them away. The postage they pay is according to weight. In that case, get rid of some of your other junk mail and put it in these cool little, postage-paid return envelopes.

If you want to remain anonymous, just make sure your name isn’t on anything you send them. You can even send the envelope back empty if you want to just keep them guessing.

Let’s help keep our postal service in business since they are saying that e-mail is cutting into their profits and that’s why they need to keep increasing the cost of stamps.


Cal Bryant is Editor of Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact him at or 252-332-7207.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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