Life as the clock moves past 65

Published 5:43 pm Tuesday, January 28, 2020

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Pardon me for being so blunt, but I have no love in my heart for those blood-sucking, heartless individuals who do nothing more than sit on their keister all day and do everything in their power to either steal my hard-earned money or my identity.

We all receive scam calls, but they seem to be growing in number the older I get. Since reaching and exceeding the age 65 barrier, I get roughly four-to-five calls a day from all sorts of folks, with sales pitches ranging from medical supplies, to improving my financial standing, to offering me computer upgrades.

Since joining the Medicare rolls in June of last year, I get all sorts of offers for things like cheaper rates on my prescription medication and handy-dandy gadgets that will make my back, knees and feet feel like I’m a teenager again….nope: been there, done that; do not want to return!!

Kind’a makes me wonder how my cell phone number wound-up in the hands of these telemarketers? Wonder whose making money selling lists of names and phone numbers?

My latest series of telemarketing calls start off with a pre-recorded message from this sweet and innocent sounding woman….Becky Sue, Sallie Mae or something along the those lines….who claims to be a Medicare nurse and tells me the benefits of purchasing a back-knee, etc. brace.

“Medicare has tried to mail you about this special offer but has been unable to reach you. This is your final notice, so act now by pressing one (1) to learn more,” said Becky Sue, Sallie Mae, whatever.

During the first dozen or so calls, I hung up. Then I stayed on the line a bit longer on the next call and learned that I could press nine (9) on my phone and opt out of receiving any more calls. I did just that!

Guess what….the calls kept coming, from the same woman with the same sales pitch. On one particular day during an extremely busy day here at the office, Becky Sue/Sallie Mae calls three times over a two-hour stretch. I was fed-up by the time call number three comes in, so this time I pressed one (1) to vent my frustration.

“Hello, this is Michael (or Mark, or Jim, or some typical American male name),” said the telemarketer in a thick foreign accent (far from the sweet voice of Becky Sue/Sallie Mae). “Let us get started on your order by giving me the Medicare number off your red, white and blue card.”

“Well are you from Medicare; you already have my name and phone number; don’t you already have my Medicare ID number,” I inquired.

“I just need it for verification,” he answered. “Give me the number off your red, white and blue card.”

It was at this point of the conversation that I told him I needed to file a complaint.

“Okay, let’s start with the number on your red, white and blue card,” he insisted….to which I asked, “What does that number have to do with lodging a complaint?”

When he asked again for the number (never once asking the nature of my complaint), I asked to be transferred to his supervisor.

I was placed on hold for about two minutes before the same guy came back on the line to inform me that all supervisors were busy.

“Well, bud, so I’m I and you’re wasting my time,” I said in an angered tone. “Since you haven’t had the courtesy to ask what my complaint is, I’ll tell you. I’ve opted out of the calls you’re placing to me, but I’m still receiving them. So, this is your final notice….either stop calling me or I’m contacting the local authorities.”

He hung up faster than a politician can tell a lie.

To date, I haven’t heard back from Becky Sue/Sallie Mae/Michael/Mark/Jim.

But yet there will be other calls with other sales pitches. Such is life when life’s clock moves past 65.

Cal Bryant is the 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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