Five To Seven Is Dinnertime … After 10 Is Bedtime

Does anyone wonder what happened to respecting dinner and bedtime hours when it comes to phone calls by telemarketers, politicians and charity organizations? Also, do members of the same group who call you (often interrupting dinner/bedtime hours) ever talk to each other? Don’t they have a master list acknowledging that they’ve already interrupted your dinner/bedtime hour so they don’t call you on numerous occasions the same day? And shouldn’t telemarketers, charities and political groups respect that many people don’t want their phones to ring off the wall on Sundays when they’re trying to relax before starting another work week on Monday? And if the purpose of their call is so important, why don’t they leave messages if they encounter an answering machine? (Thank goodness for caller IDs and answering machines.)

How do telemarketers get away with still calling after we’ve registered as people who don’t want to be called? Why aren’t politicians and members of charity organizations also included on that list?

With all due respect, some groups overstep the bounds when it comes to their agendas. I say “their” agendas because their calls usually have to do with what they want, not what we want. I’ve received letters from some local and state politicians telling me I can contact them if I need anything, but when I contact them I usually have to wait weeks before getting a call from, or letter written by an aide and signed by the politician, saying there’s nothing they can do. Don’t insult me with token offers if the effort to help will be empty. And don’t profess separation of church and state and then have members of a campaign put flyers on cars in church parking lots as elections get close. And don’t call me, again during the dinner hour, or after 10 p.m., with dissertations on who to vote for when Election Day arrives. This is America. We have the right to make up our own minds, and I don’t need someone trying to influence me with many things that probably won’t happen anyway. I will make up my mind, myself. I don’t need any help from anyone to make up my mind, especially during dinner or late in the evening.

As far as charity organizations go, I give to numerous charities. I help charities by mailing envelopes to my neighbors asking for donations, I give to my church, and I’ve donated blood more than 100 times. What’s amazing is that I think that if the charities saved the money spent on overpayment of administration, mailings sent out and all they pay their callers, that money could go to the charity. I’d like to give more, but I have to pay bills, I’ve had to raise my family, and I’ve had to figure out how to cover my health insurance and expenses, and then other program benefits I’m helping pay for other people – some legitimately needed by some, some abused by others. Where’s my charity? Why didn’t my children get the same tuition breaks and free memberships that kids of many able-bodied people who can, but don’t, work receive? Who can I call during dinner/bedtime hours to ask for donations?

We need level playing fields. Politicians should treat constituents the same throughout their entire term of office, not just at election time. They should also ask themselves how they like their dinner/bedtime hour interrupted, which I’m sure happens to them, but do they like it? They should ask themselves how they would like to have someone call them nights before elections telling them for whom to vote. And politicians shouldn’t get away with violating laws or receiving benefits they aren’t supposed to receive and say that it was a misunderstanding, a clerical error, or their spouse’s fault, and get away with after being caught.

The playing field also needs to be adjusted and leveled regarding charities and public assistance. I have no problem helping citizens, but I feel those being helped should not abuse the assistance. I also believe that some, not all, (as there are elderly people, and legitimately disabled people who receive assistance who should be exempt from testing) who should be drug tested like employees in many professions are required to do. I also believe that the assistance be adjusted if the recipients can afford tattoos and body piercings, or other habits. I have no problem with people who are into those things, but I don’t think taxpayers should have to pay for them. Charity and assistance needs to be something to help toward services/cures/treatment/research, or if people can’t afford food, or other necessities.

Another question I have is, if assistance is to help with food, why do many on assistance also receive benefits of free or reduced breakfasts and lunches for their kids in school or on the local playgrounds in the summer? Isn’t that a double benefit for the same thing? One more itch of mine that is hard to reach for scratching … can anyone explain to me how people on disabilities from work can, for example, vacation in the Caribbean, go parasailing (with a disability that prevents them from working), and afford luxuries like boats and brand new SUVs and get away with it because he/she has their parent register it in his/her name?

Anyway, back to the dinner/bedtime hour. I think we should all ask those who call us during the dinner/bedtime hour for their phone number and tell them we’ll call them back during their dinner hour or at a late night hour. Either that or change your answering machine message and tell the telemarketers, charities and politicians, “Don’t call me, I’ll call you.”

It’s a shame we have to feel and act this way, but hardworking American people’s lives are disrupted enough, their pockets are picked enough, and enough is definitely enough.