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All the politicians like tirinian best - Qualified Perceptions
All the politicians like tirinian best
I think I just blew off the mayor of Somerville. For some reason I find this somewhat more embarassing than blowing off the standard political telemarketers. But it took a minute or two after evading the call for his entire spiel to finish registering what he had said, and I had become vaguely disgruntled that he asked if I was tirinian's kid (or wife, but that's slightly less cause for disgruntlement).

Current Mood: embarrassed embarrassed

16 comments or Leave a comment
twe From: twe Date: November 4th, 2005 12:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Don't be embarassed; they shouldn't be pestering you at dinner time anyway. :)
remcat From: remcat Date: November 4th, 2005 02:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I hate it when I answer the phone, and someone says, "Is your Mommy in the house?"


I always say, "I **AM** the Mommy in this house!!"
mijven From: mijven Date: November 4th, 2005 12:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

Confused here...

If somebody messed up by assuming some formal relationship with another member of your household, why are you embarrased?
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: November 4th, 2005 02:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Confused here...

To try to precisely put my finger on what embarassed me:

1) There is respect that is due to authority. This appeals to the Miss Manners in me. I liked the bit on the West Wing where the President hires Lily Tomlin because even when she wrote the letter disagreeing with him, she still respected the office. I don't call President Bush "Shrub" or "W" no matter how much I disagree with him. If the White House called me (or called tirinian and was grudgingly willing to speak to me, as seems more plausible), it would be against my personal Rules of Conduct to blow them off. The mayor of Somerville is like that. He's my elected official, I shouldn't be rude to him.

2) I'm embarassed that it took me until after I had hung up to realize that it (probably) the mayor. The conversation in my head was something like "Hello, is tirinian there? No, he's not. Well, are you his wife, or his child? No, I'm his housemate (sheesh. His child?) Well, but you live there, could you take a moment to talk? (hmm, oddly non-smooth telemarketer...) Blah blah Joe Curtatone mayor of Somerville (wait, there's a mayoral election? Why didn't I notice that? This is the first campaign call I've had for the mayor, oh, he's still talking) blah blah my friend Jack Connelly running for the alderman position (oh, wait, it's still that alderman election after all). I'm sorry, I don't know much about the alderman race, and I don't have time right now, thank you."

Then only afterwards did I start connecting the sentences together, and think "wait, did he say he *was* the mayor of Somerville?"
twe From: twe Date: November 4th, 2005 03:14 pm (UTC) (Link)


I don't think "I'm sorry I don't know much about the race and don't have time to talk now" counts as blowing someone off. That seems polite enough, and I don't think even Miss Manners would say you are obligated to engage in a long discussion for someone who cold calls you.
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: November 4th, 2005 05:36 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Hmm

Oh, I know I'm not obligated to discuss politics with cold-callers. :) I'm defining "blowing off" as ducking out of the conversation that the other person wants to be having, regardless of who it is or how reasonable it is to do so, or how polite I am in doing so.

I don't feel bad blowing off people who want to sell me credit card insurance. I don't feel very bad blowing off panhandlers. I do feel bad blowing off friends. Same verb (for me), just different levels of acceptability.

(Your version of the verb is more like "duck out rudely"? )
mijven From: mijven Date: November 4th, 2005 04:06 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Confused here...

I'm still not seeing it. If you'd been rude, then I could see your point - but then I'm not in the boat of being rude to telemarketers in general (except those that won't let me hang up.) But being dismissive to the Mayor when he'd called you up not to do his job but to pimp some guy to your housemate really isn't striking me as wrong.

Now if he'd asked you to take a message and you'd been too busy, then it would be disrespectful of elders/elected leaders, sure. But he didn't know a thing about you yet somehow felt it okay to use his position to try and sway your political opinion.
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: November 4th, 2005 05:41 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Confused here...

Ah, but I am embarassed by many things that are not wrong. :)
treiza From: treiza Date: November 4th, 2005 02:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
is it offensive to be mistaken for someone's child? after all, you've really only said hello, and they can't see you... I talk to kids all the time who sound essentially the same as adults when they're making the effort (as you might when answering the phone)
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: November 4th, 2005 02:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
Offensive is too strong. I seem to find it vaguely irritatinng, the same way I do when someone answers my email with email of their own which starts "Dear Linda". A feeling of "You could do better than that - you're not even trying, are you?"
twe From: twe Date: November 4th, 2005 03:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
"Dear Linda" is worse than "Are you his child?" I think. Telephone voices are confusing sometimes.

(But on "Dear Linda," or in my case "Dear Kathy," I support you wholeheartenly. Gah.)
From: readsalot Date: November 4th, 2005 04:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
My favorites are the ones who address me as "Annette" or "Adrian".
From: readsalot Date: November 4th, 2005 04:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think irritation is reasonable--you're right, they're just not trying very hard. If I answered the company phone at my last job, a number of people would assume that I was our office manager, despite her being British and having a speaking voice that's about an octave higher than mine.
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: November 4th, 2005 04:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Though, for whatever reason, I think it's funny instead of irritating when people ask me if I'm Jacob (the other person at the Accounts number). Perhaps because that's gone past "not trying" and into "hapless".
pekmez From: pekmez Date: November 4th, 2005 06:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
We've been getting a bunch asking for "Abe", which zubatac seems to be the one who answers. Much confusion ensues when he says no, he's not Abe,
and corrects what my name is but they still seem to think he's me, and get
even more confused by the fact that actually he can't vote, he's not me, and never even get around to asking if I'm home, which I am. (I'd feel like we should be a little more direct, only he's not *trying* to confuse them
and if he's answering the phone it's usually because my hands are full of baby... but even so it seems like we're blowing them off.)
countertorque From: countertorque Date: November 4th, 2005 07:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hanging up on the mayor is clearly different than hanging up on someone trying to sell you insurance. It's different even if all the mayor wants is to sell you insurance.
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