ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CHERYL JOST
?Hi, this is Cheryl. Keith, the kids and I are unable or unwilling to
come to the phone right now. If you leave your name, your number
what?s on your mind, we?ll get back to you. Thanks.?
That?s the message on our telephone?s answering machine. My
doesn?t like it…. He says it?s too long. When he calls and wants
leave a message, he doesn?t like to wait the 10 seconds that it
Yes, I?ve timed it.
He wants to change the message to something shorter, like, ?You?ve
reached the Josts. Leave a message.? Four seconds.
Yes, he?s timed it.
Shorter, to the point, very efficient. I think it?s dull.
At least with my version, people comment.
Some people have told me they think the message is great. They
the honesty of it.
My mother thinks the ?unwilling? part of my message is very rude.
says people shouldn?t be made to feel they are imposing on us by
calling our home.
I respond by saying that any telemarketer calling our house is
imposing on us and that I really don?t care if they know that I?m
?unwilling? to leave some task that I?m in the middle of to talk
them about whatever product they are trying to hawk.
Oh! Let me insert a story here. I was out to lunch with Melissa
Bartel last week and she was in a tizzy over the abundance of
telemarketers who had been calling her home.
?One night I had just had it with them!? she said with a laugh,
eyes growing big as she began her story. ?So, I decided to give
next one who called a dose of their own medicine.
?It wasn?t more than an hour when another call came in and when
salesperson on the other end of the line paused in her spiel, I
said ?Would you like to buy a Bosch mixer? I sell Bosch mixers
work and they are the greatest. Let me tell you all about this
wonderful kitchen machine. No home should be without one!??
?What was the response?? I asked.
?Complete silence and then, ?I really don?t want to buy a mixer.?
Melissa continued with her story. ?When I heard that, I said,
your supervisor would like to buy a Bosch mixer. They can handle
dough or whip egg whites to perfection. Why don?t you ask your
supervisor if he or she would like one??
??I don?t think he wants to buy a mixer, either.?
?So, you don?t want to be pitched a sale over the phone for
that you?re not interested in?? Melissa asked. ?Am I getting
to you? Please, take me off any phone list that you might have and
don?t call again. Thank you.?
Since then, telemarketers have become somewhat of a target for
Melissa. She has now moved on to asking them if they know Jesus as
?Do you know Jesus? Are you washed in the blood??
She figures a little evangelism never hurt anyone.
Now, back to my answering machine. As I was saying, sometimes I am
just unwilling to come to the phone. I refuse to leave a hot meal
the table to take a phone call about some committee meeting that?s
date has been switched.
I?m also not willing to run out of the shower dripping wet to try
catch the phone so I can talk to Countryside Feed about an order
I know nothing about.
And when my husband and I are putting the kids to bed, we not only
the answering machine pick up the messages, we turn off the ringer
telephone as well.
It won?t be too many years down the road when our son and daughter
won?t want the bedtime ritual of Bible stories and ?Night,
don?t let the bedbugs bite!?
Who wants to hear from a tele-marketer when I can hear ?I love
from my child?
Over the past few months, I have adapted a whole new telephone
philosophy. I have come to think of the telephone as a
tool that I control?not one that controls me. I?ve learned that I
don?t have to rush to it every time it makes a noise. My husband
as relaxed about the phone as I have become. He still makes a mad
dash to pick up every time he hears it ring.
I guess he doesn?t want to miss any offers for magazine
or replacement windows.
Our friends and family have adjusted to my new phone attitude.
people just leave a message for me to call them back although my
has been known to stay on the phone saying, ?I know you?re there.
She knows that most of the time when I?m home, I listen to the
messages as they come in. There?s a term for this
If I had an assistant, that person would be doing this chore for
me?weeding out the distractions and placing the other caller?s
messages in order of importance. For now, I?ll just let the
But I like my brother-in-law?s method of reaching us the best. At
night, after we?ve turned the phone?s ringer off, sometimes we
Clyde?s voice coming from the back wing of the house where the
unit for our farm radios rests.
?Your phone?s turned off. Call me back.?
And we do. He isn?t selling anything.
* * *
If you?re like us, May is filled to the brim with activity. We
many parties, receptions and recitals that I wonder if we?ll
My daughter took these favorite cookies to her piano recital last
Saturday, where we honored her dear piano teacher Marlene Fast,
has decided to retire from teaching due to her real estate
and her children?s many activities.
Thank you, Marlene. Meg will miss you.
Caramel Filled Chocolate Cookies
21/2 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
48 Rolo candies
Beat sugars and butter until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add
ingredients. Stir in 1/2 cup of pecans. For each cookie, mold
one tablespoon of dough around a Rolo, covering completely. Roll
sugar and press one side of cookie into remaining pecans. Place,
side up on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for seven minutes at
Nuts may be omitted. Cookies may be drizzled with vanilla or
ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CHERYL JOST