Daily Archives: April 13, 2011

Cold Calling

After a busy morning I arrived home in time for lunch.  A leisurely lunch and time to settle down to writing a few words for today.

There had been a call and a message left for me on my land-line.  I checked it.

My elderly neighbour (85) had phoned looking for my help.  Her message was a little garbled a real sign of agitation.  I quickly had a bite of lunch and headed down to try and calm her down.

Like me, she lives alone and has only one daughter.  Her daughter is married and living about 5-7 miles away.  This week the daughter is in  Kraków with her students.  When left alone, my friend panics at the least thing.

Many months ago she was troubled with incoming calls with nobody speaking.  Her daughter was away at that time and my neighbour had run to the phone each time, in case it was her daughter calling.  After a couple of days she called for my help.

I arranged to add her name to The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) (a free service), the official central opt out register on which you can record your preference not to receive unsolicited sales or marketing calls. I did tell her that if things did not improve to keep a notebook and pen by the phone and keep note of the date and time of these calls.

Things improved for a few months.

Calls began again on Friday evening.  This morning her phone rang every five minutes and of course she imagined it was an axe murderer coming to get her!  It was in fact that automated ringing for cold call sales. Do these companies give any thought to how intimidating these calls are for elderly people?  There must be a better way to make sales.

I have suggested that she should have her number made ex-directory and to speak to her daughter about when she returns.

My friend’s real problem is the early stages of Alzheimer’s. For some unknown reason she listens to me, and I leave her feeling calmer.  Today it took a cup of coffee and three hours of gentle chat.

I also discovered that last week she had a fall and hurt her ribs.  She has not been X-Ray’d, so I have promised to take her to casualty tomorrow morning.

I hope I wake up early in the morning!