All my little birds are busy at school and work this week.

wood warbler

Middle is being a patient Senior/older brother with Youngest who is full of questions about high school.

bullfinch hen

And Youngest is being a respectful Freshman - he has expressed an interest in joining the film club but will hold back if Middle would prefer it to be his arena (I can't imagine Middle complaining about Youngest's presence there, but it is kind of Youngest to be aware of this possibility.)

white throat

And they have the same lunch period on "A" days but Youngest has been kind enough to not acknowledge Middle's existence in the cafeteria.

forest warbler

Just when I was craving some alone-time in my house I got it.


Strangely, I am a little out of sorts and haven't properly managed my time.

blackbird by Emily Sutton

I've been distracted.

Here's a story:

Last night, after 8pm, the phone rang. I didn't recognize the number, but it was the house line and not K's business line so I answered it. As soon as I heard a pause on the line after I said hello I knew it was a telemarketer. I hate talking to telemarketers (who doesn't?) but, for some odd reason, I don't mind taking telephone surveys. This call was a survey. A survey about hospitals in and near Tuvalu. The gentleman on the other end of the phone sounded young and he had an accent. I patiently answered questions about local hospitals and my experiences or opinions of them. I was surprised that I was eligible to answer the questions (sometimes I am ineligible by virtue of being married to a person who works in "media") and once I decided to stick with it, I gave each answer some thought - I have experience with several metro area hospitals. The survey eventually revealed its real topic - whether or not I had seen or heard commercials for particular hospitals.
Anyway. These calls always take longer than one wishes and I was joking by the time we got to my personal information. I declined to answer some of the questions to protect my privacy but was good about most of them. The caller began his wrap up speech and launched into it explaining that his supervisor might call to verify that I had really spoken with him - that he had not made up my answers. I had to interrupt him to ask him some questions of my own. He broke phone survey character and told me that he works six hours shifts, that he had come on three hours earlier. I asked where he got my number and he said the computer dials them. I asked how many people hang up on him. I wondered if 50% of the people he calls are willing to answer the questions:
Oh, no ma'am. Oh! Fifty percent would be something! I've called two hundred and twenty five people so far this evening and you are the first person who hasn't hung up and answered my survey.
He let me ask him a few more things and I realized that he was sitting just a few miles from my brother's house, at a call center. I thought about him as a person - I hate talking to telemarketers and try to get off the phone with them as fast as possible, but I wouldn't have minded talking just a little longer with him. I imagined him working to make tuition (my brother lives in a university town) and was hoping I could tell his supervisor that he did his job well.
Gosh. Two hundred calls?
Yes ma'am.
And I'm the first one who answered?
Yes. And I sincerely thank you for that

All told, I probably spent 15 minutes speaking with him. I can't count the number of times I haven't answered or hung up on people.


Anonymous said…
I was #224.

I hung up.
Anonymous said…
I wouldn't hang up, because that would be rude. Neither do I pick up the phone either. So I guess that's somewhat rude too.

You are a classy lady.
tut-tut said…
I'm like you; if it's a survey, and the person sounds sincere, I wade through. But what I get 99.9 percent of the time now are recorded messages. I don't feel guilty hanging up on those. Do you?
Dani said…
The amount of respect that your boys have for one another blows me away. That is exactly how I'm trying to mold mine. I *think* I'm on the right track, but only time will tell.

I can't believe you chatted outside of the parameters of the survey. You probably made his night and gave him a skip in his step that helped him chug through the next 200 calls.

I take surveys online in return for gift cards, small cash incentives, and products to test. Sometimes they even send my kids DVDs of new shows to screen and then they do surveys online pertaining to the show. It's kind of nice having a "say" in what corporate America puts out.
Fannie said…
That must be in the top five "most frustrating jobs ever".
smalltownme said…
Now I feel bad for always saying "no."

P.S. Those birds are really cute.
Anonymous said…
I say no thank you and hang up, every single time, and without guilt. I consider myself a housewife--if they're calling me at home, they are, in truth, calling me at work.
barbra said…
yay! love those birds!

and your birds as well. such thoughtful teenaged birds.

I must admit I don't pick up the phone. If I knew it was a survey, I probably would - I don't mind those (if they are short).
Amy A. said…
If I hear the pause, I hang up before they get a chance to speak. Once they've spoken, though, they've got me.

It's always hard to manage time after the kids go back to school. It takes time to get into a rhythm. I have to re-learn to judge what can actually be accomplished in the hours between drop off and pick up. So far, it's not much.
KPB said…
1. Those birds are divine and I can imagine them placed throughout your house in places unexpected but that make complete sense.

2. I know that your boys would have bedrooms like bomb sites and would have that weird boy smell of rotting apple cores and locker room stench and that there would be a level of torment and brotherly jostling for pecking order placement, but I LOVE them. LOVE THEM. LOVE THEM.

3. WEIRD. I always hand up but one the one occasion in the last six months that I didn't, it was about banks and recollections of ads about them. It took about 15 minutes and I had a chat with the woman at the end (she had three children, all girls). But I've hung up every time since.
Anonymous said…
Very cool birds.
I don't have caller ID, so I always have to pick up my phone and I preface anything with "I don't have any money." If it's only a survey, people stay on the line to tell me that. I bet I'm the 400th call and 2nd person to answer the questions. My advice & opinions are free;)
Mrs. G. said…
I was a telemarketer for theatre in college-my job was to try and sell season subscriptions. It was rough. You made his night.

I am a bit of a bird nut and those birds in your photos are incredible-where did you buy them?
Jennifer said…
WOW! I'm proud of you! That was super nice.

And so nice of Middle to help out Youngest where he can, and I admire youngest for being so thoughtful as to where his brother may or may not have a "line"
Anonymous said…
It's funny that tonight of all nights I read your comment as I embark this week in my newly accepted job. I haven't mentioned it because, well, you have been having a bit of a time and I didn't want to seem, blase(insert accent here) about it.
I realised just today that this job will involve a bit of one on one telemarket type salesmanship in order to get us where we want to be and I fear, FEAR that aspect of things with an unspoken TERROR.
It helps to know that somewhere out there, there are people like you, willing to listen. Thank you.

Oh and THE BIRDS. I do collect them, one of the only things I do collect, other than cookbooks of course. And I LOVE THEM. Please share.
Pretty Things said…
First, the birds, they're awesome.

If the call comes in as Unknown Name, Unknown Number, I don't pick up. I hate phones anyway. But occasionally I've picked up -- once when I was in high school, it was a wrong number, but I ended up knowing the guy on the other line, so we chatted for a long time. Random!
Anonymous said…
Youngest has a very high EQ.
I love those birds, too, every one of them.
I would very much rather ask the (personal, but not too) questions than answer them during a survey.
Short surveys I like, telemarketers, I can live without. I like the recorded telemarketers though, because the resulting click doesn't result in any hard feelings.
I solved my telemarketer problem by ditching my house phone and we became a cell-only family.

There are only about 10 souls in the world that have my number.

I also love the birds and your boys.
Anonymous said…
Telemarketers that call here selling home improvements are told that we rent. Telemarketers that call selling anything else or asking for anything else or raising money for anything else are told that we do not respond to telephone solicitations. My husband gets rather nasty about it. I try to be at least civil.

#2's girlfriend just got a job as a telemarketer. She is only 17 so doesn't have a lot of employable skills. DH's niece, a single mom with 3 kids, used to be a telemarketer; it was the only job she found that she could do from home. I try to think of the telemarketer at the other end of the line as one of them.
Mary said…
It's an awkward thing that's for sure.

Which I seem to have solved by moving to the mountains.

Apparently we mountain folk aren't worth surveying.

Thank heavens!
Stomper Girl said…
Like you, I'll do the odd survey and have had the odd chat with the caller. And I used to try and be polite about saying "Not Interested" to the ones selling stuff, figuring it must be a vile job to have and no need for me to make it worse for them. But now here in Australia we have a Do Not Call register so telemarketers are no longer allowed to call our house. Occasionally one does, pretending they are a competition or something lame, and as soon as I say "is this a cold call?", the line snaps dead....
kt said…

Lovely birdies, sweet boys, and kindhearted you.

Enjoy your weekend.
Miz S said…
I'm not very nice. I always hang up.

I'm glad you had a little alone time in the house. That's always nice.
Anonymous said…
Those Emily Sutton birds are sensational!