Hi, you've reached ###-####. We screen our calls to avoid telemarketers, so if you are one please put us on your "Do Not Call" list. If you're not a telemarketer and you really want to speak to us, leave a message because that's the only way you'll get through. We'll pick up if we're home. Have a nice day.
We've had the same outgoing message for at least 5 years now, and after the first few months the number of hang-ups dropped markedly. Bliss!
Lately there have been a lot more of them, for some reason. I figure these must be telemarketers or maybe political pollsters (although I didn't think it was the season for those). They can't be friends, as every time either one of us gives the number to anyone we're careful to tell them we screen out telemarketers and they should be sure to leave a message.
We've been going through a little routine a couple of times an evening lately.
Answering machine: ...We'll pick up if we're home. Have a nice day. *silence* *click*
spiritualmonkey: Fuck off and die.
Oh, and if you phone me on my cell phone and I don't recognize the number you're calling from, or if you're calling from a blocked number, I'm not gonna pick up. Leave a message or stop calling me. (Some number I don't know over in the 415 area code phones me every couple of weeks. They never leave a message. I'm never gonna pick up. Stalemate. I wonder if there's a way to dump their call directly to my voicemail?)
Really, if you want to reach me without invoking my kneejerk "ack! someone's calling! I don't want to talk to anyone!" response, sending an SMS message is a much better way.
"I hate phones. I have two of them. I don't answer either one." -- Olivia, in The Station Agent