Charlie Hatton About This
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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Hello, Sir, and How Are You? We’re Calling Today to Make Your Life a Living Hell!

Blog™ — for when you have that ‘not so fresh’ feeling

Ya know, friends, being out of work isn’t all sunshine and roses and frisky strippers. No sir.

Sure, I get to spend more time with you — and I love that, I really do. I don’t know what I’d do without you. Please, don’t ever change. Say we’ll be together always. That sort of thing.

And, at the same time, I’m free of the unreasonable demands of the modern workplace. Finally, I don’t have ‘the Man‘ telling me what the hell to do all day, and looking over my shoulder, and rifling through my desk for stolen office supplies. (You know the old saying, ‘Suck one dick, and you’re a cocksucker for life‘ ? Well, apparently it’s the same sort of thing around the office. Steal one damned industrial-sized, half-ton standup laser printer, and the boss thinks that at any point, you’ve got pens and Post-It notes stuffed down your pants. And no, it doesn’t matter that he’s right, dammit. It’s the principle of the thing.

(Besides, that frickin’ copier never did me any good, anyway. I could never get the Xerox technician to come to my house to service the thing. I think they’re the ones who ratted me out, too, the bastards. It’s not my fault I couldn’t say, ‘Can you come and service my machine tonight?‘ without giggling like a schoolgirl. Try it sometime. If you can keep a straight face, you’re better off than I am. And I have a slightly-used office copier that I’ll sell you cheap.)

All right, we’re off to a rather raunchy start tonight. What the hell was I saying, anyway? Oh, right, being out of work.

So, overall, life’s pretty good. I’ve been looking for work for about three weeks now, and I’ve still got some time before I panic. My old company is giving me cash for a little while longer, so I’m just keeping my ear to the ground. And my finger on the pulse, and my nose to the grindstone, but mainly my thumb up my ass, since there’s not a whole helluva lot to be done just at the moment. My typical day goes something like this:

Get up

Blog for a while

Eat breakfast

Probably shower

Possibly put on pants

Check the web for jobs

Walk the dog (not a euphemism)

Eat lunch

Watch TV (Futurama at two, Family Guy at two-thirty; as of tomorrow, all cool shit all the time, since the TiVo’ll be hooked up)

Blog some more

Walk the dog (still not a euphemism)

Have a snack

Do something useful (painting, mowing the lawn, laundry, whatever I can think of to earn my keep)

Freestyle hour! (i.e., blog or watch TV. Oh, the choices, the choices!)

Watch more TV (Simpsons at six-thirty, and again at seven-thirty)

Walk the dog (this time, it’s a euphemism. Oh, yeeeeah.)

Greet wife when she comes home

Wash hands, then greet wife when she comes home

Eat dinner

Freestyle hour #2 (I can barely stand the excitement)

Stay up late blogging or web surfing

Go the hell to bed

And scene. Lather, rinse, repeat. You get the idea. Now, occasionally, something will occur to jar me out of this routine. Often, it’s something good. Maybe a longer-than-usual walk with the dog (the real one or the euphemistic one; it’s all good), or a job interview. Sometimes I’ll get visitors, like the UPS guy, or the gravel truck driver, or — tomorrow, yay! — the Tivo hooker-upperer.

(Which is not to be confused with hookers on uppers recorded by TiVo. Those are different. Fun, no doubt. A little gamey, perhaps. But different. Quite.)

Anyway, all of these things are welcome interruptions. We’re social animals, after all, and though I don’t mind a few hours alone (I’m an only child; I’m used to being largely ignored), it’s nice to talk to another human from time to time. The delivery people and I always have a good time. They’ll say, ‘Hi!

And I’ll say, ‘Hi there!

Then, they’ll say something like, ‘I’m here to deliver a package!‘, or whatever.

So then, I’ll say, ‘Hey! Great! Sounds like fun!

And then they’ll say, ‘Hey! Where the hell are your pants?

And then… well, it usually gets sort of snarky after that. No need to repeat such unpleasantness in mixed company. But for a while, it’s good to see that the world is still out there, and things are happening, and people are scurrying around like they’re supposed to, even when I’m not paying close attention and driving among them telling them what asshole drivers they all are. So that’s good.

But what’s not good is the other thing that breaks me out of my predetermined, if rather sad, schedule. And that’s the flood of calls from telemarketers that come whooshing into our house every damned day. I will be so fricking glad when I have a job again, if only because I’ll be able to go back to never answering the goddamned phone before nine o’clock at night.

Actually, I’ve already stopped answering. Job search be damned, I just can’t take it any more. Now, normally, even if I’m home, I don’t answer the phone. There are only a handful of people in the world that I give a damn about, anyway, and every last one of them would leave a message if they wanted to talk to me. And most of them would believe that I was walking the dog, or ‘walking the dog’, or whatever, and unable to come to the phone, even if it’s a bald-faced lie. They’re cool like that.

But for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been answering the phone, thinking maybe it’s an employment firm, or a company with an invitation to interview, or Ed McFuckingMahon calling to tell me that my worries are over and to start the champagne toasts. But it’s never any of those people. Nor long lost friends, nor relatives, nor even wrong number-dialers looking for the Home Depot like they used to.

(The last of which was actually good fun for the first few weeks after we moved into the house. I don’t know whether we had the Depot’s old number, or it was misprinted, or what, but we got a boatload of calls from people wanting to ‘get hold of some wood’, or ‘lay some pipe’, or ‘learn a new brush stroke’. As you can imagine, we had some rather colorful conversations before they realized that I wasn’t actually talking about anything a home supply store might carry. Though it is hardware. Oh, yes. Yes, it is.)

Shit. Lost my train of thought again. Oh, right, telemarketers. Righty-ho, then.

So, as a rule, I never answer the phone. Despite what I’m sure you’re all thinking, I really don’t have dozens of friends and adoring fans calling me up every night for chit-chat. So, when my wife’s actually home with me, there’s about a two percent chance that a ringing phone is going to do me any damned good at all. And so, I just ignore it. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, when the rings stop, there is no message. Which means that it was likely a damned dirty telemarketer, calling to sweetly and politely sell me a bunch of worthless crap I don’t need.

Or even valuable crap that I do need — I still don’t care. I disagree with the way they go about their business, and so I’m taking mine elsewhere. If you call me without asking, you’ve already lost. I don’t care if you are the only company out there selling oversized foam hands with extended middle fingers. Or cell phones that play the Monty Python theme music as the ring tone.

(Mine already does, anyway. So, nyah.)

Or replacement bladders for inflatable sheep. As much as I need these things, I’m simply not going to buy them from you, now that you’ve called me up and disturbed me. So it’s better for us both that I ignore you, and you slink away without leaving a message, like the vermin Hellspawn scum that you are.

But, of course, now that I’m looking for a job, my hope springs eternal. And so, I’ve been answering every fourth call or so. I’d like to believe in the inherent goodness of mankind, really. I don’t, but I’d like to. I want to get calls from people I’m interested in talking to, or at least that are selling shit that’s relevant to me, or at the very fucking minimum, that are not selling shit that I don’t want, and that I’ve already turned down three times this week!

(Do you fucking hear me, Boston Globe? No? Gonna call me again, for the fourth damned time? Maybe not if I go all Dr. Seuss on your ass. Hear this, asswipes:

I will not read the Boston Globe

I will not read it in my robe

I will not read it in my boxers

I do not think your paper r0x0rs.

Please do not call me again

To cluck out your offer like a hen

Update your fucking database

Before I break-a you your face

I will not read it on the sofa

I will not read it in my loafers

I do not want to hear your pitch

Get off my phone, you fucking bitch!

Your rag used to come to my front door

On Sundays, for six months or more

But I rarely found the time to read it

So this time I find I do not need it

I will not read it while I sit

Or use it for my doggy’s shit

I will not read it on the can

I will not read it, paper man

I hate to be a diatriber

But I will not be a Globe subscriber

Find the bitch who calls and promptly fire her

Or I’ll take up reading the Enquirer

I will not read your inky daily

I will not read your Beetle Bailey

Nor Dilbert, nor Prince Val-i-ant

I won’t, I don’t, I can’t, I shan’t!

So I hope you get me, loud and clear

I will not read your paper, hear?

And if you call me just once more

I’ll hang right up, you paper whore!

Thank you, thank you. I call that one, ‘Invitation to Get My Ass Sued, in Eight Stanzas‘. Yes, thank you. I’ll be signing autographs in the hall after the show.)

Awright. Where the hell was I? Telemarketers? That sounds about right.

Okay, so, anyway, I’ve stopped answering the phone. This is after three weeks of hearing about credit cards, and storm windows, and carpet cleaners, and chimney sweeps, and, of course, subscribing to the damned Boston Globe.

(Which, to be fair, I really don’t have anything against, the vitriol above notwithstanding. It’s a fine paper. I just don’t want to be asked every ten frickin’ minutes whether I want it delivered to my door, so it can sit there for a week until I throw it away. Even unemployed, I don’t have the time to read that shit every day. You saw my schedule above — I ain’t giving up a freestyle hour to read the damn newspaper! Fuck that, man!)

So, I may have gone a bit overboard here tonight. I suppose things were a little frisky from the get-go, and it all went downhill from there. Eh, what’re ya gonna do? You get what you pay for, right, folks? And I think I made my point. Which is simply that I can’t be bothered to answer the damned phone any more. The signal-to-noise ratio is way too low, and I just don’t have the patience to sit through another pointless, boring spiel from yet another know-nothing windbag.

Which, um, is probably exactly what you’re thinking right now. Sorry about that. I do tend to get carried away sometimes. So now I’ll let you get back to whatever it was you were doing. I don’t want to take up too much of your valuable time today. But just remember, if this shit starts getting old — you called me, dude. Not the other way around. And that makes all the difference in the world.

Permalink  |  2 Comments

2 Responses to “Hello, Sir, and How Are You? We’re Calling Today to Make Your Life a Living Hell!”

  1. Ugh…I want to plagarize that poem. . God I love this site!

  2. joz says:

    :) ur funny

    luv joziie

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HomeAboutArchiveBestShopEmail © 2003-15 Charlie Hatton All Rights Reserved
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  04/30/05: Goodfellaz
  04/09/05: Com. Studio
  01/28/05: Com. Studio
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  09/06/04: Connection

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  #11: My Spelling Bee
  #35: My Spring Break
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