So, being an obedient daughter, I pulled out my cell phone and dialed home.
"Put it on speakerphone," said my dad.
Below follows a transcript of the message you will hear should you phone my parents' landline:
Hello. You have reached the Heinrichs residence and your call is important to us. Please listen to the following options:
If you are a telemarketer or work on behalf of a business or corporation and wish to make a sale, or you are requesting a donation, please press 1.
If you are calling about a prize for a contest that we have entered, and we have won, please press 2.
If you are in a business relationship with us already and you wish to talk to us, please press 3.
If you have been a guest in our residence and wish to talk to someone here, please press 4.
If you are a family member, related by blood or through marriage, of any of the residents in this house, please press 5.
If none of these options fit, please stay on the line and leave a message. Thank you.
Should you admit to being a telemarketer, your call will be forwarded immediately to an internal voicemail, without ever ringing the home phone:
Hello, please leave a message specifying what it is you would like to sell or what it is you would like to request from us, and a contact name and number, and we will call you back if we are interested. Thank you.
Apparently the house is much quieter. And yes, some telemarketers DO persevere through the switchboard, but Mom and Dad say it's really cut down on the number of them.
I'm not inclined to post our phone number online, but if you already know it, by all means give us a call and listen to the Heinrichs family go corporate!
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Dad: Oh, I should have said, "Your call might be important to us."