“Shalom!…” is the first word I hear when I answer the phone.
I already know that if “Shalom” (a greeting, but also a man’s name) is calling me, this is probably a recorded sales pitch and this phone conversation doesn’t interest me.
I quickly answer “thank you, I’m not interested.”
I react the same way when the conversation starts with “how are you, David?” The caller does not introduce himself, I don’t know who is calling… why would I want to tell them how I am feeling?
Occasionally I wait to hear a few words about who they are and what they are selling. “I’m from Bezek…”; “I want to offer you insurance for your refrigerator…”; “Don’t you want to hear about medical insurance?”
Sometimes it’s difficult to end the conversation without being rude. After hearing my “no”, the frustrated caller insists… “But why? I’m going to save you money! Don’t you want to hear? How much do you pay for you cellular program now?”
At this point, when besides listening to them they want me to answer questions as well, I finally say rudely “not interested” and hang up.
But today, a caller surprised me with a different question: “Hello, David. Are you going to vote for Sheli?”
I need to think quickly. What is the right answer to disentangle myself from this conversation? If I say “no” or “I don’t know”, she won’t leave me alone. I’ll have to listen to her prepared speech as she tries to convince me that in order to save mankind, a vote for Sheli is a must.
So, even though I have no intention of voting at all in the coming elections for the head of the Histadrut, I quickly decide that the correct answer is “yes, I will vote for Sheli”.
The caller is so pleased that she immediately has another question: “Do you want to volunteer to sit at a voting booth?”
“Oh, no!”, I think. I guess I gave the wrong answer after all… I am probably the only person who answered “yes” so quickly… How do I escape this conversation now?
But luckily, when I answered “no” with a guilty voice, the caller decided to take pity on me and let me go…
But what I don’t understand is: when did I become so famous that so many people know my name and cell phone number?