Predictive Dialling

How do you respond to events and occasions that peel your concentration off your writing?

Lately I've been receiving a lot of phone calls with no one on the other end. The phone rings until I pick it up.  I say 'hello, hello', but there is no one on the other end. I can sometimes hear a slight noise in the background, but nothing else happens.

This is particularly annoying because it happens in the middle of the day when I’m completely engrossed in writing. I usually have to clear my head and readjust my thoughts to what I was doing before I was interrupted – for no reason at all.

Lately I’ve found out that  call centres use something called the predictive dialer Your number is stored in the system and is not necessarily rung by a 'person' at the other end. With this automated system, it's sometimes possible to be called when a live operator is not in place to take the call. 
I find this appalling, especially since I do my writing work from home. Many times I ask for my number to be taken off their system. I'm always assured that this will happen, only to be called a few days later by the same company. And the cycle begins again....

Have you been caught in the wave of predictive dialling? As a writer working from home, how do you deal with this?

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Marion February 13, 2010 at 5:06 AM  

Here in the states we have a "do not call list." But it doesn't always work. I only use my cell at this point so I can block numbers which helps. I need my phone for work so sometimes I have to keep it on, but when I don't absolutely need it, I often just turn the damn thing off. That's the best way to deal with it.

Anne Lyken-Garner February 13, 2010 at 8:16 AM  

Hi Marion. Welcome to my blog. We do have that list here as well. As a matter of fact, our number is ON that list. It obviously doesn't work. Using your mobile phone seems like a good idea. The only thing is that making calls costs so much more.

Trish and Rob MacGregor February 15, 2010 at 5:30 AM  

I don't answer if the number on caller ID is unfamiliar to me. They can leave a message.

Anonymous February 15, 2010 at 11:53 AM  

I only have a cellphone, and answer if I know the number.

Don February 15, 2010 at 8:39 PM  

I haven't shared the same experience as yourself, but I am irritated when someone calls me and do nothing more than hold the phone.

I despise this.

Anne Lyken-Garner February 16, 2010 at 1:30 PM  

@ Icy. I have a mobile phone too, but a land line is cheaper to operate, so I'll continue to use it for now.
@Don, lucky you. :-)

myletterstoemily February 16, 2010 at 3:27 PM  

phones!!...a blessing and a curse.

even if you don't take the call, the call
itself interrupts the work.

great post!

Anonymous November 5, 2010 at 3:42 PM  

Sweet blog! Continue the informative entries.

Anne's a published author, freelance writer and experienced editor. She's just signed her second publishing contract this year with 2 separate publishing houses. You can hire her or see her available books in the side panel on the right.
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