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It has gotten so I can’t answer the phone and actually get any research and writing done. Customer service is fine and necessary, but most of my calls aren’t customer service calls. So, I’ve reluctantly — or is that relief? — switched to screening all unknown calls. Here’s a new voice mail message, tuned for trying to deal with the high percentage of calls I get (“most”) that are at weird hours, generally much too chatty (I'm talking about major league blatherers here), hoping for free advice, hoping to offer advice (generally a patronizing form of criticism), or just looking for a fight (about the subject matter):
This is Paul Ingraham of PainScience.com. I do keep my ringer off and screen all calls, because this is a small business with a globally popular website, and I get far too many inappropriate calls at odd hours. However, I will respond quickly only to customer service inquiries, roughly from 8am to 8pm on the west coast of North America.