So here comes the call, at 9:27 am. Blocked Caller ID. I don’t normally take line-blocked calls, because they’re almost always spam. But I was waiting for an important piece of information, so I took the call anyway.
An irate Realtor, of course, angry about this morning’s Arizona Republic column. I should have been expecting it. Anonymous phone calls from Realtors and brokers — pissy but pusillanimous — are a regular Friday treat around here.
And here is where I respect doubly the people who send email to gripe at me: They put their names behind their words, and they have to devise an actual argument to justify an email.
So I’ve got the call, like it or don’t, and the cranky Realtor on the other end says, “I’m a Realtor and I want you to know that I don’t agree with your columns saying that we get paid too much.”
And this is an instant when I am thinking too fast to stand in awe of how fast the human mind can think:
line-blocked call — hiding identity — no name offered — calling strictly to gripe — to penalize me for inciting her ire — wasting my time with no argument to make — nothing I say can possibly make any difference — moreover a phone call is no venue for intellectual debate — I need my phone back — I don’t get paid for this — I don’t have time for it now in any case
All that was about one-third-of-a-second.
Just like that, I said, “That’s your perfect right. Thanks for calling. Buh-bye.”
If you want to stand up for something you believe in, standing behind it by putting your own true name out in the open, then I’ll give you my time. I just might learn something, and that’s a treasure I’ll make an effort to earn. If you’re calling me to commit the telephonic equivalent of midnight vandalism — get lost. You tell me everything I need to know about you by concealing your identity…