If you dial Steve's house, a somewhat-ominous-sounding voice comes on the line and tells you that we don't take sales calls and if that's you, hang up and go away.
If you are somebody with good reason not connected to trying to peddle something or get me to send you money for your political candidate, the message tells you how to ring through.
If you are somebody I know and who has called here before, your number is in the blocker, and it allows you past. Unless you are using a phone you haven't used before.
So if my phone rings more than once, I answer it, because it's somebody I won't mind talking to–usually. Now and then, somebody gets cute, and in such cases, I have no qualms about hanging up on them.
Back in the day before I had these toys, and caller ID, I had to answer because it might be one of the kids or my wife; as a result, I got a lot of sales calls. I had a whole routine worked up to make them go away. Everybody has to make a living, I understand that, but I'm at my desk a lot and breaking into my work flow to tell somebody I don't want to switch phone carriers? Sorry, if I want your service, I'll come find you.
My best response was: "I just bought one."
Didn't matter what it was. Selling hippos? Sorry, mine was delivered yesterday. And from your company, too. I'm surprised they didn't update your call list. Maybe somebody swiped yours and is stealing your customers ... ?
(My all-time favorite is the comic who pretends to be a homicide cop investigating a murder and who wants to know the salesman's relationship with the dead man. Hilarious.)
Sometimes the phone will ring once, and since I'm right here, I'll look at the caller ID and realize it is somebody I'd talk to who might be calling from a line I don't have in the system. Especially if it, like, you know, has their name right there. Or I recognize the number.
But a heads-up for folks who hide their caller ID and call here, then follow the ring-through instructions. I'm not going to pick up if it says "Anonymous" or "Blocked" or some other cloaking device. If you don't care enough to lemme know who you are, you'll have to wait until I get around to checking my messages later for a call-back.
Just so you know ...