* Robocalls Killed The Telephone Call

17 Seconds #59 – A Publication For Clients And Other VIPs Of Clocktower.

Yogi on mountain, speaking to hiker, interrupted by phone: Live each moment. Practice being mindful. Be present in... Hold on, I have to take this.

I was eating dinner with my family recently and had my meal interrupted – twice – by robocalls. That did it for me. I switched my iPhone to do-not-disturb mode permanently. Now only those who are on my “favorites” list or whose scheduled call I am expecting get through.

My mentor had an interesting time-management approach that I learned while working for him while a student in law school. He was scheduled in the AM hours: his door closed, his work focused on reading, writing, and sometimes napping. He was interrupt-driven in the PM hours: his door open, available for calls, emails, and meetings.

But my mentor’s approach would not work today because the vast majority of those PM phone calls are junk. Robocalls and other junk calls have been in the news a lot lately:

* Scammers Scare, Extort Millions From Your Aging Parents In MA (2019-04-04)
https://patch.com/massachusetts/acton/s/go7qk/scammers-scare-extort-millions-your-aging-parents-ma

* Tracking The “King Of Robocalls” (2019-04-02)
https://www.marketplace.org/2019/04/02/tech/tracking-king-robocalls

* FTC Crackdown Stops Four Major Call Centers Responsible for Billions of Illegal Robocalls (2018-04-01)
https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/ftc-stops-four-call-centers-responsible-for-billions-of-illegal-robocalls/

In 2016, when Clocktower moved from Maynard to Acton, we disabled our work voicemail for two reasons. First, most of the voicemail was junk. Second, voicemail callers got the false impression that they got to go the head of the line simply by calling. It does not work that way. Certainly not for a law firm that practices patent and trademark law, which is driven by (often statutory) deadlines.

We work hard to put client matters first that are on fire. And we tell all clients that if your matter is not on fire, then you probably will not be at the front of the line.

All I know is that the vast majority of phone calls that I receive at work and on my cell phone are junk. And I’m sick and tired of it. So not only is my cell phone on do-not-disturb mode permanently, we have deleted all phone numbers from all websites that we control. Instead, we direct folks to a simple contact form. Clients have our phone number, it is on our invoices. Others can discover it, our number remains listed, for now.

Time is Clocktower’s most valuable asset. By spending it more wisely (i.e. not on junk calls), we can be more efficient for our clients.


17 Seconds is a publication for clients and other VIPs of Clocktower Law. Email version powered by MailChimp and the beat of a different keyboard player.

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