Laziness and Selfishness



expect landline handle (2)
busy hang up regarding
deal consider purgatory
polite discuss insurance
fed up force (2) admit (2)
mow pitch (3) telemarketing
agree grueling assistant
chore promise over and over
avoid charity numb (2)
annoy instead kryptonite (2)
boring achieve accomplish
client goal (2) volunteer
suck ordinary committee
repair tedious driving force
rake cold call enormous
fix entitled commercial (2)
coma full-time handyman
rote bowling achievement
devote core (2) paperwork
excite sink (2) enthusiastic
lawn selfish repugnant
gather passion nightmare
strive majority addiction
task perform please (2)
roof opinion at any rate

By Robert B


Many years ago, I received a call on my landline phone.

I was expecting it to be from my friend regarding this Saturday’s bowling game.

“Hello sir! My name is Andrew Fredrickson. I am calling from Alliance Insurance Company. Do you have a moment to discuss car insurance with me? Is your car currently insured?”

“Well, actually, yes. I already do have insurance,” I replied.

“Have you considered Alliance Insurance? Well we’re a company that offers the best deals with the most coverage, and if you’re looking for better insurance, we can promise that we’re the best around.”

I then politely told Andrew that I was busy, thanked him anyway, and hung up.

Annoyance and Boredom

Truth be told, calls like these really annoy me.

But it’s not just ordinary people who are fed up with telemarketing. It’s also the employees themselves.

Another telemarketer once told me that she had to make colds calls and sales pitches for microwave ovens the entire day, every day, particularly evenings and weekends.

They have to perform the same mind-numbing rote tasks over and over and over, again and again and again.

To me this would be pure purgatory. Above all else, it is tedious and grueling beyond description.

Fortunately — rightly or wrongly — I have designed my life, above all else, to avoid jobs and tasks that bore me.

I hate being bored more than almost anything else. Boredom is my kryptonite.

Other than the health and happiness of my family and I, and helping my clients achieve their goals, avoiding boredom has been the driving force of my life.


For instance:

• I don’t volunteer for my children’s school, charities or committees; I find them a huge bore and an enormous time-sucker.

• I don’t do household repair or chores. Instead, I hire people to do them for us. Raking leaves, mowing the lawn and fixing my car, roof, heater, sink can quickly put me into a coma. I hire Larry the handyman instead.

• I have a full-time assistant who handles all the administrative tasks and paperwork of my business — thus freeing me to devote almost all of my time to my core activity of writing.

• Even with my work, I don’t take on projects that bore me or even those that don’t excite me, because I do my best commercial writing when I am enthusiastic about the client, the product, and the project.


Now, I admit some of you might find my behavior selfish or even repugnant.

But as Popeye says, I am what I am. And I am a guy whose nightmare is being bored with manual labor, at social gatherings, ballet, theater, drama and at all other times.

That’s why I became a writer: I love writing … thinking … research … reading … and good books so much, it’s a passion (you might say an addiction).

Good or Bad

And if everyone thinks that makes me a bad person, I can live with that. Although I actually do not think it does make me a bad person.

In fact, I strive to be a good person, and I think I am that for the majority of my activities, achievements and relationships.

Some of my readers may agree and others not. You can’t please everyone. At any rate, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

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1. In the article, did the writer and his friend chatted on the phone?

2. The writer was glad the sales person called because he needed car insurance. Is this correct or incorrect?

3. Did the writer tell off the telemarketer?

4. The writer thinks that telemarketers are very motivated and enjoy their work. Is this right or wrong?

5. What are the main goals, ideals and values of his life?

6. Is he an altruistic husband, father or family man?

7. Everyone probably thinks the writer is a crude, immature, lazy, selfish man. Yes, no, both, in the middle, it depends? Is he concerned about his personal reputation?

A. What do you think about the writer? Is he altruistic, selfish, both, in the middle, yes and no, it depends?

B. Describe your sort of lifestyle. What do you do? Do you repair things in the house, do housework or volunteer?

C. What are some things that you could stop doing? Are there things you “have to” do that you wish you didn’t have to?

D. What occupation or hobby would you like to take up? What do you wish you could do?

E. I know people who are very busy. They repair things, do chores, volunteer in the community, etc. Yes or no?

F. Do you know anyone who doesn’t care about or do anything except his or her job?

G. What will happen in the future?

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