O Canada! Why are you calling me?

Working from home has many advantages, including the chance to gain stellar insight into the workings of telemarketers. And yes, even though my family is practically a founding member of the National Do Not Call List, and damn proud of it, we still get calls, particularly from chimney cleaners and charities. In the past week, I’ve noticed that we suddenly seem to be getting a rash of telemarketing calls from the greater Toronto area, based on the 416 area code that shows up on caller ID. What is the significance of this? Are charities targeting cheap Canadian labor? Are people more likely to answer a call from an unidentified number if it’s from another country? I have no idea. But when I got a call from Canada today for Feed the Children and the woman said something about malnutrition being a problem “here in the U.S.,” I really wanted to correct her. I refrained.

—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor