Either you're in the middle of frying breaded chicken for dinner, bonding with your child over a favorite book, or churning out an article as the deadline looms. R-I-N-G! Hardly without thinking, you reach over and pick up the phone. "Congratulations! You have won 358 thousand dollars! All you have to do is come to an exclusive showing of time-share apartments this Sunday…!" Leave me alone, you feel like screaming (or worse). You don't want to miss any important calls, but junk calls that take you away from the important moments in life are a pet peeve for most people.

In the U.S. and the U.K., you have the option of signing up on a free "don't call me" list, and it's illegal for telemarketers to call people who appear on the list. In the U.S., sign-up on the Do Not Call Registry means you'll be protected from people who are calling from commercial concerns. The U.K.'s Telephone Preference Service (TPS) covers commercial telemarketers as well as those calling from charities or political organizations. You can include your home phone number and mobile number on these lists.

Other ways to deal with unwanted calls include blocking services that are available through your telephone company for a monthly fee. You can choose to block certain numbers, reject anonymous calls, or have a special ring for the calls you want to receive. If you choose to block certain numbers, when those people call, your phone doesn't ring and they get a message that the call is being blocked.

Until you implement one of these solutions to rid yourself of telemarketers, caller ID or a simple, "Sorry, not interested," will do.