Random Phone Calls

I am getting very tired of random phone calls.

The first kind is the Robot.

Now don’t take me wrong. I’m a Science Fiction fan, and I have no deep seated prejudices against robots, except of course as yet there isn’t one that reliably does the housework, makes the tea and does the laundry. In truth I think that the only robot that can reliably walk about without trashing a house is the Honda Asimo thingy whatsit, and that runs in at about £1,000,000, which is unfortunately completely out of my price range.

As far as the robots that phone you up, I might be happier if they were capable of some rudimentary conversation skills, at least that would have some novelty value. But no, these robots just ring you up to give you the, ‘important announcement’ that if you were a completely different person, living a completely different kind of life and were willing to spend £20,000 you would be entitled to a government grant of £4.85p.

These days they don’t get past ‘Hello, this is an  imp . .. ‘ with me.

The second kind are the ones where I pick up the phone and there is a long, long silence before a ringing tone Kicks in.

This is really annoying, because I haven’t picked up the phone to ring anyone and I don’t see why I should be listening to a ringing tone waiting for someone to answer when they rang me in the first place.

These calls become the third kind of call, if someone answers.

These are calls with people on the other end, but are often not much better, than the robots. I don’t have any problem with call centres in India or elsewhere per-se, if they actually can speak English, or at least English I can understand, since they are calling me in Britain and it might be a reasonable of them to expect to make themselves understood in English since it’s the language mostly spoken in Britain.

All too often I ask what the company is and all I can make out is ‘finglnapplefuglesnarp’ to which, I naturally say Pardon. Sometimes two or three times.

Now: I almost immediately get suspicious when someone who hasn’t made themselves understood properly the first time then repeats the misunderstood word, more quickly. I might be being ungenerous, but surely more slowly and clearly would be better. Being a fair-minded soul I should point out that sometimes the quality of the line is partly to blame, but by this point, the little imp of suspicion is firmly sitting on my shoulder waving an accusing finger. 

Most if not all of these calls have scripts, of which there seem to be three doing the rounds at the moment, which start differently but end the same, and I don’t particularly want to play along with:

                                                     – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Script one.

Caller: Is that Mrs Miller?

Me: Er what is this call regarding.        (Irritated that they know my name because I take the trouble to tick the tiny little box with the tiny little writing which says don’t forward my information to any other companies, on every sales/warranty agreement ect.)

Caller: Are you a family member?

Me: What’s this regarding?

Caller: Mrs Miller do you know that .  .   .

Me: I didn’t want to know, and I don’t want to buy it.

Call moves to script 3.

Script 2

Caller: How are you today?

Me: I haven’t decided yet.

Caller: May I call you Sophie, Mrs Miller. (Irritating, as much because I haven’t confirmed I am, or am not me yet)

Me: No          

Caller: Mrs Miller, can I ask you a few questions.

Me:  No.

Caller, it’s just a survey?

Me: For which company?

Caller: ‘finglnapplefuglesnarp’

If the call survives my insistance at understanding the company name then the call moves into script 3

Script 3

Caller: I’d like to reassure you that this is not a sales call.

Me: Why are you calling me then?

Caller: I would just like to tell you about this wonderful new service we are offering.

Me: So it is a sales call.

Caller: No, No, I am not trying to sell you anything.

Me: So you have just rung me up to tell me about a service you offer but you don’t want me to buy, don’t you think that’s a bit odd.

Caller: errr  .  r

                                    – – – – –  – – – –  – – – –  – – – –  – – – –  – – – –

I think a big part of my irritation is the total inability of the people on the other end to realise not only that I am not interested, never have been interested and am unlikely to be interested in the future, but that I haven’t even got an interest to be engaged, and if I had I would have switch it off just for them.

I confess I did take to answering as if I were a company:

Me: Hello ‘Jam Butty Miners limited’ purveyors of fine paleolithic fruit conserve sandwiches.

This had a good success rate, though I confess I’m amazed at how many people then responded.

Caller: Er is this a business number?

Which only goes to show that they are so busy trying to sell me something I didn’t ask for, don’t want, and certainly don’t need, that they are not really listening, which is the most irritating thing of all.


About Transremaxculver

An entirely fictitious username I created for posting on 'alt.religion.scientology', Scientology is something of which I am highly critical. For those of you who don't know, the Church of Scientology have a habit of making life very uncomfortable for even the most legitimate of critics, which is why this username is completely anonymous. Anyway I have become quite fond of this username, and although it has to some extent outgrown it's original purpose, I think a blog is perhaps the right place for me/it to continue to grow and develop.
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