'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

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Friday, 8 March 2013

Hello?


Ring-ring.  Ring-ring.

Me:  Good morning Kate speaking.
Her: Harlor dis is [unintelligible] speaking from [unintelligible].  How are your torday?
Me: (warily) I don't think I asked.. um.. that business to contact me...
Her:  Wha di your say?
Me: (more firmly) I don't engage in conversations with businesses that I haven't asked to ring me.
Her: (small pause, then:) Well, why di your answer your phon?
Me: (speechless) .... !

Not being able to think of a suitable response.... I hang up the phone, albeit with a smile on my face.

OK, well, what would you have said?

22 comments:

  1. hilarious! :-) boy . . .

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  2. You've got to give the person some marks for that. It's about as witty a response as I've ever seen/heard. Or was, he/she, just thick? We'll never know.

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  3. Funny! - and not... ;) Sounds like 'her' is used to people like me, who don't pick up when my display shows strange numbers. I let the call go to voicemail, and google the number to check up if there is any reason why I should pick up next time. This may seem harsh, but the thing is, I have so very few friends (i.e. none) who are likely to keep calling me from Egypt or Saudi Arabia...

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  4. Dawn - you are right! I didn't twig that. Everyone in the world has caller ID except me!

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  5. Dawn Treader beat me to the punch. I was going to say we have caller ID and never pick up an incoming call if the phone number of company name is one with which we are unfamiliar. And since we witched from cable TV to satellite, the info is not just displayed on the little box by the phone, it is also displayed on the television screen.

    Welcome to the 21st century!

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  6. Thanks Robert. I have not bothered to get caller ID, as we don't get all that many. Maybe one a month. But when I was in New Jersey about eleven years ago, there would be three or four EVERY EVENING. My host would never answer any call around teatime, which I found very odd, but understandable. Do you get a lot of unwanted calls?

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    1. Quite a few, actually, even though we have registered our phone number on the National "Do Not Call" Registry, which is supposed to keep solicitors away for five years (at which time one can then register again). Only political calls and calls from charitable organizations are exempt.

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    2. Robert, in the UK my phone is registered with the Telephone Preference Service which is, I assume, the same as the National "Do Not Call" Registry. The problem in the UK is that they cannot include calls made from outside the UK and as many cold calls are now generated elsewhere (mostly the Indian sub-continent for the UK) the only way is to 'ban' foreign calls which for me, anyway, is pointless given that the majority of my calls are from friends in other countries. Perhaps the same technical constraints apply in the US.

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  7. I would have said 'What? What did you say? I'm sorry, I can't hear you ... '

    This is my new strategy for dealing with unsolicited calls, and it might be somewhat ineffective in the long term, but it amuses me.

    Honestly. These people are unbelievable, aren't they?

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  8. A good strategy Jay. Actually, I wasn't just preserving anonymity by writing [unintelligible]... I really couldn't make out her name nor the company she represented... so all in all, it was just a waste of time!

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  9. Kate, what I left unsaid was that "Her" question was logical and quite understandable from the point of view of one deeply involved in the world's current high-tech state of affairs, and your bafflement reveals that you are not so involved. And that is a good thing. I'm just saying.

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  10. I would have said - "I know where you live and I have already hired a team of assassins to visit you in the dead of night. It could be tomorrow night or next week or next month. They may strike at any time now BUGGER OFF!"

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    1. She's just trying to make a living YP. She probably got all excited because at last someone picked up her call after 45 days of fruitless trying.

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    2. Yah! Ye big softie! Arms and drugs dealers, thieves and vagabonds are also just trying to "make a living".

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  11. I only threaten the life of callers who are selling Viagra, and then I use YPs script. For people selling other things, I generally take advantage of their call to visit, to ask how they are and what the weather is like. Or sometimes I'll say, "Your name obviously is NOT Karen, like you say it is. Where are you calling from? Can you actually make a living doing this?"

    Last week I got a call from a man (in the U.S.) selling walk-in bathtubs. "I'm not interested in that crap," I said. He got huffy with me..."It's NOT crap, it's a very good product." And then we had a nice conversation like two human beings. He said the company is local, it's his, and he's making calls because his crews are idle and he needs to get them work. "Can any of them build a chicken pen," I asked. He promised he would talk to them and ask and let me know.

    Most of the unwanted calls I get are robocalls, there is no human on the line. Unless this is a call from Civil Defense to warn me of a flash flood or an alien invasion, I think robocalls should be illegal. But, of course, that would require asking our totally useless Congress to actually pass a sensible law.

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    1. They ARE human beings on the other end Jan. I try and remember that even when I'm in the middle of cooking tea.
      Re: robots - we are just beginning to get a dribble here in New Zealand. I hope it never grows but I fear our current government cares more for money-making and business success than quality of life. If we ever get them out, it will take decades to get back to where we were before they got in Parliament.

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  12. Of course you have heard this response.....?
    http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=qZYjA8iwbqE&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DqZYjA8iwbqE

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    1. No I hadn't Kelvin. But I have heard it now... I don't think I could do these...

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