Monday, 25 July 2005

Don’t call me; I’ll call you!

I was just settling down to do a bit of work. I’d put my phone back on because I thought if I stayed connected to the Net I wouldn’t be able to resist looking at what was out there. So I was just opening the document I wanted to work on when the phone rang. Thinking it was most probably about work, I picked up the receiver. “Hullo!” Silence at the other end. Not a sound. Not a breath, heavy or otherwise. “Hullooooo!” I’m losing patience here. And then a click and a very loud (recorded) voice assaults my ear, “You are the lucky winner of a cruise on the…” I’ll never know where that cruise was going to take me because I slammed the receiver down.

At other times, I get a very remote voice, usually with an accent you could slice with a knife (translation of un accent à couper au couteau; you might as well learn a bit of French while you’re here), asking me whether I’m me. Yes, I am. And whether I want a new kitchen (mine is the size of a shoe box in a flat as big as a cupboard) or change my gas suppliers (I don’t have gas).

I’m on a list somewhere: it says at the top “The following are people you can disturb at any time of the day and offer them stuff”. Probably the electoral roll is such a list, but you can’t not be on it because if you’re not you can’t get a credit card or get a loan or anything. If you’re not on the electoral roll, you’re not a good citizen and no one would want to be that. I don’t see why I should get so much aggravation from it, though.

A slap to those cold callers. There must be other ways to earn a living. I wouldn’t want to have people hang up on me like that all the time. I’d feel crushed after a while. Oh, drat, I’m starting to feel sorry for them now. Quick ... slap!


  1. A huge slap from me too! Well this cruise thing must be new. I remember getting calls when we were in London about kitchens, double glazing, conservatories etc. All around supper time. I would just say a firm no.
    Here I occasionally get calls (two in the past two years) for double glazing - much less than in London. Guess the French would not have much patience.

    A huge slap from me to Tony Blair AND those bombers looming somewhere in the UK - who need to be caught ASAP - just because I feel like it.


  2. Yes. I might as well learn a little French as long as I'm here. *SLAP!* Guess I'm not a very fast learner. *SLAP!* And my accent is atrocious. *SLAP!* Um, I think I'll just buy the tapes. But thank you! *dodging last *SLAP!* xoxoxoxo

  3. LOL - you kill me, J! we innovative americans have taken it a step further - messages on my answering machine sound like this:
    (in a friendly, chatty tone of voice) 'hi, this is jennifer - sorry i missed you. remember, i promised to get back to you about the ...insert useless promo here...? i guess i'll have to try back later.'

    the first few times, it took me a minute to figure out that 'jennifer' is not actually one of my acquaintance. i wish she were, just for the pleasure of *SLAP*ping soundly!

    thanks for the french lesson, BTW. i am more hopeful than mireille - it might do us all some good :>)

  4. No, N, I don't think the French would put up with it for so long: I've been getting those calls for months, at the rate of one a day if not more.

    M, I like things to have multiple uses, so it occurred to me this blog could be a French teaching aid as well as the best thing since sliced bread (le fil à couper le beurre - I seem to be into slicing things at the moment; I wonder if Sigmund would have something to say about it, but I digress) either that or it was just a passing thought. Qui vivra verra ! There I go again…

    Oh, I forgot to mention that those people leave messages on my phone when I don’t answer (which is very often) and, if I were to go away for a few days, I would come back with millions of messages, and anyone needing to leave me an important message wouldn’t get a chance to because there’s a limited number of messages the service allows. I’m getting even more annoyed now. We’re not getting the kind of calls you’re complaining about, N, but I’m sure it won’t be long before we do.

  5. Definate slap to cold callers, especially when they do not realize that you are not actually answering the phone-it's your voice mail. They natter on endlessly until they realize their mistake. But when you call to retrieve your messages you have 45 new ones-too many to listen to them all so you delete them all, but there was one you needed and now it's gone...

  6. The most frustrating thing is that telemarketers now can call on the cell phone (they could not before, at least in the States). It is annoying, because one has to pay for incoming calls. At least, there is a caller ID. These days, if the call comes as "unknown", I simply will not pick up.

  7. Thank goodness we have the Do Not Call list here in the US. Ever since we added our number, we've had zero telemarketing calls.

    I do need to slap the endless survey takers who call my house, though. They always want to take ten minutes of my time to ask me an interminable series of "How do you agree with the President on the Social Security issue, on a scale of one to ten, with one being complete disagreement and ten being complete agreement?" type questions, right when I am enjoying Saturday breakfast or am in the middle of a weeknight dinner.

    I used to make cold calls for my college's alumni fundraiser, though, so I can't feel too horrible toward the people themselves. They're all underpaid and hate their jobs. Or at least, that was my experiene!

  8. We discontinued the local paper because it was lousy and I can read much of the news online. The newspaper now calls me about every two weeks trying to get me to sign back up. I cringe every time I realize it is them. If I wanted it, I would buy it.

  9. Spam is spam is spam, and it doesn't matter if it comes via Email of fax machine or mailbox or telephone. As a matter of fact, a too pushy beggar on the street is mostly the same.
    The communication revolution (as most of revolutions) comes with annoyance, you can easily find bad in every good thing and good in any bad. Please try to grab only the best and to ignore the rest.

  10. I can see we've all got experience of this, in one way or another. I'm lucky I live in a big block of flats with a coded thingy: it's quite difficult to gain entry; we get the odd leaflet from pizza delivery or mini-cab companies, but no personal callers.

    Elan, if I'd wanted to "find only the best and ignore the rest", I would have entitled this blog, "Hug of the Day" or something equally warm and cuddly. This one is for gripes and nothing but gripes. LOL! xxx


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