Wednesday, 23 March 2011
"Hello?" I said in a friendly and welcoming manner.
"Hello I'm an irritating person ringing on behalf of something-I-don't-remember (but it was a government department) to ask you if you wouldn't mind spending a few minutes answering a pointless and tedious survey," is approximately what the voice said the other end said.
"Um, er, how many minutes?" said I.
"Ten," said the voice using the sort of maths I apply when eating 'a few' biscuits.
"Okay," I replied, instantly regretting it but being too polite to say what I wanted to which was no, go away, bog off and never phone me again.
"I just need to ask a few questions first to check we're covering a sample of the population," said the voice happily and proceeded to ask a list of very personal questions about age, gender and how many adults and children live at this address.
I answered reluctantly. How many more minutes of this? I wished I'd timed it.
"Now to make sure we're covering a random selection of the population I need to ask the survey questions to the other adult who lives in your household," the voice continued.
"I beg your pardon?" YOU WHAT???!!!
"I need to talk to the other adult, your husband," the voice said as if talking to a simpleton.
I summoned the fury of a woman scorned.
"He's not available," I said. "He's at work."
"Can I ring back at a more convenient time?" the voice carried on hatefully.
"No," I replied. How dare you reject me after all these minutes. It's me or nothing. "He won't talk to you and he doesn't like telephone surveys anyway so there's no point you ringing back."
"Oh," said the voice, crestfallen.
"Goodbye." SLAM. Mutter. No wonder this country is going to the dogs. How much did that all cost? How much are they paying that idiot to do that?
RING RING (actually it's more of an electronic tinkly tinkly tink...) but anyway...
"HELLO." This can't be good. The phone only rings with idiots and pointless surveys. I'm not going to even think about being friendly this time.
"Hello, this is Kylie Minogue calling on behalf of Practical Classics. Can I speak to Mr Preseli Mags please?"
"NO HE'S AT WORK."
"No worries." (She really was Australian.) "I'll call back another time."
LIKE HELL YOU WILL.
I drew myself up to my full height.
"Just wait one moment. My husband isn't interested in whatever it is you are selling. He does NOT have a classic car. He does NOT want a subscription to your magazine so please take his details OFF your database and DON'T CALL AGAIN!" SLAM.
I'm thinking of having the phone disconnected. Really I am.
Posted by Maggie Christie at 5:01 pm