I got a call this morning from the Telemarketer Who Can't Speak.
I find this deliciously ironic. I said, "Hello," and she said:
"HizthzmistDekkr?" which I sort of got, so I said, "Yes," and she gives me the spiel:
At this point I just hold the phone out in front of me like it's a mutant frog, and stare at it in amazement. I still can't believe it, even after several similar episodes in the last few years. Her job is, after all, to do one thing: talk on the telephone. I'm pretty sure it's even dialed automatically for her. Apparently there's no oversight at all, because her masters have not noticed that they have hired someone to talk who can't even speak. I gently replace the phone in its cradle, shake my head, and go on about my business, knowing that no one on the other end of the phone even knows why I really hung up.
A few minutes later, another one calls. Still cheerful from this morning's coffee, I listen to another woman, who although not speaking clearly, says she's from a "Business Advisory Group."
"What are you selling?" I ask politely.
"I'm not selling anything," she begins, and then proceeds to try to sell me some health insurance.
"Not interested," I say loudly (and clearly), hang up, and again I wonder if anyone on the other end of the line understands that the immediate reason I'm not interested is that I don't want to deal with anyone has told me a direct lie in reply to the very first question I have asked.
(from the archives - August 2001. Written by me, Jumper, under the byline Paavo Dekker and appearing in QZ magazine)