Do you get 'cold calls'? People trying to save you energy, sign you up or sell you something? I give them short shrift, ask them to take this number off their list, but they keep coming. Sometimes I just put them on hold until they go away but I feel mean doing this. Mostly I just hang up to save my time and theirs, but here's what I should say:
The other person knows you are waiting
Thank you for calling my home
I value your calls. You are a valued caller.
Please press your hash key now.
Press one if you are calling
to sell me something I don’t want or need,
have never wanted or needed
will never want or need.
Press two if you are calling
to try and convince me to change my mind
when there is nothing wrong with the one I have.
Press three if you are calling
for somebody other than me
no matter how convinced you are
that I am lying
when I say I am not them.
Press four if you are calling
to shame me into a contribution
to a charity that will use that contribution
to pay people like you
to call people like me.
Press five if you are calling
for information about my lifestyle,
income, habits and desires
- which you think I will disclose
in return for your shoddy free gift.
Press six if you are calling
with a completely unintelligible regional accent,
or speaking as fast as you possibly can, to get it over with, tick the box,
then have to repeat everything three times
because I can not understand a word you are saying.
Press seven if you are calling
from a call centre in the third world
because you will work for lower wages
and your employers don’t have to worry
about health and safety, holidays or unions.
Press eight if you are calling
Because you have to, because you can’t get another job
and you hate doing it and you’re on the brink now,
and if you don’t get a sale tonight they’ll sack you
and who will feed the children?
Press nine if you are calling
the last person on your list
at the end of a twelve hour shift
of saying the same line over and over again
and care even less about your product than I do.
If this is a personal call, please hold for an operator.
© Clare Kirwan