I’d always meant to use it, and more recently I’d printed it out and stuck it to the fridge. And then at last, right in the middle of teatime this evening, the phone rang.
“It’s a private number”, R. pointed out.
Aha! I thought. Now’s the time. How dare the buggers phone at tea time? So I answered. And improv’d a little while I made it to the fridge.
“Could I speak to Mr and Mrs Macdougall?” the caller asked.
“We can’t both talk to you at once. Who would you prefer?”, I asked.
“err… Mr Macdougall… I work for […]. We’d like to…”
“Excuse me there… but what is […] selling?”
By this time I was at the fridge. I let her continue.
“We sell insurance. And…”
“And what’s your name?”, I read from the script.
“And how do you spell that?”
“A. N. G. E. L. A. We’d like…”
“And how did you find this phone number?”
“Uhhh, in the phone book I guess…”
“That’s nice. And is this your full time job?”
And so on it went, fairly faithfully following the script. It really does work when you take the initiative of the conversation away from them and keep hammering them politely but firmly with further questions.
Although she did start getting pretty suspicious by the time I asked her about her favourite toothpaste, and with R. cracking up in the background it was time to wrap it up (politely).
“Oh… are we done now? Thanks for calling Angela. Good night!”
Score one for poetic justice: hopefully without traumatising the poor operative, who was just doing her job, I managed to waste several minutes of her employer’s time by using their own telemarketing techniques against her.
Thank you, Martijn Engelbregt, whoever you are!