Wednesday, January 19, 2005

I just had a very satisfying conversation with a telemarketer. This firm, like many others, chooses to have people who don't speak English well as their phone solicitors. The conversation went like this:

(For the purposes of privacy, my last name has been changed to "Hubbahubba")

Me: Hello.
Me: Hello??
TeleMarketer: Hello. May I please speak to Mr. Hubbahubba?
Me: You are.
TM: Oh, great. How are you today?
Me: Annoyed.
TM: Oh, haha. I see your name is very interesting. Is it Asian?
Me: I don't see how that's relevant.
TM: ...Uh, maybe you don't understand. You see, I am Asian and I was wondering if your name was Asian.
Me: And I don't see how that's relevant.
TM: Oh, haha. Ok, blah blah blah blah free gift blah blah blah 5 star hotel blah blah Ok?
Me: What do you mean when you ask "ok"? Are you asking me if I understand what you've told me?
TM: Yes.
Me: Then the answer is yes.
TM: Good, blah blah blah, 90 minute presentation, blah blah blah Ok?
Me: Does that "ok" mean that you're asking me again if I understand what you told me?
TM: Yes.
Me: Then, yes.
TM: Great, blah blah blah blah So can you come into our office tomorrow?
Me: Oh, certainly not.
TM: Why not?
Me: Well, I'd rather have a root canal.
TM: What is a root canal?
Me: It's a very painful dental procedure.
TM: Um, well, how about Friday then?
Me: No, I'd rather have a root canal than come into your office.
TM: I don't understand what this root canal is.
Me: It's a horrible dental operation that is very painful. I'm trying to tell you that out of all of the things in the world that I could do, out of a rainbow of tortuous activities that I can conceive of, I'd rather have invasive dental surgery than endure a sales pitch in your office.
TM: So, you are not interested in our offer?
Me: Correct.
TM: Why did you tell me that you were interested then?
Me: I did not. I was very explicit as to what I agreed with.
TM: Well, how will you get to know our offer then?
Me: If you send me your free gifts in the mail, I will consider it to be a polite introduction to your offer.
TM: But, there is always a catch.
Me: Indeed.
TM: So, would you like to hear our offer.
Me: Root canal.
TM: Ok, thank you for your time, sir.
Me: You are so welcome.

Ahhhhh, so good. If you're interested, I've written about this topic before.


tinyhands said...

I figure, it never hurts to ask, so- Can I have half of the free stuff?

Mike said...

Absolutely. All I ask is that you listen to a simple 90 minute sales presentation.

Gary said...

My favourite trick is to ask what time they finish and ask if I can take their number and call them at home:

THEM: Hello Mr BlahBlah
ME: Yes?
THEM: I'm calling from ...
ME (interrupting): I'm a bit busy right now, what time do you finish?
THEM: ...erm ... why?
ME: I was thinking if you give me your home number, I'll call you later
THEM: I can't take a call at home
ME: But I'm taking this call at home
THEM: (click) brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Mike said...

Gary, that's a good one. I believe Seinfeld has a bit where he takes a similar approach.

Vivian to Some said...

I've gotten the same thing. Only my last name IS asian, so they call up assuming I speak the language and start rattling off in Chinese! All I ever get is "AT&T."

It's my pleasure to link you. I think I found you thru a comment on the busblog. Anyway, I think you're quite amusing. Pray continue...

Mike said...

Vivian, if you're weary of the AT&T telemarketers and wish to have some new ones, YOU'VE COME TO THE RIGHT PLACE! Email me your phone number and I'll give it to the telemarketers who call me. That'll be good for another post or two.

Tasty said...

"I don't see how that's relevant" is my new favorite sentence.

Mike said...

It does nicely walk the fine line between, "I politely decline to answer, sir" and "AAAAAH! I KILL YOU!".