Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Planet Zero

I don't know about you, but I don't buy things from people who call to solicit me over the phone. That's exactly what I explained to the young lady. The particular number that showed up on my caller ID was really no valid number at all, just a bunch of zeros strung together. Someone had already phoned me from Planet Zero a dozen times yesterday.

I know it's a call center and I know that a different person is probably dialing each time. I often just ignore it or silence the phone. Sometimes I answer, but don't say anything. This unfortunate woman happened to be the one on the line when I finally decided to answer and tell them, once and for all, to stop calling me!

When she started in rapid-fire Spanish, I told her immediately, "No, no, no," but she just kept on rolling as if she couldn't hear me. I might have raised my voice at that point and yelled something like, "Take my number off this list and don't ever call me again," before I looked at the phone and realized that she'd hung up on me mid-sentence.

At least I think that's what I said to her, but sometimes I don't speak Spanish as well as I think I do, especially if I'm agitated. Either way, it did no good. They've already phoned me twice this morning and it's not even ten o'clock.

Rather than getting upset today, I think I'll have a little fun instead. The next time they ring, I'll start out like this, "`Hello." In the most Englishy-English voice I can muster.

If she doesn't hang up immediately (it's always a she and sometimes Chileans are afraid to speak with foreigners), I will continue.

"Hello, hello?" In a whispery, calm voice.

If she starts her speech, I will listen politely for a few seconds before interrupting her.

"Oh, Darling, I really wish I could understand you." Super sympathetic. "Might you be able to explain this to me in French? In Russian? How about Cantonese?" Pause between each of these.

Stop and see if she's still there. If she continues, I will continue too. "Really, Swahihi would do. Any of those? I just can't make you out at all."

Surely, she will have hung up by this time, but if not, I plan to read to her from a volume of Shakespeare or the dictionary or Green Eggs and Ham, whichever is handy at the time. I hope she's not a literature lover.

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