by timo cerantola
Telephone solicitations have become a problem at our house as we’ve been getting far too many of them lately, especially at supper time. As a result, we have now instituted a house rule on all telephone solicitations. The answer is always no. We do not do business with telemarketers and we don’t care whether they’re calling to save us money or give us money.
I even wrote a little poem for when telemarketers call.
“Our carpets are clean, our ducts are sucked and our lawn we never spray. Our driveway is sealed, we’re eating right now so please, just go away.”
So, the other night at supper, when the phone rang as per usual, I answered.
“Good evening Mr. Seranantaranoli, my name is Wilma Flintstone and I’m with “yada-yada” (name withheld to protect the guilty) incorporated. I’m calling to offer you something ‘special’. Do you feel you have enough insurance?”
I used my poem on her. She called me a nut and hung up. So I guess the poem works.
Last night I should have used the poem again but I broke our telephone solicitation rule when I heard her voice. When asked if I had the time, I said, with my mouth full, “(crunch, munch) sure, I guess so (munch, crunch). What can I do for you? She had a really nice voice. It kind of felt like I was talking to Angelina Jolie (whom I’ve had a crush on since I was 43).
“Could you answer a few questions for our survey?” She began with her sexy Angelina Jolie voice.
“I guess so Angelina, uh, I mean, sure, absolutely.” I gushed.
Question # 1 “Do you own or rent?” She asked.
“Are you selling home improvements?” I queried. “No, it’s just a survey.” She said.
“We own.” I replied.
#2. “Do you have area or wall to wall carpeting?”
“Wall to wall.” I replied. “Are you selling carpet cleaning?”
“No!” She said. “It’s just a marketing survey.
# 3. What type of vacuum do you own, upright or canister?”
“Ah ha!” I bursted. “Vacuum cleaners. You’re selling vacuum cleaners.” I exclaimed triumphantly.
“No!!!” She said.
“Canister.” I sputtered.
#4. What brand name is your lawn mower?”
You’re oddly curious, I thought. “The Sears brand.” I answered. “What in God’s name are you selling?” I blurted.
If she wasn’t trying to sell me something, maybe she was surreptitiously trying to indoctrinate me into some weird telephone sales cult. She was trying to turn me into some kind of mindless marketing moonie!
“Hurry up and tell me what it is I’m not buying!” I demanded.
She wouldn’t, so I politely said good night and put the phone down. I never did find out what it was that I didn’t want.
Oh well, the next time some phone monkey calls me, I have a new plan. Next time I’m going to say, “Sorry, I can’t talk right now but give me your home number and I’ll call you back when I’m free. By the way, what time do you usually have supper?