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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

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(Published in, on 29 September 2011, retrieved from

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It was with mixed feelings that I read the newspapers on 27 September, 2011. Not only will we know which calls are telemarketing ones, we get paid if we accept any after blocking them.
However, I wasn’t exempt to a sense of nostalgia, as I recalled how often I’d let off steam on ‘nuisance callers’. And, when they persisted in calling despite instructions to strike my name off their list, how I put them off permanently.
It usually happened when I was asleep in the mid-afternoon, right after getting back home from my night shift. My phone wasn’t on silent mode, just in case there was an emergency and someone needed to reach me.
The only ‘emergencies’ came from telemarketers. I have too many fond memories to reconstruct in their entirety, but here are some of my favourites.
‘I really need that pre-approved loan!’
Telemarketer: Madam, based on your account transactions, we have pre-approved a loan for you, up to...
Me: Really? Really? Tell me, how much?
Telemarketer: Ma’am, actually...
Me: Pre-approved means you don’t need collateral, right?
Telemarketer: Yes, ma’am. Ma’am...uh...
Me: Oh, thank God, thank God! I’m so happy to hear from you! Can you give me your details immediately? You know, I just lost my job today, and I have so many loans to repay!
Telemarketer: Uh, ma’am, actually...
Me: You know, my whole family needs this! The US bank at which my sister works just closed down! Okay, quickly, give me your details!
Telemarketer: Ma’am,’am, actually, I’ll just check up on the schemes and call you back with...uh, with the ones that are best suitable, ma’am. (sic.)
Me: But, please call, ok? My life depends on this call! Seriously!
Telemarketer: Umm, yes, ma’am, surely, ma’am.
Español Roto
Me: Hello?
Telemarketer: Hello, ma’am, actually I’m calling from…
Me: Si?
Telemarketer: Ma’am, actually…
Me: No hablo inglés.
Telemarketer: Sorry, ma’am?
Me: No hablo inglés ¿Puedo posible hablar en español roto?
Telemarketer: Sorry, ma’am? I cannot able to understand you. (sic.)
Me: No hablo inglés ¿Puedo posible hablar en español roto?
Telemarketer:  Uh, sorry, ma’am.
‘Do I sound like a “ma’am”?’
Me: Hello?
Telemarketer: Hello, ma’am.
Me: Excuse me?
Telemarketer: Ma’am, I’m calling from...
Me: Did you just say ‘ma’am’?
Telemarketer: Ma’am, yes, ma’am...
Me: Do I sound like a ‘ma’am’ to you?
Telemarketer: Uh, sorry, ma’am?
Me: I’m a sir, damnit!
Telemarketer: Oh! Uh, sorry, sir.
Me: You think I sound like a ‘ma’am’?
Telemarketer: No, ma’am. I mean, sorry, sir, no, sir, definitely not.
Me: Are you sure?
Telemarketer: Yes, ma’am...I mean, yes, sir.
Me: But you said ‘ma’am’, again!
Telemarketer:  No, sir, sorry, sir.
Me: Give me your name and number immediately. I want to make a complaint with your employer.
‘Do you have those movies?’
Telemarketer: Hello, ma’am, I’m calling from XY mm DVD rental store...
Me: You rent out DVDs?
Telemarketer: Yes, ma’am...
Me: Okay, quickly, do you have those movies?
Telemarketer: Ma’am, we have movies, ma’am.
Me: No, quickly, tell me, do you have those movies? That type of movies?
Telemarketer: Ma’am, we have every type of movies, ma’am.
Me: Hush, softly. I don’t want every type. I want that type.
Telemarketer:  Which type, ma’am?
Me: You know what I mean. I want to come pick them up. In exactly 10 minutes. Keep them ready, ok? I’ll send someone. He’ll say type to you. Hand them over quickly.
Telemarketer: I’m sorry, ma’am, what type of movies?
Me: That type. I can’t say it over the phone, man! Is this conversation recorded?
Telemarketer:  Ma’am?
Me: Oh, God! Can you give me that type or not? I really need that type of movies!
Telemarketer: Uh, sorry, ma’am, we are not having any type you’re looking for, ma’am.
‘Do you know what time it is?’
Telemarketer: Ma’am, I’m calling from...
Me: Is this a telemarketing call?
Telemarketer: Uh, ma’am, actually I’m calling from...
Me: You’re costing me five dollars a second, tell me right now!
Telemarketer: Yes, ma’am, yes, ma’am!
Me: Do you know where I am? I’m on roaming in the US, and it’s 3 am right now!
Telemarketer: Uh, sorry, ma’am. Very sorry, ma’am. Good night, ma’am.
‘Do you know whom you’re speaking to?’
Telemarketer: Is that Nandini?
Me: What did you say?
Telemarketer: Hi, Nandini, I’m calling from...
Me: Do you know whom you’re speaking to, missy?
Telemarketer: Sorry, Nandini?
Me: You just addressed the Telecom Minister of your country by her first name, missy!
Telemarketer: Ma’am?! I’m so sorry, ma’am!
Me: And I’m in a meeting with the Honourable Prime Minister. How dare you disturb me now?
Telemarketer: Very sorry for the disturbance, ma’am.
Me: Why are you speaking in English? Say Jai, Hind!
Telemarketer: Jai Hind, ma’am!
‘Ayman Eedyat’
Telemarketer: Ma’am, am I speaking to Nandini Krishnan, ma’am?
Me: No, my name’s not Nandini.
Telemarketer: Oh, ma’am, it says here...
Me: Are you saying I don’t know my own name?
Telemarketer: Sorry, ma’am, please tell me, what’s your name?
Me: Can you take it down?
Telemarketer: Yes, ma’am
Me: A-Y-M-A-N...
Telemarketer: Yes, ma’am?
Me: E-E-D...
Telemarketer: Yes, ma’am?
Me: Y-A-T.
Telemarketer: Ma’am, A-Y-M-A-N, E-E-D-Y-A-T?
Me: Yes...can you read that aloud, please?
Telemarketer: Ay-man eed-yat?
Me: Yes, you are.


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