Hello I’m Jack (mumble), can I have a moment of your time?

I’m way too polite to unsolicited callers. My wife has been after me for a long time to just hang up on them. I’d prefer to pass them to my wife, to the neighbor, to my dog, etc. Well I’ve given it some thought and come up with a viable script I can enact the next time I get an unsolicited call. I thought you might find it useful in dealing with your own unsolicited callers. It goes like this:

Unsolicited Caller: Hello Michael. My name is Jack (mumble) and I represent the (mumble) organization. Could I have a moment of your time?

None of my friends call me Michael. They all call me Mike. I knew something was rotten in the state of Denmark.

Me: What did you say your name was?

Unsolicited Caller: Jack (mumble) …

Me: Who?

Unsolicited Caller: Jack Enjil.

Me: What did you say that organization was?

Unsolicited Caller: The (mumble) organization …

Me: What?

Unsolicited Caller: The Givemeyourmoney organization.

Me: Never heard of it.

Unsolicited Caller: All I need is a couple minutes of your time. Can you spare that?

Me: This is an unsolicited call, right?

Unsolicited Caller: Well yes, I suppose it is. You see, we work for a worthy …

Me: How did you get my name and phone number?

Unsolicited Caller: Well, I don’t know.

Me: Well, ask your supervisor.

A minute goes by.

Unsolicited Caller: He says we can’t give out that information.

Me: Bye.

Unsolicited Caller: Wait! We got your name from a list we purchased from Giggle. They put cookies in your browser to track your activity on the Internet. They do that to everybody. They made a list of everybody on the planet. We bought that list from them for a gazillion dollars.

Me: So what do you want from me?

Unsolicited Caller: Money … as much as you can spare.

Me: I’ve got to go now. My dog needs to be taken out.

Unsolicited Caller: Can I call you back later, say in an hour or so?

Me: No.

Unsolicited Caller: How about tonight? Is midnight too late for you?

Me: No and yes.

Unsolicited Caller: What do you mean? Is that yes or no?

Me: Do not call me back tonight.

Unsolicited Caller: How about tomorrow? Is 6 a.m. too early?

Me: Look, how about I call you? What’s your number? I see you don’t have caller-id.

Unsolicited Caller: We don’t give out our numbers and we don’t trust you to call us back.

Me: So let me get this straight. You want me trust you enough to give my credit card number over the phone to someone I don’t know from Adam, and you don’t trust me to call you back?

Unsolicited Caller: Well, yes, I suppose you could put it that way.

Me: Bye.

Note to phone marketers: Please prepare your answers to my questions before calling me so that we don’t waste each other’s time.

I’m really looking forward to my next unsolicited call …

Mike Stone

Raanana Israel



Filed under Essays, Dilemmas, & Philosophy, Prose

3 responses to “Hello I’m Jack (mumble), can I have a moment of your time?

  1. I tried that, by the way. The “give-me-your-number” is way old. They’re used to it. I simply say that I’m not interested in listening to anything they have to say, though if they want, they can feel free to email me the information, and I’ll read it if I feel like it.

    They (usually) say that they can’t do that, so I say, “Okay – email me when you can. Bye”.

    Or, occassionally, they ask for my email. I then tell them, that they can get it the same way they got my phone number.

    Or I just claim that I’ve got a conference call in a minute, and must hang up. And when they ask when would it be a good time to call, I say that “Frankly? Never”.

    Or simply, I just say “No.” 🙂

    • You make it sound so easy. 😉

      • Not really – I’m just saying that the “give me YOUR phone number and I’ll get back to you” is old as dirt. And doesn’t deter them. They get paid if you listen to, or better, buy their crap.

        In my experience, claiming that I’ve got a conference call works best – it shortens the call to about ten seconds. Even without the “Frankly? Never” response.

        The rest take a bit more of a ‘tude. But then, I’ve always had that in spades, no? 😉

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