Hanging up

“You could die at any moment,” the woman on the phone says. “You could be in a car accident, be attacked, or even… murdered.”

It’s a Saturday morning. I have been woken by one of those hideous unsolicited sales calls. One of those “We’re not trying to give you a new policy/credit card/cellphone, but…” calls. And I am livid. It’s not just the fact that they called before 9am on a Saturday, and it’s not even just that they called to tell me cheerfully I was going to die – it’s that THEY KEEP BLOODY CALLING. No matter how many times I ask them not to, plead to be removed from the list, demand to know where they got my details.

That gloomy Saturday morning call was a few years ago, but it’s fresh in my mind, because somehow, a couple of days ago, my information has once again landed up on a few lists. I am getting at least 10 emails a day from financial institutions (in India, many of them), and I’ve already answered two telesales calls today.

I NEVER tick the “please send me more info/ sell my soul to all of your partners” box on forms. NEVER. So why, oh why are these people all of a sudden on my case? And the worst are the ones where they won’t take no for an answer. I have, and this is the shameful part, even resorted to “oh, no, I don’t make those decisions, my husband does”. Worst part? That’s often the ONLY thing that works. How hideous is that? They won’t take me saying no thanks, I’ve already got a credit card/ cellphone/ life cover that I’m happy with. But as soon as I intimate I’m a poor helpless female who has to rely on her husband… well, then it’s all “Okay mam, have a lovely day further.”

Urgh, and the false flattery… This afternoon’s call started along these lines: “Please don’t think this is another one of those sales calls trying to sell you a new cellphone contract or credit card. Those types of calls aren’t appropriate for someone of your financial standing”… yeah.

Remember that little line man, La Linea, who used to laugh so hard, spit would fly out of his mouth? That was me, before I hung up on the woman. I mean honestly.


Now, I get that the people in call centres are just trying to make a living, so I try not to be rude. And on occasion I do sit through the schpeel, when it’s obvious the person is new and nervous and hasn’t learnt the script off by heart yet, or become disillusioned with their job. But the people who get angry with me, who get rude and pushy and won’t take no for an answer? Nope. I just hang up. I don’t even try to pretend the line is bad or I can’t hear them.

A while ago, when I was looking for a new job, I had to answer every call that came in from numbers I didn’t know. But not anymore. And I’m getting pretty damn good at setting up filters and blocking emails. Because that UNSUBSCRIBE option never really works, does it?

Also, why would I want a life cover policy that allows me to cash in 60% of it before I die? The whole point of life cover is to benefit the people left behind when I DO die. You may as well just send me a branded piggy bank and be done with it.


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