The bane of telemarketers
Before the tsunami of email, facebook and other diseases of “social media” increased the chances of being annoyed by a zillion salespeople, politicians, surveyors and charity organizations wanting money, money, money, company representatives would utilize the old-fashioned telephone. Here’s how one such call went in my house in the long-ago days. My spouse, an old-time rancher/cowboy/all-around hand responded to a telephone insurance salesman in the following manner. At the time, said spouse was seated in his armchair half-watching television and half falling asleep after a long day of work.
The phone rang. I answered. A voice intoned: “This is Ralph Dobbs with Catastrophe and Travail Life and Health Insurance Company. Is MR. Petersen available?”
I recognized the ploy of conducting “business” through by-passing the woman of the house and zeroing in on the lord and master. So, I handed the phone to my spouse. “It’s for you,” I said, grinning. What follows is absolutely true.
(I listened in on the kitchen extension.)
Spouse, bellowing into receiver: “HELLO!“
Salesman: “Mister Petersen?”
Spouse, still bellowing: “YEAH?”
Salesman: “This is Ralph Dobbs with Catastrophe and Travail Life and Health Insurance Company. You may recall I sent you a letter regarding health and life insurance. Do you recall receiving it?”
Spouse: Long pause. Then: “I DIDN’T GET WHAT YOU SAID.”
Salesman, raising his voice to a higher pitch: “This is Ralph Dobbs with Catastrophe and Travail Life and Health Insurance Company. I sent a letter regarding health and life insurance a short while ago. Are you in need of either health or life insurance?”
Spouse: Even longer pause. Then: “I STILL DON’T GET WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT.”
Salesman: “Well, er, are you in need of any life or health insurance at this time?”
Spouse: Another pause followed by: “YOU NEED WHAT?”
Salesman, a tad desperately: “Life insurance. Health insurance. Do you need any?”
Spouse: Pause: “NO.”
Salesman: Long, long pause. Then: “You have all the coverage you feel you need?”
Salesman, desperation evident in his shaky voice: “Mr. Petersen, I’m trying to ascertain if you’re sufficiently covered with all the insurance available to you.”
Salesman, very, very long pause. “Is Mrs. Petersen available?”
Salesman: “nearly in tears. Big sigh … “All right, well, have a good evening.”
Salesman, breathing heavily, drops receiver. Line goes dead.
Me, chuckling. “Who was that?”
Spouse: eyes twinkling: “I dunno. Some feller. I didn’t get what he wanted.”
Moral: Don’t mess with cowboys, ranchers or their women folk. ❖
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