Failed The Name Game, Part 2

| Working | March 30, 2016

(Although our original family name was bastardized when my great grandparents came to America from Germany, the Americanized version is quite phonetic by English grammar standards. Despite this, people, especially telemarketers, get our name wrong (for example, saying “Smeeth” or “Smyeth” when the name is “Smith”). I’ve long since grown tired of correcting telemarketers’ pronunciation, and usually will say, “There’s no one here by that name” and they just put our number on the do not call list. I got one, however, that was quite tenacious.)

Me: “Hello?”

Telemarketer: “Hello, is Mr. [Incorrect pronunciation] available?”

Me: “I’m sorry, there’s no one here by that name.”

Telemarketer: “Have a good day.”

(About ten minutes later, the phone rings again.)

Me: “Hello?”

Telemarketer: “Is Mr. [Different but still incorrect pronunciation] available?”

Me: “I’m sorry, there’s no one here by that name.”

Telemarketer: “Oh… okay.”

(He hangs up without another word, and I shrug it off until another ten minutes later when the phone rings again.)

Me: “Hello?”

Telemarketer: “Is Mr. [Yet another incorrect pronunciation] available?”

Me: “I’m sorry, there’s no one here by that name.”

Telemarketer: “Now, listen here, you little b****!”

(I’m so stunned by the quick change from monotonous to vicious tone that I keep quiet.)

Telemarketer: “I know there’s some f***** there named [Yet another incorrect pronunciation] and I’m going to keep calling until I talk to him!”

Me: “There’s no one here by that name. Or by [First, second, and third incorrect pronunciations]. Are you sure you have the right number?”

Telemarketer: *patronizingly* “Yes, I’m sure I have the right number! It says right f****** here: [Dad’s first name] [Fifth incorrect pronunciation]. So you better get your little w**** a** moving and get that a****** on the phone, RIGHT NOW!”

(I’m impressed he’s come up with so many different pronunciations of our name, so I decide to have one last bit of fun with him.)

Me: “Oh! Do you mean [Dad’s first name] [Correct pronunciation of our name]?”

Telemarketer: “Sure, why the f*** not?! Yes, that’s who I’m looking for.”

Me: “Sorry, he’s dead.”

(I hung up as the telemarketer starts screaming at me. Fortunately, he didn’t call back. When my very much alive father came home from work, I told him what happened. He just laughed.)

 

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