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Grammar Is Not Their Calling

| Working | December 5, 2013

(My 28-year old cousin is visiting from the UK. He tends to enjoy trolling people. We’ve had a huge problem with a series of telemarketers lately. On the fifth day of his visit, the fourteenth telemarketing call comes in. He insists on answering the phone himself.)

Cousin: “‘ello?”

Telemarketer: “Hello. This is [Name] with [Company Name]. Is [Dad] available?”

Cousin: “Yeah. He’s available.”

Telemarketer: “Oh, wonderful.”

Cousin: “Okay. Have a nice day.”

(My cousin hangs up. I stare at him. He holds up a hand, staring at the phone. Sure enough, she calls right back.)

Telemarketer: “I’m so sorry. The call seems to have disconnected.”

Cousin: “Oh, no. I hung up.”

Telemarketer: “What? Why?!”

Cousin: “It seemed to me your business was completed.”

Telemarketer: “I asked I could speak to [Dad]!”

Cousin: “No, you asked if he was available. I confirmed it, and you said ‘Oh, wonderful’, so that was that.”

Telemarketer: “Most people understand that when you ask if someone is available, you want to talk to them!”

Cousin: “Well, now you’re just running on assumption. In polite conversation, you confirm that the person you wish to speak to is there and then ask to speak to them.”

Telemarketer: “Fine. CAN I speak to [Dad]?”

Cousin: “I don’t know, can you?”

Telemarketer: “THAT’S NOT FAIR!”

Cousin: “You’re the one using poor grammar skills. That’s not my fault.”

Telemarketer: “FINE. MAY I speak to [Dad]?”

Cousin: “No.”

(My cousin hangs up again. My dad and I are cracking up on the couch. My cousin holds up his hand one more time. The telemarketer calls back again.)

Telemarketer: “Now listen up, you. I’m calling for [Dad], from [Company Name], and I would LIKE to speak with him please.”

Cousin: “Do me a favor. Check in your files how many times my uncle has asked you to stop calling him. I have a running count here. If you get the number right I’ll hand him the phone.”

Telemarketer: “You are an awful person.”

Cousin: “I know. Fabulous, isn’t it?”

(My cousin hangs up. They haven’t called back since.)


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