Posts Tagged ‘cellphones’

Ask not for whom the “unknown number” calls…

Telemarketers: the bane of my existence (that and trying to get the last bit of toothpaste out of the tube – a story for another blog). Whenever I see a call from “Unknown Number” my heart sinks because 9/10 it’s someone trying to sell me something. In fact 9/10 out of those 9/10 (which is some sort of crazy super fraction I couldn’t be bothered to calculate) they’re trying to sell me a new cell phone. I recently heard an “Unknown Number” referred to as “The Number of the Telemarketing Beast”.

I don’t know if it’s just me, but at least once a day I get a call from someone at some or other obscure cell phone company, congratulating me for being “pre” selected for some or other “amazing” special that only me, the chosen one, is being offered.

Who are these people spending all their time selecting lucky individuals to receive amazing deals on cellular communication, and then just before making the selection, pre-selecting me for this dubious honour? What does “pre” selection even mean? I feel sorry for the guys who were actually selected and then got “bumped” for me because I’ve been “pre” selected.

Why do they phone me on my cell phone recommending I get a new cell phone, it’s not like they phone me and say “ah we’d love to tell you about the amazing new special but unfortunately the phone you are currently using is unable to receive such amazing news without exploding, and so you need to upgrade as soon as possible.”

Or they should phone and make hissing noises saying “oh xxxxxx boy xxxx your reception xxxxx is terrible xxxxx it really is xxxxxxx time to upgrade xxxxx your phone” (xxxx means cell phone static and not some sort of super pornography or the censorship of any curse words. I’m just not quite sure how to spell an onomatopoeic representation of static). My phone works perfectly fine thank you very much.

How are these “people” getting my number? I want to feel sorry for them because they clearly have the worst job in the world (which is saying a lot for me, given my absolute hatred for the occupation of being a waiter). I say I “want” to feel sorry for them, but I don’t. In fact I try to find ways to entertain myself at their expense. I’m hoping that I can make some sort of black list where all telemarketers share information in their evil lairs (call centres) about how they should never call me. Unfortunately my amazing ability to be “pre” selected for everything is getting in the way of this goal of being blacklisted (damn my fantastic luck!)

While I usually just hang up upon hearing the tell tale line “pre-selected”, sometimes I will tell the caller how excited I am to hear about this “amazing” offer and then request for them to tell me more, at which point I quietly put my phone on my desk and continue working, occasionally picking it up to say something like “hmmm, very interesting”, “please tell me more” or “sorry I missed that, could you start at the beginning”.

Another technique I have employed recently, when I have the telemarketer on the line, is to start asking them some questions in exchange for answering theirs (quid pro quo as it were). I then either haul out a “pre-selected” set of questions or simply go on one of those random quiz sites to find out what type of Harry Potter character the caller is or if they were a colour what colour would they be. I’m actually hoping that somehow, one day, I get two separate telemarketers on two different phones and I get them to question each other. My hope is that this has the same effect as dividing by zero, causing a rip in the airtime continuum and singlehandedly imploding the cell phone telemarketing empire.

Until then…beware for whom the “unknown number” calls…

Cell phones…

I know the topic is a little vague. I mean “cell phones”? Come on! That’s as vague as the plot to most Vin Diesel movies. So let me narrow it down a bit. I would like to discuss (and yes once again I use the “vague” definition of discuss, by actually meaning “I’m going to give you my opinion” – although you are welcome to comment).

Cell phones have now permeated every sector of the market; every demographic, psychographic and several other ****ographics that I haven’t even heard of. I’d even hazard to say that more people have access to cell phones that to running water (hell, I’m sure even the Amish use cell phones). Even though everyone has a cell phone (if not a few) or at the very least knows how to use one, there are still some unknown situations or social phenomena that I don’t quite understand about cell phones.

Firstly, has it ever happened to you, that your phone is ringing and you rush to get to it and just as you answer the call ends and your phone displays the “1 missed call” message. Now you will call back immediately (and I must stress the word immediately) and they don’t answer. It just rings and rings. I want to know what the hell the caller was up to. Did they try call, give up on it and then say “ah screw it” as they dropped their phone and ran off into the sunset?

Has it ever happened to you that you’re driving with a car full of people and someone in the back seat just suddenly starts talking on their phone? It sounds like they’re giving a running commentary of what’s going on… “Hi there! Yeah it’s me, David. I just thought I’d let you know that Gareth, Sally, Tom and I are on our way. We just stopped to get some food and then Sally needed to buy cigarettes. Gareth’s wearing that green shirt you hate.” I keep thinking, who is David talking to? Why is he commentating on my life? And what’s wrong with my green shirt?

What makes matters worse is when you have people on those weird blue tooth headsets (once again in the theme of “vague” definitions I use the word “people” when I actually mean “uptight businessmen and corporatey douche bags”). Once I was standing in one of those strange busses that shuttle you from the departures lounge to your plane (taking the furthest route possible I might add) and this guy who is staring straight at me just starts saying (in a typical corporatey douche bag accent) “Ja boet! Howzit!” At this point I don’t know if he’s talking to me because I don’t know him, but he’s staring straight at me as he continues speaking. “Ja boet I’m on this bus thing, hey.” “Just waiting for my plane, hey.” By now I’ve realised that he was not in fact talking to me and I’ve just made an idiot of myself responding to him.

I don’t know why these things irk me, they just do. I’m also not sure what the point of this blog was, except to maybe see if I’m the only one who is experiencing these cell phone “phenomena” (once again vague definition of the word phenomena). Any way that’s what you get when you …oh wait my phone’s ringing I need to take this…

“Hey, yeah it’s me, Gareth. No I’m just writing my blog, dude. I’m wearing that green shirt you like so much…”