|Big Nev. The execrable boss in the BBC's documentary |
series "The Call Centre". Shoot him!
Do you like callers? I mean strangers who phone you up touting for business or strangers who knock on your door with similar intent. Personally speaking, I hate them.
In recent times, I have got very used to answering the phone and then enduring a significant pause before a voice finally pipes up. It may be an Asian voice from a faraway call centre in India or a more familiar British voice. Sometimes they have got my name and sometimes they haven't. There may be other ways of dealing with these unwelcome intrusions but I have taken to simply yelling down the phone "Never phone me again!" before they have time to roll out their spiel. One of the things that really irritates me about these calls is that they can happen at the most inopportune moments. I might be in bed, in the shower, on the toilet, reading a good novel, eating a meal and then the damned phone rings. It is infuriating.
Today I hid behind the living room door when a "fishmonger" called. I have seen these dubious, tattooed young men on our street before. "Want any fish at all? Haddock. Salmon?" Well I don't want any fish from unlicensed chancers storing fish in an old Transit van and most certainly not paying a halfpenny in tax. Why should I even have to get up to send them on their way? And why are the authorities not clamping down on them?
I speak to other people about this modern phenomenon and I have yet to meet anybody who appreciates these unwelcome callers. Older people who perhaps live alone or are experiencing deterioration in their basic faculties must often be duped by such callers. It isn't right and our politicians should be doing much more to stop it from happening.
I make it a rule never to part with any money on the doorstep which is a philosophy I have often had to explain to callers. Two years ago our daughter Frances endured a month as a "chugger" - pushing particular children's charities on the doorstep. But she never explained to her "victims" that her pushiness had little to do with the charities concerned - more to do with the rewards she herself would get by meeting "sign up" targets. It gave me greater insight into charity fundraising processes and I can now see straight through young chuggers. Besides, the only charity I ever give to is Oxfam.
So if there are any call centre workers reading this or doorsteppers planning their next outings, please don't call on me! STAY AWAY or I will drop you down the nearest well - head-first! No visitors! No calls from call centres! Just get lost!