Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Cold calling

I usually don't hear my mobile phone ring. So, if you phone the chances are I will miss the call. If I do hear it ring the phone is often in the depths of my bag or I'm using it to play music or I'm wearing gardening gloves. By the time I find the phone, disconnect the earphones or get my hands free the other person is long gone and I am left shouting, uselessly, into dead air. Sometimes I just decide not to answer. If it's a number I don't know or one with the identity withheld then I tend to let them be. The chances are that it will be somebody trying to sell me something or someone who has dialled the wrong number.

I don't get a lot of calls anyway. This morning, unusually, I got two, I heard them both and I answered them too. The wrong number was absolutely certain that I should be his brother even if I wasn't. My insistence that I was called Chris and this was my number seemed to cut no ice with him. No, this is my brother's number, coño, he said.

The other call was from the Red Cross. Now my method, if I do answer either the landline or my mobile to an unknown number, is to be like that Dom Joly chap shouting down the phone and trying to sound as English as possible. This scares many more than half of the cold callers away. Why bother trying to sell something to someone who won't understand when you have a call list of five hundred numbers to go? For the few who persevere a bit of "what?, eh?" does the trick. Spaniards make exactly the same complaints about cold callers and call centre workers as Brits do - the callers have undecipherable accents, the calls come when you're eating or in the shower - so I'm sure that the callers are used to having the phone slammed down on them. Somebody sounding like a half wit must be light relief for them.

Anyway the Red Cross is an acceptable call. I have a lot of time for the Spanish Red Cross. Maggie has been giving them a monthly donation for a while now and I'd decided that the next time they called I would say yes. And I did. The woman on the phone was very pleasant. She understood when I spelled my email address which is often a phone nightmare and I was in a quiet bar and even had my bank details to hand so that, all in all, it was a good call. She did ask me though if I were German.

Now that one's out of the way though I have even less reason to pick up.

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