The phone rings while I’m in the middle of ironing/making the kids’ tea/helping them with their homework. I rush to answer it on the off chance that it’s Nick or, y’know, someone else I actually want to talk to.
Hello Mrs Watt, my name is Blah calling from Company You’ve Never Heard Of.
My heart sinks. Why did I answer the phone, why??
And how’s the weather treating you in Surrey today?
Now tell me, am I seriously being rude just because I don’t want to make small talk with a random stranger (who’s almost certainly trying to sell me something) about my local weather? Or how my day’s been? Or, let’s be honest, anything at all?
And then there are the ones who start by saying “I’m not trying to sell you anything…”. Erm, so why are they calling me when they don’t know me; are they short of friends??
At the risk of getting all Victor Meldrew, I yearn for the old days of cold calling when they read in a nasal monotone from a script and you didn’t feel guilty for putting the phone down half way through. Or was that just me?
I’m all for politeness and even like the fact that shop assistants seem to be embracing the American way of smiling, greeting, asking if you’d like some help instead of pointedly ignoring you until you wave money under their noses. But friendliness has its place and that place is not at the other end of my phone line when I didn’t ask to be called about time shares/insurance/charity that I’m not interested in.
So if your call that interrupts my busy afternoon is about something I’m not interested in and didn’t solicit, don’t be surprised when the conversation comes to an abrupt end mid way through your inappropriate question about my holiday plans/the weather/how crap my day’s been. Nothing personal, you understand, I’m just kinda busy.