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Pensioner telecoms

With pensions in the back of my mind, I just remembered a detail from a visit to my 82-year-old aunt last week. Whilst we were there, enjoying M&S sandwiches and looking through old family photographs, the phone rang. My aunt put on her best telephone voice to answer, then her face lit up, she winked at us and proceeded to rip the piss out of the unsolicited offer of help with her computer. She started gently, agreeing with statements and offering small encouragement that perhaps she might be interested. It was only when she asked the caller if they would personally come round and fix a different household appliance that was clearly unrelated to what was being offered, that whoever it was – very rudely and abruptly – hung up. “Oh, you don’t want to help me after all!” she said, mock-crestfallen. How we laughed.

Beware the responders with a sense of humour (as well as outrage) and too much time on their hands!

She then regaled us with other examples where she had similarly led cold callers up the garden path – in particular, an occasion when she had asked a windows company if they sold conservatories. She lives in a small apartment on the first floor of a residential home for the elderly. In that instance, the caller had seen the funny side and had a laugh with her – probably losing their productivity bonus but enjoying their job a whole lot more.

I was so glad to see my aunt upholding a tradition of female wackiness on that side of my family. I was also glad that she was having a go at the cold callers. I have lost count of the number of times I have received a call asking me about the accident which wasn’t my fault. I have a script off pat for that now – although I caught myself actually weeping loudly in the street recently on my phone, pleading with the caller not to remind me of the awful trauma I suffered when I lost both my legs… (I have both legs – I know this is tempting fate and I will be punished, but I have been driven to it). Lord knows what nearby pedestrians thought of me.

No-one on the line has ever sympathised with my traumatic experience, although once I was put through to the next level of caller before they realised that I was mental and hung up.

I think it’s illegal now isn’t it?

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