To whom it may concern:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for interrupting the flow of my morning. I had been ‘in the groove’ with my article coming along quite nicely, before your ‘private number’ flashed up on my telephone display. The temptation to answer the call with something ludicrous like ‘North Thames Gas Board’ passed swiftly and I professionally – just in case you are a client or potential client – answered the phone with the usual cheery ‘Kirsty Gray – Family Wise’ response. Deafening silence…. I paused for a few seconds before you realised that I had picked up the telephone and you say ‘Oh hello – please can I speak to Kirsty Gray?’. Urm – did I not just mention my name when I picked up the call? Clearly you didn’t hear me so I remark that this is indeed she (you are lucky that I do not add that I am the only person that answers Kirsty Gray’s personal mobile phone).
Today, you are calling – it transpires – to ask if I would like to spend some of my valuable time with one of your sales people trying to twist my arm (my words, not yours) into having a conservatory. Well, let me just inform you that I already have a conservatory. In fact, I told you that the last time your company called and when you asked if it needed replacing/upgrading, I said NO. So, remind me why you are calling me again? My polite request to remove me from your database clearly fell on deaf ears last time, so let’s try again. ‘Please could you take my details off your database? I am not interested in taking up the services you provide’ …. will that cover it? Let’s hope so.
An hour passes by and I am nearing the end of the 1,000 word article. The last few tweaks and it’ll be off to the publishers. 0808 XXX XXXX appears on the telephone screen. Oh joy. We replay the initial conversation as above with Caller One (conservatory company) and you then inform me that you are calling from Vodafone (other mobile telephone service providers are available, I just happen to use this one). You are calling to tell me about the improved services you can offer me on my current contract. Hurrah! I am all ears.
You then ask me (firstly) for my postcode for security purposes. What? Are you bonkers? You just called me! Do you think I am stupid enough to give you these details over the phone when you ring me out of the blue (and interrupt my day – grrr) and I don’t know you from Adam (or indeed Eve, but this caller happened to be male)? You then get mildly stroppy with me that I am not going to give you the requested information and try to convince me you are from Vodafone. Nothing is going to convince me you wassock! Get off the phone and, if I want to get in touch with Vodafone, I’ll call you on 191, don’t you worry.
Onward. Article completed and delivered on time (minor miracle with the distractions of the morning). The phone rings again. Maybe it’s a client this time? Nope. It is an ‘Advertising Executive’ from a local magazine offering me advertising space in their Christmas Edition. Having spoken to him last week (sorry, a man again), I did tell him that we do not pay for this type of marketing. So, I was kind of expecting him to come back and say, ‘Hey Kirsty – Having considered your offer, we’d love to have an article from you and we’ll offer you free advertising space in the next edition of the magazine.’ Sadly not. He goes over, like we’ve never spoken before, the options for each different size of advert. Thanks, but no thanks.
And so, normal office hours (9 to 5) are almost over and I have achieved very little, thanks to people who do not understand the meaning of the word ‘No’. I wonder if you could kindly add this word into your vocabulary and perhaps pass on this new discovery to a few other people around you. It would save me – and hundreds (nay, thousands) of members of the general public – hours and hours of time when we are trying to get on with our jobs (whatever those jobs may be).