Five ways to answer that call
On the way to office in my pool car, a friend got a call from ABN-Amro trying to sell him a credit card. He politely said no and kept the phone down. Everything as usual.
However, we were bored. We were stuck on JJ flyover. Hence, we decided to call the caller back and give some other numbers that they should call.
Between multiple pauses (silences) and verbal pauses (um, ahhh, ohhh, ummm), they managed to get over the shock and take down the number.
"Oh, sir, are you really sure?" was the comment that was oft-repeated. That resulted in this:
5 Ways to answer the call
Assume that the initial conversation went like this:
"Hello, is this Mr. Dhoomketu?"
"Yes, it is."
"I am calling from ABN Amro Bank...."
Now, you have the following options to answer that call:
1) General Knowledge test: "What is that bank? What's the headqquarter? What are their total assets? What's their rank in the league table? Who's the CEO? Who was the guy who almost brought down Barings? Do you know him personally? Was your bank involved?"
2) Personal inquiry: "I am interested in your offer. Can you tell me your name? What are the working hours like? I have heard that sometimes these are not the right kind of jobs? Do you work there because you haven't been lucky enough to clear a few entrance exams?"
3) Counter-proposal: "Kitna banate ho beta/ beti? (How much do you make, son/ daughter?) What does your father do? How old are you? Do you smoke? Do you drink? Bura nahi maananaa , itanaa to poochhanaa hi padataa hai ke ladke kaa khaandaan kyaa hai uske lachhchhan kaise hai, kamaataa kitnaa hai (Don't feel bad, son, but have to ask about the guy's family, his traits, how much does he earn.)?"
4) Crib: "You know what happened last time I had a credit card. Have you read the 20 sneaky credit card tricks? How many of you does your company allow? Plus, what about your discriminatory practices?"
What is the fifth way? In fact, what are the other ways? You tell me.
Update: Arnold (via mail) gives a suggestion:
60 - "Listen dear, you've asked me so many questions and I've answered them. Now can I please ask you just one question?"Falstaff (who has to go
25 - "Uhh.. (Holy shit!, this certainly ain't in the script! How is my 2-bit brain supposed to come up with a reply by itself?) Yeah, sure"
60 - "What's your cup size, dear?"
1) The come-on: "What's your name? Oooh, that's such a strong, masculine name. So, tell me, what colour underwear are you wearing?"
5) The manic-depressive approach: "What's the point of a credit card? What's the point of anything? My life is meaningless. I'm going to throw myself out of my 22nd floor window now. Goodbye."
The Pankaj Mishra approach: "How can you offer me a credit card at a time like this? Don't you know that the average Indian still earns barely a dollar a day and that we haven't moved at all on the Human Development Index? Don't you realise that communal tensions are on the rise and any day now the communists are going to be voted to power? The faster you credit card companies stop believing your own myths, and offering these western temptations to consumers, the better it'll be."
Telemarketers, I am waiting for that call now.