Never, I repeat never let anyone in the whole world have your phone number unless you really know they are a totally fono bido organisation and there is a box you can tick or untick re the don’t you fucking dare flog my number your cheap roadhouse whores!
So I do my damnedest to take care, to prepare, to avoid, to lie low, to be as my mother was to the ring of the doorbell if her hair was not ‘done’ but it is impossible to totally avoid. Many a day I return weary, but worthy from a day at the office to my beeping answer machine – screen calling – it is the marketing call avoiders best tool – employ one now. They are often empty messages where the Bolivian loan company – ‘just undertaking some research in your area Mrs Gawding’ not bothering to waste their time or breath is there wasn’t the possibility of a gullible English person to harangue.
I even registered with the Telephone preference service, but even that doesn’t cut all third world marketing calls or ‘research’ organisations.
So this afternoon whilst as an alternative to my normal toil, I am at home researching my new book – ‘the quickest route to the Mormon heart - a story of courting latter day lovelies’ I was shaken out of my Utah focus with the unnecessarily loud vintage clatter of my red trusty GPO 746 signalling I was required on the line. Now I didn’t screen, as you never know, and the phone had rung earlier and it had been my youngest sister telling me about the quiche she is making for my lunch on Sunday (how do you know when you’ve had Gay burglars? They’ve tidied up and there is a quiche in the oven). I thought maybe it was my dad ringing to ask what time I was arriving in the seat or to tell me for the twelftieth time that he had a lunch engagement on Sunday so I would be having lunch with my sister – quiche, yes I know.
Blah blah blah.
But no it was not a familial catering discussion, my family’s, apart from my brothers, favourite topic of conversation, nor was it the company that do meter readings for my electricity company ringing up only to have me explain for the however manyieth time that I am on an online tariff and they email me when my meter needs reading, so they don’t need to call anymore, if you don’t mind, and no I’m not going to give you a meter reading – GOOD DAY!, nor was it Anglian, asking me whether I needed any more windows or doors, ‘no thank you, I’ve still got the ones you sold me 8 years ago, and they still work’. Nor was it my old regular caller, from India asking me if I wanted a cheap loan or any assistance in managing my debt – how very dare they. No it was a strange foreign American accent asking if she could speak to Mr William Godwin, so I asked who was calling, never admitting that I am the person they crave, and she told me she was calling from the national research company and they were undertaking research in my town (research into debt, new doors and windows and meter reading no doubt). She said it was a very short survey, Mr Williams, that she would only need a minute of my time Mr Williams, no longer, really it was short Mr Williams, (well we’re onto at least a minute 30 by now).
So I said – ‘you can’t speak to Mr William Godwin I’m afraid’.
She asked why not, so I told her.
‘He died this morning, on this very phone, please do not call again’.
And with that she hung up, and I returned to my own research.
How very dare they!