I hate sales calls. Really. I truly despise them. The whole concept of inviting yourself into someone else’s private residence, and insisting that they buy stuff they didn’t ask for is so invasive that I am truly offended.
On the other hand, one of the few advantages to being a befuddled foreigner is that I can pretend I don’t understand when I don’t want to. But I at least try to be civil. After all, these people are just doing their jobs. I doubt many little boys and girls look up into the night sky and dream of becoming telemarketers. There must be some reason why they ended up there. Perhaps they were politicians in a previous life.
But there are limits. The one who just called blathered away at me about high speed internet service then asked me if I was the “internet user” in the house. I told her politely that I had no idea what she was talking about. That’s what I said, too. “I’m sorry. I don’t understand what you’re talking about.” Her response was, “When will there be someone there who does understand Japanese?”
I don’t know about current telephone etiquette in other countries, but as far as I know, that took rudeness to an echelon so highly elevated that I’d be surprised if an atom of oxygen has gotten to the silly woman’s brain in the past several decades.The Japanese that I spoke was perfectly fluent. Maybe it’s high speed internet that I don’t understand. Or optical fibers. Or any of the other words I pretended not to understand.
So I told her there wouldn’t be anyone like that here until at least next week. She said she’d call back but I doubt she will. After I hung up, it occurred to me that maybe she did know I was lying and was playing a cat and mouse game of who can out-rude who. I hope I won.