The Phone rings.
Me: Hot Igloo, Amber speaking [because I’m all about being professional when I answer the phone]
Caller [is clearly not a native English speaker, and also: is a telemarketer]: Is that Amber?
Me: [No, I just said that for fun!] Yes, it is, how can I help?
Caller: Can you confirm your address for me please, Amber?
Me: Ummm, why?
Caller: So that we can proceed with the call.
Me: And you are?
Caller: I’m Lynette!
Me: And why do you need my address, Lynette?
Lynette: So that we can continue with the call!
Me: OK, and what’s the call about?
Lynette: I can’t tell you until you’ve confirmed your address.
Me: Well, I think it’s pretty odd for a complete stranger to call me up and demand to know my address, Lynette, so you tell me why you need to know my address, and then I’ll decide whether I want to give it to you, OK?
Lynette: Oh, I’m not a stranger – I’m Lynette!
Me: Um, I don’t know you, Lynette, so yes, you are a stranger, and I’m not in the habit of giving my personal details to strangers who just call up and demand to know my address.
Lynette: But I need you to confirm your address before I can speak to you! I’m from MBNA!
Me: I see. And why are MBNA calling me?
Lynette: I can’t tell you until you confirm your details, so I know who I’m speaking to.
Me: And how do I know who I’m speaking to? Can you give me your address? Your home address?
Lynette: [laughs] Why do you want my address?
Me: So that we can proceed with the call.
Lynette: But…but… Look, I can’t tell you why I’m calling until you’ve confirmed your details. I don’t need your whole address, just the first line, house number, post code and telephone number.
Lynette: So that we can proceed with the call.
Me: * headdesk *
This call went on in the same vein for at least ten minutes. And yeah, OK, I was totally doing it on purpose, but seriously: why on earth do companies think it’s OK to call me (interrupting my important work!) and demand that I tell them my personal details before they’ve even identified themselves or told me why they want to speak to me? How does that work, then? I mean, you wouldn’t just walk up to a stranger in the street and demand that you tell them where you live – why is it OK to do it over the phone?
And people wonder why I’m so phone phobic…