Last night, at around 9pm, I received a terrible phone call from a Mr Rodrigo Rojas.
“I’m calling from Telefonica. We’ve knocked at your door many, many times, but for some reason, you are never in.”
“I work,” I confessed, “Is there a problem?”
“Are you Ms … of C/ … ?”
“I am. ”
“And what is your phone number?”
“But you’ve just called me!”
“We must check details. How do we know that you are who you claim to be? Facilitate me your identity number … ”
A metallic grinding in the background kindled my unease. It was almost as if Mr Rojas were using an electric tin-opener.
“We’re bringing the entire neighbourhood up to date,” my caller announced, hurriedly suppressing an Argentine lilt. “You remain the only neighbour without … the gift.”
“… the gift?”
“We want to present you with a gift … It’s an updated router!” he revealed. “It works by fibre optics. It will double your speed; it has two antennae!”
“Telefonica want to give me a router?”
“When will you be in? We must install your gift.”
“Can’t I install it?”
“Oh no. No, no. We must enter your home. We must … ”
I hung up a minute later, devastated. A call to Telefonica’s helpline confirmed it: this foul beast had been trying to sell me a product by lying that it was a gift. A common ploy, but never have I experienced it executed with such bald enthusiasm.
“Don’t take it personally,” smoke-screened the woman on Telefonica’s helpline, “Just don’t ever answer the phone in future.”
So oft I’m told not to take things personally, on the assumption, perhaps, that universal problems will be dealt with by somebody else, advice as useless as blaming ‘capitalism’ or ‘the system’ for your problems.
Mr Rojas’ manipulation of my good faith, albeit short-lived, was traumatic. I was hugely insulted that he’d assumed me to be both naïve and gullible, which I am, of course! Except I call it ‘being decent’.
Quid pro quo
“Facilitate me your phone number Mr Rojas,” I teased, “and I shall call you tout suite with a date and a time for the personal installation of … the gift.”
Curiously, he did. It’s 188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.7. So, if ever you feel like playing Ace of Spades on a devilish loop, sharing the audible pleasures of a long pee, or simply wishing a Happy New Year! at 4am on a Tuesday in March, don’t hesitate in giving Rodrigo a call. And should you feel a tad guilty about doing so, remember – it’s not personal.
Click LIKE if this time it is personal.