Disarming the cold callers

Are you a call centre operative?  Are your days spent on the receiving end of verbal abuse.  Do you cry yourself to sleep at night?

After 14 years fielding calls at work I give you all short thrift, I’m an expert in getting you off the line despite how much you persist.

But I’m reaching out the olive branch, let me hear your side of the story and next time maybe I’ll spare a thought for you before I hang up the phone.

You’ll recall these conversations:

Call Centre:   “I’m calling from Accident Helpline.  Have you ever had an accident sir”

Joehoover:   “No”

Call Centre:   “Really, none at all?”

Joehoover:   “No I’m not clumsy”

Call Centre:   “Oh, has anyone you know had an accident?”

Joehoover:   “That was no accident, I meant to push them down the stairs”


Call Centre:   “I want to save you money on your phone line”

Joehoover:   “I’m not looking to change my phone lines”

Call Centre:   “We can make you a big saving”

Joehoover:   “We’ve got lots of money, I don’t need to save any”

Call Centre:   “But these are big savings, you are wasting a lot of money”

Joehoover:   “Honestly, we don’t care, we love wasting money, we use bank notes as post its”


Call Centre:   “We can save you money on international payments”

Joehoover:   “We don’t make international payments”

Call Centre:   “But I can see you have used your bank to make payments abroad in the past”

Joehoover:   “Yes, in the past but now we’ve hit on this tax scam, all under the counter, so we need to keep it hush-hush”


These photos are standard when searching for Call Centre on Google Images, do you reckon the person hassling you on the other end of the line look anything like these people?  If so, then where do I sign?

This may or may not be my 100th post.  On one screen it says I have 98 and on another that I have published 99.   I’m not sure why WordPress is confused about this.  Does that I mean I may not be 36 years old and can try being 35 for another year?

I don’t know if I should be celebrating the 100 post benchmark with a toast or not, I’ll have to do it now and on the next post.   It’s things like this that give people alcohol dependencies.

Leave a comment


  1. Thank you! I’m going to remember #1 for the next time I need to get someone to confess to pushing someone else down the stairs.

    • My plan failed, they never took out the life insurance when they got the cold call. Left with an attempted murder charge with nothing to show for it.

  2. I will toast to you whether 100 or not. Mine is coming up soon at 93. At the rate I’m going i should hit 100 early 2013.

    • And try being 35 for as many years as you can…it works for me!

      • Not sure how much longer I can pass that off. I recall being 30 and younger people were amazed saying I looked 26. (they were about 22, everyone is old when you’re 22)

    • You’ll hit it soon, get the champagne on ice!

      Can’t imagine what I have been waffling on about for 100 posts, completely different to how I started this off and why. I’ll write about that, maybe that should have been the 100th post, a reflection on it, or should that be after a year of blogging?

  3. Lol. If they ask me about saving money I would say I have so much I wipe my ass with $20 bills. If they protest, I’d offer to send them a sample.

  4. The reason I have an alcohol dependency is because I can depend on alcohol.
    Congrats on 100!
    Or not…

  5. My favorite is to do a joke when they’re all like, “Is this Mrs. Dervetzies?”

    And I’m like, ” (click)”

    I just hang up the phone.

    Everyone gets a laugh.

    • I’m now wondering if they are treated badly then with the press of a button they ping your details to every call centre and junk mail company in the world.

  6. Congrats on the 100th! I won’t tell you what I’m at. It’ll either make you feel like less of a man, or make me look like a nut-job with no life. Either way, no one wins here.

    Kind of like the like of a telemarketer. Hey-o!

    • That’s it, telemarketer, one translation I overlooked.

      Come on, what is it, we’re not comparing sexual conquests so I’ll cope fine!

      • Ha! Telemarketer/Cold Caller. Potato/Potahto!

        Today I reached 1405 posts. 595 more and I think I may get a free set of steak knives or a gold watch.

        • Wow! How long did it take to get there?

          • Hmm… since October 2009, I believe? I’ve been trying to make it into a book, but I keep finding myself busy. With work… Words with Friends… TV… reading other people’s blogs… you know, the usual.

            • Good idea, I thought about that but not with this blog, I was going to do one for food, my mum ckeeps calling asking for recipes, she is now just interested in tasting different foods since we grew up on bland cuisine hence I started cooking for myself as I hated what we ate. I noticed a feature that you can turn your blog into a book at one click but was about £40, I started the blog but never published it since I keep forgetting to take photos when I cook, so will just type them up and print off for her instead.

              I may still publish the blog, there’s enough food ones out there but if only to point my friends to who also ask how to make what I cooked them also. It’s nothing special or gourmet, but am a dab hand and eating well on a budget and is the reason I don’t get takeaways as I can cook them all myself better.

              • I’m sort of in the opposite situation — My Mother is a world-class chef (not ever employed as one, but she could be!), so I never felt the need to know how to cook until I found myself living alone and hungry. To this day, I usually call her at least once while I’m cooking to ask her how to best do something.

                As for the book — mine is going to be waaaay more complicated. I’m editing, pruning, adding, rewriting, reformatting, etc. When I started, using every post from 1.5 years, I had over 1000 pages in Word. I managed to edit that down to 422 pages. And that’s the last I’ve worked on it. I really ought to get back into it before it just never happens.

                Last thing: takeaway = take-out 🙂

                • Sorry, wasn’t thinking again there. None of them are correct as they deliver so it should be called bring-in.

                  Put me down for a copy of the book! And your mum’s cookbook too

  7. Why have I not been using unsolicited phone calls to brush up on my comedy routines?

  8. You had me at “I’m an expert in getting you off”

  9. That is so funny. It really is amazing how telemarketers like to dish it out, but they can’t really take much. I worked at an in-bound call center for a while, and I know each second counts, so maybe that is it.

    On another note, thanks for helping me out with this whole conspiracy thing. I am wondering if EG saw the comment I put on your page though…his post was a little too perfect for the conspiracy angle, and EH hasn’t posted anything yet that I know of. Another brilliant plan foiled…maybe. 😉

    • I am being unfair to the callers, they are on ridiculous targets, if their approach was slower, more genuine they’d get better reception.

      I noticed EH had no posts..you may have been busted. I did it on EG’s post though. I was quite getting into the espionage thing, I’ll call MI5 and ask if they require my services – no, I’ll insist!

  10. Good article. I am facing a few of these issues as well.


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