Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Phone Call

These days when the phone rings it’s usually one of two possibilities.  It is either a telemarketer or it’s my friend Jill calling to tell me she almost hit a goat/clown/wild turkey.  Jill’s not a good driver and she used to live in Montana so those references are not fabricated.  That’s not the point of today’s story, although sometime I would be happy to share how she got lost going from Provo to Orem (helpful hint: when you pass Thanksgiving Point you’ve gone too far) or how it used to take her 20 minutes to get to my house which was only a mile away.  But.  Today’s story is about a telemarketer.

The phone rang last night and my 13-year-old son, Drew was closest to the one downstairs so he picked it up.  “Hello?” I heard him answer as I simultaneously grabbed the upstairs phone and hit “Talk”.  That’s when I heard the woman on the other end begin her pitch.  “…and with your generous donation today of $75 you can really help us make a difference….”  Drew listened politely as he made his way upstairs to hand the phone over to me.  When he got to me, however, I turned him away and mouthed silently that I didn’t want to talk and told him to handle it.

Game on.

After said telemarketer made her pitch Drew grew emotional with her and responded while Sam and I listened on the other end on speaker.  “Well, I’m so sorry but I have 5 kids and I just lost my house and…” *sniff *sniff “…I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO!”  He was not too emotional to invite suspicion so the telemarketer showed mild concern.  “Oh, wow.  I’m so sorry.  I definitely understand.  (Um, really?)  But, you know, you don’t have to do $75.  You could just do $50 and pay it off over time.”  How thoughtful and generous of the telemarketer lady!  Realizing he needed a little more grease on his wheels, Drew upped the ante.  “And my MOM JUST DIED!”  I wondered if the woman would know she was being played at this point but it seemed as if this new revelation made her genuinely concerned.  
“Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry.  That’s terrible,” she said.  And then, “How old are you?”  
Abort!  Abort!  We’ve been found out!
But Drew didn’t back down.  “About…32.  Almost 33.”
“Oh,” she continued.  “You sound more like you’re in your early 20’s.”  Seriously lady?  Are you actually falling for this?
“Wow, THANKS!” Drew responded, as if he felt complimented on appearing younger than his age rather than the other way around.
“Well, I’m so sorry for your loss.  I don’t want to bother you, maybe we’ll call you again some other time when it’s more convenient.”
“Ok, thanks.” Drew said, and hung up.

The three of us then dissolved into laughter on the floor of Samantha’s bedroom and the poor telemarketer lady ran off to her next victim.  Preferably they are nicer, more attentive, and are willing to part with seventy-five bucks.