You've just sat down to a nice hot plateful when the phone rings. You're almost certain it will be a telemarketing call. No matter how many times you register with the Telephone Preference Service, there's always a new company to sneak through the firewall to pester you with unsolicited direct marketing calls.
"Is that Mrs. Smith?"
You were right, the bubbly foreign voice at the other end confirms your fears, but you will neither hang up instantly, nor start swearing. Well, I won't, I don't know about you, of course.
"Speaking", with a question mark in your voice.
"This is John/Robert/Uncle Tom Cobbley an' all", in the thickest Far Eastern accent, to a background of a beehive of murmuring voices. "How are you today, Mrs. Smith? "I still don't swear but now I hang up.
Except the other day I didn't.
The voice was that of a woman, an ordinary English voice.
After we had established that I am Mrs. Smith and that I'm fine, thank you very much for asking, she let out a stream of words, presumably a sentence with some meaning; as each word ran into the next at breakneck speed I only understood the odd word here and there. I'm not as young as I was, my brain needs time to get rolling.
"What is it you're selling?"
"I'm-not-selling-anything-we-are-doing-a-survey-on . . . .." She'd lost me, I really had no idea what she was talking about. "I'm sorry, I didn't catch that, could you repeat what you said?"
She did. Still no luck. And again. She must have used exactly the same words so many times in her daily working routine, that there was no way she could slow them down.
"I really am awfully sorry, but. . . "
By now her voice had a slight edge to it. Perhaps her supervisor was close by, perhaps the connection showed up as being unbroken on her monitor; she had to continue.
Finally, I took pity on her.
"Thank you so much for your patience, but I simply cannot understand you. Could you please put this IN WRITING?"
A snort of disgust, "Yachch", and the line went dead.
I really enjoyed that.