Los Angeles, CA
"Can I speak to _____?"
"Who wants to know?"
"It's a personal business matter."
"Who is this?"
"I want to speak to _____."
"I know WHAT you want. I just want to know WHO wants it."
Long pause before she took a deep breath.
"Are you _____?"
"Depends. Who is this?"
"I am trying to reach _____ about a personal business matter."
"If you actually knew ____, then you wouldn't have to call this number to reach him."
"Can you give me that number, so I can reach _____."
"Only if you tell me who this is. Who are you? This is the fourth time I'm asking and I've been very polite."
"I can't tell you. It's a personal bus-"
"ness matter, right," I said, cutting her off and finishing her sentence.
"So you're going to play that game right? It's a losing strategy. Is this your first day on the job or something? You're not very good at this."
"Can you tell me how I can reach _____?"
"Yes, I can."
"Can you tell me how to reach ____?"
"Only if you say the magic word."
"Come on now. Really? First day on the job?"
"The magic word? Ummm.... Please?"
"Can I please have the number to reach _____?"
"That's not the magic word."
"What's your problem?"
"My problem? I got lots. But I apparently have something you want and you will not cooperate, so I'm not going to give it up."
"Fine. My name is Martha."
"See? Was that so hard, Margie."
"Martha. Not Margie."
"Okay Margie, now you're finally figuring out how to properly make a phone call. You identify yourself to start out. I should not have to ask for your name six or seven times. That's just plain rude."
"Rude? Like you're being right now?"
"Where you about to call me an asshole?"
"Gaaaah. It's Martha."
"I don't believe you. What's your real name?"
"What? Real what?"
"Real name. What is it?"
"Jesus, you're not stripping here. No fake names. Do I have to fucking spell this out for you? Tell me your goddamned real name and state your business or I'm gonna hang up."
"Sandy. it's Sandy. My name is Sandy."
"Finally! See was that so hard? Sandy?"
"We're not supposed to..."
"Yeah, I know. It's your first day."
"Third day actually."
"I could tell. You're not very good at your job. Where exactly do you work?"
"I can't say. It's a personal business matter."
"You're terrible, Sandy. I know you're from a collection agency. It says so on my caller ID?"
"That's not supposed to happen."
"Our number showing up. It's supposed to be private."
"Don't believe everything that idiot manager tells you. He's full of shit. Am I right? Middle-aged goofball? Fifty pounds overweight? Bad breath? Balding. Drinks too many energy drinks. Thinks he's smarter than God, but he'd talking down to all of you?"
"I mean... how did you know that? I mean, actually he's 100 pounds but yeah, that's my boss."
"What's his name?"
"Oh, my manger? I can't tell you."
"Come on, Sandy. We're friends right? Right, Sandy?"
"Well... I'm sorry. Can we get back to the purpose of this call?"
"Yes, let's do that. You called me in the middle of Jeopardy and I'm missing everything. What is Bismark!"
"Sorry, I was playing along. What is Topeka?"
"Sir, I'm trying to reach ______. Can you tell me how I can do that?"
"What is Missoula?"
"You said you would give me the number."
"I never said that."
"Umm.... yes, yeah... yes, yes you did."
"Tell me your bosses name and the exact name of your company?"
"What? I can't do that?"
"Jesus, I know the name of your company. I can see it on my caller ID. I just want to hear you say it?"
"More like MIP Collections, right? No solutions here. If you had solutions, then you wouldn't have to chase down all these deadbeats who owe you money."
"Can you please give me the number? I don't have a lot of time."
"Oh, am I delaying you? Am I bothering you? Because you're bothering me."
"You should be, dammit!"
"Well if you provide me with a number to reach ____ then you can get back to your Jeopardy."
"Sandy, that was the brightest thing you said all night. There's hope for you yet. But you know what? I still don't like the fact that you want to use me. Not only do you want to use me, but you ruined my only down time. I was having a lovely evening at home, relaxing on my couch, sipping a beer and testing my knowledge of U.S. history when you decided to call me... even though I am on a do not call registry. Do you realize you can go to prison for violating my privacy like that?"
"Um, no I am not aware of that. But technically I'm not a telemarketer. I'm a collection agent."
"Do you know that also applies to collections too, Sandy? Of course you do, that's why you wouldn't tell me your real name. Look I don't want to pull rank on you, but you're way in over your head here. Why don't you give me your number at work and I can call you back when final Jeopardy is over?"
"Ummm... I cannot do that."
"Just give me your 1-800 number and your extension and I'll call you back."
"It's not our policy to give that info out."
"I get it... so here's the deal, give me your home number and I'll call you there."
"I cannot do that."
"QUID PRO QUO, CLARICE!"
"Ah, you don't want to give up your number right? Your home number."
"No. It's private."
"Yeah... right, you don't want me to bother you at home, you want your privacy."
"Yes, correct. That's exactly it."
"But it's a personal business matter."
"Seriously Sandy. It's personal business matter. If you want info, I will provide it, so long as you play the game. Give me your home number. I will call it when you're busy watching your favorite show, then I'll give you the information you seek, so you can get a lead on _____."
"I can't give you my home phone. I don't have a land line. Only a cell."
"How about your cell?"
"Is there any other way we can do this?"
"Sure... I know another way?"
I hung up.