April 10th, 2009

A few minutes ago, I started to write this column. It was going to be about one of my favourite comedians, Adam Bloom, who will headline The Comedy Bunker this Thursday night. I was about fifty words in when the phone rang.

“Hello Mr Sanders,” said the voice, “I was calling to ask if anyone has ever had a shortfall on an endowment mortgage.”
“Millions of people,” I replied, “Don’t you watch the news.”

I hate telemarketers. Last year, I registered my telephone number to be removed from all telemarketing databases. It didn’t work.

Usually, I interrupt and say, “Can I have your home number? I’ll call you back later.”
After an awkward pause, I’m generally told, “My home number is private.”
“This number is private too,” I say, “It hasn’t stopped you from calling me though, has it?”

It’s at this point that the phone goes dead and I’m left to wallow in regret over another lost opportunity to replace my windows.

It’s a shame those calls don’t start with, “This call may be recorded for training purposes.” They could release the highlights on CD, albeit with a ‘Parental Guidance – Explicit Lyrics’ sticker. Telemarketing could become the new rap.

The worst telemarketing moments occur when picking up the receiver triggers a recorded message. How can anyone be expected to vent their frustration at a recording? The telemarketers are cheating. It was the same when speed cameras replaced real police officers.

I called Adam Bloom to seek his opinion. He was on another call… buying some new windows.

Adam Bloom will be appearing at The Comedy Bunker on Thursday, November 24th. Chris Lynam – well known for inserting a firework into his posterior and lighting it – will also be on the show. No-one will be phoning to persuade you to buy a ticket. If you’d like to come along though, the doors open at 8.15 pm.