A clash of cultures, maybe?
I must confess that I am usually less than charitable when I receive telemarketing calls. My usual response is, "No, I'm not interested. Take me off your call list and do not call me again." I'm not rude but I'm quite firm lest they be inclined to think that my 'no' does not really mean 'no'. Maybe it's my increasing euphoria over the upcoming birth of our sweet baby Noah, but I was in the mood to engage the barely English speaking gentleman in a little banter... just for sport.
The heavily accented caller informed me that he was with Direct TV and he was about to make all my financial problems fly right out the window with his incredible offer! I didn't know I had financial problems. Isn't it nice to have someone call you and identify a problem you didn't even know you had? I thought so, as I smirked... to myself, of course! He then told me he would save me hundreds of dollars on my cable bill and droned on and on about the benefits of his satellite TV vs. our cable system. Wow! This guy makes a lot of assumptions. Who told him we had cable? Again, this was just a passing thought to myself. I allowed him to give me his entire spiel uninterrupted. I'm sure his anticipation was climbing as he readied himself to close the deal and reel in another American fool for his commission. He started the close with the question, "How much do you pay per month for your cable service?"
This is where it gets good...
Me: "We don't have cable."
Him: "What type of television service do you have?"
Me: "We don't have one."
Him: "I'm sorry... maybe you don't understand. How do you watch television?"
Me: "I don't."
Him: "What programs do you watch most often?"
Me: "I don't."
Him... clearly assuming we were having a language barrier problem, and we were since my answers were obviously not printed on his laminated script card of all possible customer objections. "What channels do you watch most often."
Me: "I don't." (OK, now it was getting funny and I was almost feeling sorry for the poor guy as I was anxiously anticipating how many times I could say "I don't." and get away with it!)
Him: "Do you watch television?" (Ahh, now he was getting the idea!)
Long pause... you know the kind where they are pushing the mute button because you suddenly can't hear any background noise when you could before. This is so he can call over some help with the crazy American lady.
Him: "Do you want to watch great programs with a bazillion channels for some supposed small amount of money per month?" OK, I'm embellishing this quote because I don't really remember the offer itself. I was having too much fun to pay attention to the details!
Me: "Oh, absolutely not. I don't watch television."
Another pause, then I do believe he finally abandoned his laminated script card and out of complete frustration he asked, "Why not?!"
At this point, the door I had been waiting for was kicked wide open and I began my long explanation into the mind numbing programming of television, the evil that is perpetuated over the airways, my responsibility to protect my children from the debase and sinister influence of secular television, the wonderful world of books, exercise, the great outdoors and such that there is to do besides television, engaging the mind in meaningful thought, and our goal as a family to please the Lord in all we say, do and the things with which we fill our mind because we are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ and we believe His Word to be the infallible Word of God. Then I told him that if he could show me in Scripture where television fits within our call as Christian mothers and fathers in our own lives, much less in the lives of our children, I'd gladly listen to his argument. I'm sure I said some other things too. I was definitely on a roll, as they say, and having a most wonderful time too!
Long period of silence... he was still there. I heard the background noise followed by another moment of the mute button. Then, without even a goodbye, he hung up on me!
Hmmm, I guess my response wasn't on the card.