Tuesday, March 06, 2007


"In 1875, along with his assistant Thomas A. Watson, Graham Alexander Bell (1847-1922) constructed instruments that transmitted recognizable voice-like sounds."

This was the start of the telephone that we know and love.

Graham Alexander Bell is quoted as having said this:

The most successful men in the end are those whose success is the result of steady accretion.

By accretion, he means, growth by addition, I believe.

So, tell me, do you think that this is the type of growth by addition that he envisaged those 132 years ago?

Phone Rings:

OCD Mortgages: "Hello" Can I speak to Mr. or Mrs. Lomax please?

Me: And why do you want to speak to them?

OCD: "This is The Outrageously Corrupt Deals Mortgage Company (OCD Mortgages) and I would just like to ask you a few questions about your current mortgage."

Me: I'm sorry but Mrs. Lomax isn't available at the moment, and isn't thinking of changing her current mortgage right now.

OCD: "So when would be a better time to call?"

Me: As I said, she isn't available and isn't thinking of changing her mortgage at the moment.

Ends call. Firmly and politely.

Phone Rings Again:

Chatter Chatter Phone Company: Hello, this is Chris calling from Chatter Chatter. I'd like to talk to the person who pays the bill please.

Me: Why is that?

CC: To give a you a price comparison and see if we can save you some money.

Me: So that would be a price comparison with yourself then Chris?

CC: So you are already with us?

Me: Yes.

CC: How long have you been with us?

Me: Four months, and I am seriously worried that your database seems to be so inefficient. It doesn't say much for your organisational skills as a company.

CC: Ah, well, you understand, if you have only been with us four months, then that won't show on this list. This list of prospective customers is six months old.

Me: I appreciate that it is not your fault personally Chris, but I would like you to tell your powers that be that as this is the FOURTH time that you have called me to resell in the contract that you have already sold me, I suggest that they get their database in order, otherwise I may take my business back to TB.

Call ends.............. firmly and mostly, well nearly, politely.

Phone rings again:

Caller from poor unfortunate company who drew the short straw on my patience levels: (The PU company) Hello. I'd like to speak to MRS.LOMMAX please.

Me: I'm very sorry, but I think you must have the wrong number. That's not our surname.

Caller from PU: But I just want to offer you............

Me: Sadly for you I have already been called fifteen times today, and I don't want to talk about what you might have to offer me any more.

Caller from PU: I haven't called you fifteen times Ma'am.

Me: Perhaps not, but you are unfortunately the person who has drawn the short straw. Now if I may please end this call, as I have got better things to do?

Phone rings again:

Me: HELLO. (Cross, impatient tone).
Eldest Daughter: Hello, Mum? It's me...............

Grovel, grovel................. Bad mother feelings.

This is what accretion has done to us Mr. Bell!


enid said...

enid thinks mr. bell would seriously reconsider his inventing career if he could read your very funny post, sally.

john.g. said...

Yeah!! First. Does losing your patience affect your spelling? Or have you been on the wine?

Nice work though.

john.g. said...

Bugger, bloody enid!! Damn!!

Sally Lomax said...

Hey!! People want to be first!! Wow!!
(Spelling now corrected I hope!! )

Thanks John! :)

I think he would too Enid!

Pierre L said...

"Hello. I'd like to speak to MRS.LOMMAX please." No, I don't think Sally has lost her ability to spell. I get calls that start "Is this Mr. lalll- lalli- laalliere- allier" or "is this the householder" (no name specified).
I find that the "Telephone Preference Service" considerably reduces to number of such calls. Also, Caller Display would have given you a hint that this was your daughter.
But then, we would have missed out on an excellent posting...

Ignorminious said...

Apparently, Mr Bell was once quoted as saying something along the lines of "I do not think that I am overstating the importance of this invention when I say that one day, there maybe one of these devices in every major city in America."

if only his predictions had come true, we wouldn't have telesales at all.

i find being ex-directory rather helpful as well.

Sally Lomax said...

Pierre - No caller display, because, we have attrociously old fashioned handsets currently, which I did try to upgrade the other day - but bought the wrong thing. Another blog. Another day!
Must get TPS!! :)

Ignorminious - Did he really say that? Indeed, if only!

meredic said...

You know you can get rid of all these by getting taken off the list I take it?

Beccy said...

I don't know about the UK Meredic but here in Ireland they seem unable to take me off lists. I am fed up with a window company who leaflet drop, cold call and telephone, every time I ask them to remove me from the list as they would be the last company I'd call if I was getting new windows. Still waiting.

Sally have you seen the ad where a mum says 'please hold the line your call is important to me' then plays music while she has a cup of tea. I'd love to do that!

PS congratulations you won a prize!

Karmyn said...

I have to say that since the U.S. put in the "Do not Call" list my evenings are much more pleasant. I still get calls from the charities, though - and sometimes those are worse. I hate to be rude to a good cause....

Asha said...

That was hilarious Sally but I know it's frustrating.Hang in there err..hang up!;D

We are on 'Do not call" list and they still call us at 8.30pm anyway."I am the nanny" doesn't work at that hr!!

Sally Lomax said...

Meredic - You are right. just not done it yet. Will do! Glad I got the blog in first though!!

Beccy - I too would love to do that to so many people. I would also like to send invoices to all the people who have wasted hours of my time over the years............

Karmyn - I think that the word charity is what it is, and as such the choice to give should be free. Any pressure like that is not acceptable. You aren't being rude. I do know exactly what you mean though. Before you know it, if you are not careful you have handed over your bank details and set up another monthly direct debit...

Asha - You could say that you are the babysitter and that the house holders have gone out for the evening. Works the same way as a nanny......

I do have to admit though that when I hear the long silence nowadays - that pre emptive hiatus just before the fantastically eloquent sales script that follows - I do hang up. And, if they haven't actually spoken to me, then I haven't hung up on them personally have I? That's not rude...... So, I have probably given away the opportunity to save myself thousands on my mortgage, win millions in competitions and to have the best electricity deal in the world.

..........And guess what? I will turn down lots more before I die!!

Anonymous said...

Another great place to try price comparison and save is www.cubalaya.com, highly recommended!


Sally Lomax said...



Sally Lomax said...

Ah Beccy - Have just seen on your site what competition you meant. Had forgotten about that!!!!

Thank you!!!! (Although I think that the funny entries were much much cleverer!!!


Beccy said...

I was impressed by your knowledge Sally, I have a book of riddles and can't get any of them, until I see the answer!

enid said...

pah, john g, enid is not bloody enid. she always wipes up when she has a mishap with the scythe.

elena jane said...

poor us and poor mister bell indeed. thank goodness for the usa do not call registry AND caller ID (as the charities still call). yesterday when "georgia & phone number" came up on my caller id, i relented to answer (this was the 10th time it's been on the id), she said approx 6 words, and i said "not interested, cheerio". hey, i was polite, i bid her goodbye (or cheerio). i had a friend who would say "hold on, the baby is crying" and put the phone down. my friend has no children. i've tried this (and yes, i do have children who tend to YELL)...but i have a mute button as well. eventually said caller will hang up.

Susan S said...

LOL That is why I have been ex-directory for 8 years!

How are you today?

Huggles, Susan <><

Anonymous said...

Apparently when Mr Bell first invented the phone he put one handset in the living room of his house and the other in his shed at the top of the garden. When he tried to ring his wife in the shed he got the engaged tone!

She must have set precedent which continues to this day, because I can never get to use the phone......what is it with women and phones?

ChrisB said...

Sally great post I think it's all been said, I've learnt recently that there is sometimes a slight pause before the cold caller speaks so I quickly hang up. Another ploy you could use " do you realise this is a business line" and they are usually full of apologies (well we do work at home and blogging is our business)!!

Wendz said...

I never get telesales calls - never ever - maybe it's not really a French thing? I can imagine, though, how irritating it must be - I think I'd just hang up without speaking - really I would. Good manners be damned.

Sally Lomax said...

Elena Jane - That mute button feature is a very good idea!

Susan - do they not still get you when they do random calling out of numbers?

Chris - I hang up when I hear the pause first too! But i think some of the switchboards have got better, ad there isn't always a pause...

Wendz - I always thought that France must be a nice Country to live in!

swampwitch said...

I just love new vocabulary words...and especially the way this one was presented by you. Thankfully, with caller ID and a no-call list, I am able to avoid many of those type calls. But, on occasion they do sneak through. One of the last "conversations" went like this:


Is this Mrs.(totally misprounced our name)

Who's calling?

I'm calling for Mrs. (tried again but failed)

I know who you're calling for, but who are you?

Could I visit with you about....


We are having dinner right now. Why don't you give me your home phone number and I'll call you later.

Oh, I don't want you to call me at home.

So, now you know how I feel.


Norma said...

Reading this I am thankful for our "do not call" list. Occasionally I get a survey, but if they are valid, I don't mind answering.

Sally Lomax said...

Swampwitch - That is brilliant!! I think I may borrow that one!

Norma - I must organise Telephone preference........ it's one of the many things on our list!! However, it was good blog material, so perhaps it's good that I haven't done it yet!! :)