Strange it may sound but I really got a bluff call on my skype the other day...reminded me of the days when very few people in Nepal had telephone, and those who had one but didn't have a lot of contacts with a phone, just dialled a random 6-digit (what has now become 7-digit) number and chatted with unknowns...heard a lot about good-humoured as well as bad-tempered bluff conversations when I was still a high-school kid without a phone! Anyway, here I was writing-up yesterday's post on my blog, I get a ring on my skype. The name sounded familiarly unfamiliar. Familiarly unfamiliar?? Let me explain. The name was very common/familiar name, and some of my friends did probably use it as their ID on MSN and such, but I didn't have anyone with that name on my skype contact list - hence unfamiliar. So, I get this ring and ignore it for the first few calls. Then suddenly the chat window opens up:
Very relieved, I thought that was the end of it and continued typing up my story. Then my skype rings again, same person on the other side. It was then I had this "brilliant" idea - to spend some time talking to this person and write about it in the blog later! How genius I thought! So, I participated in the first "bluff call" on my skype.
What did I find out about the person calling? When the voice from the other side said she (yes it was a SHE!) was calling from a call centre in Sri Lanka, I thought there we go again. Some telemarketing people trying new tricks. For we get so many telemarketing calls from the Indian call centres that I have stopped answering telephone during daytime. But I'll share you a trick to get those telemarketing guys/girls off the line quickly. Here goes it:
Telemarketing guy/girl: Hello Mr Poudyal, How are you doing today? My name is Robert/Rachel, and I am calling from Universal Personal Finance.
Mahesh Poudyal (thats me answering the call): अरे राहुल/रानी, कैसे हो भाइ/कैसी हो बहिनजी? सब ठीक है ना?(Ohh.. Rahul/Rani, how are you bro/sis? Is everything all right?
After that you'll hear a long pause, then most likely they'll cut you off, which is brilliant. But lately, this trick doesn't always work either. Now everybody in England knows they are receiving calls from some call centre in India, so I think these call centre people also don't try to fool us anymore saying they are calling from a centre in Doncaster or Halifax or somewhere nearby. Moreover, they don't try to put on an accent as they used to do only a year ago. A year ago, they would try to put on a Yorkshire accent, and fail miserably, while we very well knew they were calling from India. Now, I find that they don't care about their accents anymore. Funnily though, they tell you their name is Robert and speak with an Indian accent. Sometimes, when you try to get them off the line by trying tricks like I mentioned above, they actually seem encouraged with the fact that you also speak Hindi and continue with their sales tactics! If that happens, I just hang up!
Anyway, coming back to this Sri Lankan call centre worker, fortunately she wasn't trying to sell me anything. Apparently, Mahesh is a very common name in Sri Lanka, a lot of Sri Lankans live in the UK, I am Mahesh living in the UK, so she thought I was a Sri Lankan. Thats how I got her call, or so she said. Well, I was trying to gather as much info from her so that I could write posts on this in instalments, which I probably didn't succeed. From what I thought while talking to her, it seemed she had a very boring job to be calling some unknown Mahesh`s the world over to pass time while at work, which she didn't admit to though. She said her job was very interesting. And according to her Sri Lanka is the best country in the world, so keep that in mind when you make your next holiday plan! By the way, Sinhala songs/music sound very much like Indian except the words of course.
And that was that. At least I got something to write about today. I have a listening assessment on my French class today so I better go and prepare for that. I have no idea how its gonna go but having done pretty well in the writing assessment (more than the score, I was pleased seeing "très bien" at the bottom of my exam-paper!), I feel a bit pressured by my own will to do as good, if not better, as the written assessment. Lets hope I get another "très bien".