Our family has a long history of silly exchanges with telemarketers. Dan was the champ; and would nearly always stay on the line until the exasperated caller hung up on him.
Years ago our sister-in-law’s phone company promoted a Friends and Family calls program; and she received a discount by giving them our name and number. They called and within minutes Dan had the lady convinced he believed she was calling to give him bad news about his family in Missouri. He repeatedly refused to understand her assurances to the contrary and nearly drove the poor lady to tears.
Another caller promised him $1500 if he could name the three colors of the American flag. He hum-hawed aloud before finally saying he thought one color was red. The telemarketer encouraged him to continue. Then he agonizingly hmmm hmmm’d for a while before saying he thought maybe the next color was white. The caller, really wanting the sale, excitedly encouraged him to name the final color. Dan said that he’d seen a flag just the other day….and man, oh man, if he could only just remember what color it was….then he finally guessed green. The guy hung up on him.
The calls I receive these days are more along the lines of tele-scammers instead of tele-marketers. I’ve gone the gamut from not saying a word to being sarcastic and rude before hanging up. But I don’t really like to do that even though they are trying to steal my computer passwords, credit cards and identify.
So I decided to take a new approach. I’m polite, but non-committal as I listen to their spiel. Then I turn the tables and ask them if they ever pray. This always catches the caller off guard, but so far, they’ve all said yes.
One caller even volunteered that he’d had dreams about Jesus and that Jesus had told him he should call and help the people with their computer problems.
That made me smile, but I told him that I didn’t think Jesus would really say that, but that maybe Jesus did want him to talk to me.
And then I talked about God and Jesus and faith. And he was still with me after that, so I read him the prayer that Dan prayed at the end of each church service.
He very respectfully ended our call; and I was smiling when I hung up.