As with all insanely annoying tidbits in life, phone solicitors choose the most inopportune times to call your home. It's almost as if they track you throughout the day, waiting for the moment you sit down to dinner, no matter when that may be.

It was on such an occasion that I received yet another solicitor asking me to switch with the delightful plan they were offering to their phone service. For once, I decided to have some fun - at their expense. I clicked my wristwatch to stopwatch mode and let at 'em.

"Oh! Yes! I'd love to! What sort of package are you offering?"

They went on to describe a mediocre package, nothing flashy.

I cut in. "Are you offering any free watches?"

"Excuse me, sir?"

"I need a new watch. A timepiece, y'know?"


"Do you have any clocks? Anything that tell time?!"

"No, not at the moment."

"Oh. Well then, go on."

He continued to describe in meticulous detail every annoying aspect of the package, none of which I was listening to. I made sure to add an extra dose of enthusiasm to my voice.

"I'll take it! But are you sure this is the best deal you can offer me?"

He assured me.

He went through the standard procedure to book me, and I made it very clear that it was not this phone line that I wanted to be enrolled. I commented that it was 291-8990, and he moved to sign that up, (without checking to see if I owned the phone line, which I, of course, didn't). After I saw how easy it was, I decided to add a few more to the mix.

I told him that I liked the program so much, that I wanted to add my other twelve phone lines. He seemed a bit shocked, and went to get the manager.

The manager seemed surprisingly happy to talk to me, probably because he could go home much earlier with my sales. I told him that I wanted the twelve phone lines in descending numerical order from my first phone line signed up under the same plan. He was nice enough to tell me he could give me a special rate.

I was appalled, to say the least. This wonderful, honest company, had lied to the likes of an honest customer in telling me that was the best deal they could offer me when it really wasn't! I gave him the once over after that. I pelted him with questions about his honesty and decency, lying to a customer like that! How could I be sure this was really the best deal? How could I be sure of anything anymore?

I eventually calmed down and got down off the kitchen table, and he signed up all of the numbers (which I didn't own). He repeated them back to me before sending off the order.

"No no no! That's completely wrong! Those are all the wrong numbers! It's starting at 291-8990 and going sequentially upwards in numerical order!"

I could tell he wasn't happy, but he wasn't about to be rude to such a customer. He went on to ask what plans I wanted on each one.

"Well, the first two are international, the third and sixth only call domestic, and nine and four are local. Oh! And can you have the eleventh be just to Arizona?"

He tried to calmly explain to me that he could sign it up for domestic, but not just to one state. I asked if he could just have it be to the city, then. He calmly said no. How about just one phone number? No. Well, my brother lives in Arizona, so I need to only call him on that phone line, can you do that? No, I can make it domestic, though. But will I be able to call him... etc etc...

Eventually I just let him 'trick' me into signing up for domestic. It got time to put in the final order, that last click.

"Now, you're sure you want to sign up with GTE gold plan?"

I had to find some way out, I was trapped! Then it hit me:

"GTE? Oh no! I thought this was with AT&T! I'm sorry, I work for AT&T, I can't sign up with the competition!"

His response? The fastest "Thank you for using GTE" and hang-up I've ever heard.

I stopped my watch, clocked in at exactly one half hour and thirty seconds. Beat that. I dare you.

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