I few days ago a got a phone call from a random number while I was at work. It of course went to voice-mail because I couldn’t answer the call. I went to check to see if there was a message and lo and behold it read my favorite words: “New Voice-mail.” My heart nearly jumped because I was thinking that it was some family member that had recently changed their number and was trying to get a hold of me or maybe it was the bank telling that they had made an error and I was getting back an extra two hundred dollars for their mistake. Although, I know the second scenario will always be a dream; one can only dream, right? So onwards with the story telling…
So, I was on my quick ten minute break when I checked the message. It was about two, three seconds in length and it was of nothing but a phone being hung up on. I did what I always do (and I’m pretty sure most of us do too), went to Google and looked up the number to see who it was. To my surprise, wait, let me rephrase that: I was not shocked to see that it was debt company trying to get a hold of me. Now, we all love to hear telemarketers and often time we love to mess with them by telling them that the person they are trying to reach isn’t at home, moved away or better yet do what I have been playing in my head for the last two days on what I want to say when and if they call me and I pick up the phone again. Now, I say again because the last time they called me I was somewhat prepared as to what they were trying to tell me.
I pick up the phone, answer by saying: Speaking. Shortly after I hear him asking: May I speak to (insert name here)? So, I again say: Speaking. He then proceeds to say: “Well, Mr. ____, this is a courtesy call..blah, blah, blah and so on…”
At this point I realized that I really should not have picked up the phone but I was positive that I could play with this guy’s head for a bit. From what I can kind of remember he did ask me if I was aware that I had well over seventeen thousand dollars in debt. My response: Well, since I just took out two student loans totaling in the amount of sixteen thousand and I know I still have my credit cards to finish paying off; I’m pretty sure that I am fully aware.
Now that the back story is told it is time to talk about what has been playing in my head. The next time I see the number I will wait for my phone to ring twice and answer it in the voice of Apu from The Simpsons. If not that way, then I will tell him that if it really is a courtesy call he would at least have the courtesy to leave me a message longer than two seconds asking me to call him back with his contact information and the purpose of the call. Either that or just ask him if he is willing to pay off my loans and get rid of my debt entirely.
I do find it very interesting that people often role-play in their minds what others will say and how they will react. I know I am not alone when I think about how and what I will say to somebody that I haven’t seen in a long time. For some it’s a matter of getting the courage to actually initiate the conversation in hopes that it will go the way they want or at least in the general direction they intended.