I really hate cold callers. I hate getting up from the sofa to pick up the phone and find it is a recorded message telling me this is a very important call (no it isn't) and that I should listen carefully.
Sounds more like an evil hypnotist: This is an important call. You will listen very carefully. Your will is not your own. You will now give me your bank details as I am a Nigerian business man who needs to put money into your bank account...
What I hate even more is picking up the business phone to find that it is a cold caller posing as someone on official business and attempting to scare me into complying with whatever they are doing.
But really the best one was the one I had who rang up yesterday:
'Hello love,' he said, 'Can I speak to the business owner?'
'You are speaking to the senior partner,' says I, 'And you have just put my back up.'
Maybe I am naive, but I would have thought that by now, 2016, it would have sunk in to people NOT to make assumptions about who answers the phone in a business situation. Because I am female and answered the phone, the caller had immediately assumed:
a) that I was a person of little or no importance in the business
b) that I would not be the business owner.
The caller was surprised that I had taken umbrage and protested 'I was only being polite!'
I don't mind being called 'love', I am a Northern lass and that is quite normal where I come from. What I object too, in the strongest manner, is the unthinking and implied assumption that there will somewhere be a man who is my superior in the business.
As our business is called Raven, we do still have some cold callers (and others who should know better, such as our bank) who ring up and ask to speak to Mr Raven. Sometimes, for a laugh I give the phone to Graham. He listens to them for a while then says, 'Actually you need to speak to the senior partner for that,' and hands the phone back to me.
We live in a country where there should be equal opportunities for men and women to progress equally in the work place. Women everywhere know fine and well this still isn't happening.
Redressing social attitudes is going to take a while yet.
But I hope at least one or two cold callers will be starting to get the message.