Capital One has been trying to get me to sign up for a credit card since New Year’s. I don’t usually take note of the senders of junk mail, and I hang up on unsolicited phone calls too soon to remember the company represented, but Capital One has been on me enough for me to notice. They made me nervous at first, too, because their envelopes and their name are close to that of a collection agency.
The reason I’m constantly on my guard against collection agencies is, of course, because my credit is horrendous. I did once try to sign up for a credit card to settle my other debts: a mirage that a Bank of America employee directed me to. It was, of course, rejected with the speed of Venus Williams’ forehand.
I can only conclude that Capital One doesn’t research the people to whom they send their pitch, which wouldn’t motivate me to do business with them even if I was eligible to do so. At any rate, they’ve moved on to phone calls.
I got the third such call in as many days this evening.
Voice: Good evening, may I speak to Rilchiam?
Me: This is.
Voice: Good evening, Mrs. Rilchiam; my name is Gary and I’m calling from Capital One—
Me: Are you trying to sell me that credit card?
Gary: Well, we’re not trying to sell anything, ma’am, but we are offering you a change to sign up at a rate of—
Me: Look, I’m not interested, and I’d appreciate if you could take me off your list. No mail, no calls, nothing.
Gary: All right, ma’am; I can make a note of that…it should take 6 to 8 weeks to process your request, and in the meantime, if you receive any more calls please do inform them that you’ve made this request.
All of this is said in a very pleasant southern accent that makes it easy for me to picture the person sitting in his cubicle telling himself not to feel guilty. As I have so often done.
Me: Okay, thank you.
Gary: Good night, ma’am.
Me: Oh, and…sir?
knowing that he’s already looking at the next name on the list, and that a term he rarely hears addressed to him will startle him into not hanging up
Gary: Yes ma’am?
Me: Look, uh, I hope you didn’t take that personally. I used to do…
knowing that if I call his job “telemarketing” or “phone sales” he’ll insist that it’s whatever euphemism the employment agency told him it was when they sent him out
what you’re doing, for a living, so I just want to say it’s the company I’m fed up with, not you.
Gary: Well, thank you, ma’am; I’ll see if I can put your request in tonight; in the meantime, you have a great evening!
Me: You, too.
Well, how 'bout that? I feel like Homer when he did the Stonecutter handshake with the plumber, and the plumber then immediately closed the valve and stopped the leak!