Some people just won't listen.

There’s a firm that’'s trying to get hold of my dad. The call centre is obviously based abroad, as most of the callers don’t speak very good English. They have called my house every day for the past week. This is how it goes:

**Person:**Can I speak to Mr NameRemoved?
Me: No, he’s deaf.
P: Sorry?
**Me:He’s deaf. He cannot hear.
P: Sorry? He’s…?
Me: He’s DEAF. Dee Eee Ay Eff. Deaf. He cannot answer the phone.
P: Oh. Can I speak with him?
Me: You can write to him.
P: Can I speak with him now?
No. He cannot hear you. He is deaf.
P: He’s what?
P: He’s what

P: He’s what?
P: He’s what?
P: He’s what?

He’s what?

Sounds like this guy has his own hearing problem.

What an idiot.

Perhaps the word “deaf” was not in the caller’s limited English vocabulary.

Nowadays, whenever I hear my own name over the phone in a horribly mispronounced Indian accent, I just hang up the phone. There’s something about my name that renders it utterly immune to proper pronunciation by Eastern tongues…

Even British people can’t pronounce my last name. It’s a great way to know straight away if it’s a telemarketer or someone who knows me. If they get it wrong, chances are it’s not someone I want to talk to.

He’s what?

I wonder if the call center has “hearing impaired” written down anywhere. I agree with the earlier post that suggested they don’t know what “deaf” means.

You could try “hearing impaired” or “he lost his ears in an accident”…

Or “his tongue has been cut out and all he can do is grunt”, then add “oh, here he is now – UUUUUUH-UH-UH-UUUUUUUUH!!” and maybe they’ll go away.

A woman I work with has an 8-year-old son who likes to answer the phone, especially if it’s a telemarketer. Here’s a dialog she described, her son being absolutely deadpan:

Telemarketer: Is Mrs. X there?

Son: Yes.

TM: May I speak with her?

Son: No.

TM: Why not?

Son: Because I said so.

My mother’s maiden name is like this. Great marketer filter. No one outside of the Czech Republic, it seemed, could pronounce her name unless they knew her, even though it’s pretty simple. They all mispronounce a consonant, because the name itself sounds pretty American except that American English speakers tend to pronounce the consonant hard when it’s actually soft, for some reason.

Also, it helped that my mom kept her maiden name after she married. We knew straight off the bat what was going down if one of them got a phone call or letter addressed to them with the other one’s last name.

I’m sorry about your dad. I hope he didn’t suffer.

:smiley: Hee, hee, hee…

My name isn’t hard to mispronounce… but all the vowels are soft vowels, except for the “O.”

Indian folks seem to want to pronounce all the vowels as long vowels, which is a dead giveaway that they’re foreign as all hell…

…and these days, there’s only one reason foreigners call me up on the horn: to sell me some damn thing or other.


I have family friends whose 10 year old son has a very young sounding voice still. He answers the phone and tells the telemarketers that not only are his parents not there, but that he’s 6 years old, all alone and pretty scared. (Which is patently false, don’t worry.) He likes to hear them get upset and concerned for him. They tell him not to answer the phone or the door and not to tell anyone that he’s alone. Then he hangs up on them abruptly and laughs his little butt off.
He’s evil, I like that about him and like to think I had something to do w/ it.


Hell, my father died in 1996 and we’re still getting calls for him, primarily from political parties, public TV, charities and many of the fine magazines he read.

“Mr. kun-eye-LOVE?”

“It’s Kunilou. Speaking.”

“This is Kevin, from Impossibly Expensive Travel magazine…”

“Ahh. You’re looking for my father. He’s dead.”

“Oh, Im sorry.”

“In fact, he died in 1996. We told you that when you called in 1996. Also twice in 1997, again in 1998, three times in 1999 and at least once each year since then.”

“I’m sorry to disturb you…”

“Look. I know you’re just the guy on the phone. But don’t you have a box you can check that tells your bosses, ‘he’s DEAD and he’s not going to renew his subscription’?”


Although to be fair, the calls have tapered off somewhat this year.

He’s dead, Jim.

He’s what?


Can I speak to him?

Sure, hold on.

:::sets down phone and wanders off:::

I saw my dad do that once. And every now and again he’d go to the phone and say something like “He shouldn’t be too much longer…”

He kept this up untill they hung up.