Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Preamble: Okay, let's get one thing clear: this is me venting. I'm explaining this because, apparently, some of you gentlemen who are reading me are a little sensitive. I got at least half a dozen plaintive/defensive emails in the wake of my post a few days ago about another woman's undesirable client. (Not even my undesirable client – someone else's!)
Good gentlemen, I completely agree with you that most would-be clients are nice people. I have said positive things about my clients here many times. But if you're going to read me, you're also occasionally going to hear about the minority of would-be clients who are not so nice, and you will have to learn not to take everything I say here about them so very personally. After all, one of the purposes of me having a blog is so I can vent.
So we're agreed, then, yes? You're a nice guy, I like you, this is about someone else. Great. On with the rant.

Let's talk about the annoying phone call du jour.
Ring ring!
Me: Hello?
Caller: (loudly) Heeeeeeeeeeeeeey! What's hap'nin, baby?
Me: (wondering if Huggy Bear has decided he needs a spanking) Hello?
Caller: Whas'sup, mama?
Note: it's fairly clear this caller is white. And rather young.
Me: (in a frosty voice): Can I help you?
Caller: Yeah, I wanted to see, you know, whatchoo were doin'?

Now, I know what I'm doing: I'm talking to a very irritating person with poor mental organization. But I don't think he'd understand that if I told him. So I try redirecting him, on the million-to-one chance that he might somehow metamorphose into someone I'd even remotely consider seeing. Besides, if I simply hang up now, he'll just call right back, I know it.

Me: Are you calling me about my professional services?
Caller: Your services?
Me: Yes, my professional services. I'm a dominatrix.
Caller: A domi-what?
Me: (heavy sigh) How did you get this number?
Caller: Oh, um, yeah, I saw an ad, you know…(trails off)
Me: Okay, you saw an ad for me, Mistress Matisse.
Caller: Yeah! Yeah, that's right, the ad.

Some days, I think Sisyphus had it easy.

Me: Yes – that's my ad, I'm a dominatrix. Is that what you're looking for?
Caller: Uh, I don' know….what d'ya do?

My patience has reached its end.

Me: You know what - if you don't know, then it's not what you're looking for. Goodbye.

This kind of phone call happens about three times a week, minimum. And it isn't only twenty-two-year-old boys pretending they're rappers, either. Grown-up men do this as well. I mean, hey – they called me. It wasn't like they didn't know the conversation was going to happen. (Yes, maybe they were expecting the voicemail. But I think if you're going to dial someone's phone number, you should first take a moment to prepare yourself for the fact that they might, actually, pick up the phone!)
My point is that if you were calling about an apartment for rent, or a car for sale, the conversation would go something like this:

Me: Hello?
Caller: I saw an ad saying you've got a car for sale?
Me: Yes, that’s right. It's Toyota Civic, blah blah blah.
Caller: Right – what are you asking for it?
Me: Oh, $$$...
Caller, Option A: Sounds great, when can I come by and take a look at it?
Option B: Thanks a lot, I'll have to think about it.

Now, is that so hard to do with me? Be polite but to-the-point when you call, have your questions more or less ready, and just generally regard both our time as a resource. Is that so unreasonable?

Thank you. I didn't think so.

Okay, the rant is now over…we will return to our regularly scheduled program.

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