To call or not to call?
By raksha kumar
It has been written about a lot. Because of a lot of adverse media attention, I had developed a particular perception of the sales promotion calls you get on your phone. I usually give a stern response and hang up, later regretting a little for having done so. There was one phone call that made me change my perception.
“Am I speaking with Ms. Raksha Kumar?”, came a husky voice with a strong Punjabi accent.
“Who’s this?”, asked I.
“I’m calling from *** bank, may I take some of your time?” she asked politely. Clearly, the lines were well rehearsed.
“Well….I was in the middle of something important” I wasn’t completely lying.
Sensing my hesitation, she nearly broke down, “ma’am, I have called 20 people since morning, with no positive responses. I have three brothers and two sisters. Please let me speak to you.”
Without knowing how to react, I said, “sure….go ahead.” The least I could do was to listen to her. For the next five minutes, she explained a new scheme her bank was launching. “…aap ka faida hi faida hai” she concluded. She seemed satisfied with her efforts.
After politely declining her offer, I hung up. Later that evening I thought of the difficulties faced by the poor sales people. There are kilometers and kilometers of newsprint devoted to tell us what a nuisance these people are and how their calls disturb us at all times, without much consideration about our needs and time…
I thought about what competition has done and how people would have to strive to live in this globalized world. What would the lady do to feed her brothers and sisters? Why do we have to be so preoccupied with our own worries? Surely we can listen to what they have to say if we are not into something important? But these thoughts didn’t last long.
The next morning I received another call. “May I talk to Ms. Raksha Kumar?”, said another well rehearsed voice. “Yes…that’s me?”, my manner was a lot more relaxed.
“Ma’am, I’m calling from ### bank and want to inform you about our new scheme.” , said he.
“Yes…”, said I, trying to infuse enthusiasm into my voice. Perhaps I was guilty about what I had done to the lady the previous day.
This time I counted. He took four and a half minutes. When I declined the offer, he said “aap ek aurat hai…please mera dard samajye.” And went on to narrate his dard, problems.
Now I was guarded. I sensed that he was trying to work me into buying his ‘new scheme’. Again it was time for me to think. Though I can’t be completely sure about how untrue the stories were, I realized that people may do anything to sell. Just anything.
I have vowed to be guarded since.
© raksha kumar