If you drop the last letter off of my Scottish last name, you get a common Indian last name.* The telemarketer who just called asked for Sharma Jeffrey. I decided that I must be Sharma Jeffrey and told him so. Then he hesitated before making a short sales pitch in Hindi (I assume). He finished and waited for me to say something. I was pretty much stumped, but in short order, I gathered my bearings and remembered to gather Sharma Jeffrey’s bearings too. “Uh, I’m not interested.” The telemarketer hesitated and then said, “This is not a sales call.” Then he tried to sell me a competitive rate for calls to India. When I told him that I never call India, he tried to sell me some other long distance rates, and the conversation ended shortly after that.
I’m a bit conflicted. My first reaction when he stumbled over my name and I realized it was a telemarketing call was one of annoyance. But I’m also a little bit satisfied with the way the call unfolded and curious about how my number was collected.
* And, on an unrelated subject, if you leave the last letter where it is, you get a homonym for a widely advertised toilet paper brand. But that’s not open for discussion right now.