Friday, January 30, 2009


So today I got a call from Janice, who obviously works for a credit control company. She left me a voice message, "Hi (my first name goes here), this is Janice calling in regards to a personal business matter."

Immediatly I thought, "How the hell did Janice get my cell phone number? And why is she calling me by my first name." Just because I owe her company money doesn't mean she knows me (or does it).

I decided to call Janice back. I mean I would like to speak with her about my PERSONAL business matter. The extension she left me lead me straight to her desk.

Janice: Hello (business name here) Janice speaking.
Mrs. Robinson: Hello Janice, this is Mrs. Robinson you left me a message this morning.
Janice: Oh, (my first name here) Robinson?
Mrs. Robinson: Yes. What is this in reference to?
Janice: So how is your day going so far?
Mrs. Robinson: It was fine until I received a message about a personal business matter.
Janice: (laughs) Well (my first name here), may I call you that?
Mrs. Robinson: No thanks.
Janice: (laughs) Well... (she goes on to tell me the amount I owe. Than begins to carry on a conversation with me. About whether or not I had children and so on.)

By this time in the conversation I didn't know whether I owed Janice's company money or if she was trying to sell me something. Well eventually "long winded" Janice got back to business.

Janice: So how will be you be paying today, credit card or check by phone?
Mrs. Robinson: Well Janice I enjoyed speaking with you. It's nice to have some adult conversation for a change. How about next time I call you?
Janice: Excuse me?
Mrs. Robinson: Next time I will call you, I have your number now.
Janice: Is this in regards to your payment? (Janice went from pleasant and friendly to business strict).
Mrs. Robinson: Sure why not. Have a wonderful day Janice.
Janice: (silent)
Mrs. Robinson: Goodbye now. Don't wait up for my call. It may be awhile. Thanks for everything. (I hang up the phone).

So if you work for a credit control company, I advise not using the "we are old friends" strategy. It NEVER works. But even though Janice didn't get her money, she did get a darn good conversation out of me.
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The Adventures of Afro Man and Disco Girl by S. B. Robinson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.