01 February 2008

Kein Deutsch!

During my German lesson this morning the telephone rang. I checked the number on the caller id and thought it might be GLH's office telephone. He rarely calls me from work (which is why I don't have the number memorized) and only when it is important, so I answered it.

It was actually a telemarketer.

As I always do when telemarketers call here, I said "Ich spreche kein Deutsch." And I made certain to use a very bad, obviously foreign accent to emphasize the point that I do not speak German and they should just hang up and call someone else. Usually they say "O.K. Bye." And hang up. For the first time I encountered one who spoke English. So I politely told her I wasn't interested and hung up.

As I looked across the room I noticed my German teacher giving me a disapproving look. After all, I had just spent the last hour conversing with her on multiple topics. In German.

Once I explained the situation, she laughed and thought it a great idea. Indeed, she may use that tactic when telemarketers call her too!


Jul said...

Was it the lost key service or the international lottery?

I used to vary between that tactic and using the telemarketer as free German practice, depending on my mood. They're happy to talk to you for quite a while. :)

Sara said...

that line is great, i once used it (well, i dont speak french) to get out of paying on a french train (i had run out of tickets and didnt realize it till i got on the train and didnt want to pay the huge fee to buy one on the train as it was just after a long period of strikes and i was pissed off at the SNCF so i gave the conductor one that had already been used, which he tried to explain to me, i just played dumb and kept saying i didnt speak french), he finally decided it wasnt worth it to try to explain it to me and just punched the ticket another 15 times and walked away. at which point i went back to talking to my french friends on the train, who thought it was hilarious.
(ps. um, i mean this story is totally made up and i never did that.)

Marcy said...

The company where my husband works in California gets these German interns that come over and work for 6 months at a time as part of their studies. One time 3 of these interns decided to drive from Silicon Valley to Las Vegas for a long weekend. They were speeding down the highway in the middle of nowhere when they got pulled over by a cop. The driver, who spoke perfect English, acted as if he knew non and kept saying things about the "autobahn." The cop got exasperated and just let them go. ; )

Lynda said...

Back in Sydney, most of the tele-marketers call from Indian based call centres.. so I always put on my 'maid' voice and said "so sorry, madam does not allow me to speak on the phone.. I will lose my job, please do not call again - she will beat me if she catches me..."

They never called back.

Expat Traveler said...

haha - and that's what I've been trying to do here... But I would have to say that I speak German.. lol or maybe spanish...

Lynda said...

In answer to your question over at Lulu's Bay...(blogger has quite an unsatisfying comment program)

This sandstorm passed in just an afternoon. We have had every type of weather you coud imagine.. wouldn't surprise me if it snowed. It is supposed to warm up a little next week about 20-24 degrees.. so you are probably coming during the best time.
Have fun!

The Big Finn said...

I once had two Jehovah's Witnesses come to our door shortly after we moved to Switzerland. Identifying them as JHs immediately, I told them in English that I only spoke English and Finnish. Wouldn't you know it? The one woman was from Finland!