I just got off the phone with someone who had my name and cellphone number, trying to get me to sign for an AMEX card. But I’ll talk about that later.
A few days after I wrote my last entry, I brought the boys to the central to get some groceries when I was stopped by a credit card sales person. Urg! I thought he would let me pass but I guess seeing me with two kids makes me a great target for him.
“Hi miss!” he said brightly. “Do you have a credit card?”
“No,” I said, still walking, but slowing down to be polite.
“We’re having a promotion where we will give you $80 when you sign up with us.”
“Thanks, but I’m not qualified.”
He seemed a little baffled. “Uh, miss, what do you mean you’re not qualified? Are you 21 and above?”
“Yes,” I replied, laughing inside because I know where this conversation was going.
“Are you a Singaporean?”
“So you’re more than qualified!” he sounded brighter than before.
“Uh, don’t I have to earn at least $30,000 per annum?”
“Well then,” I said. “I’m not qualified then.”
“Oh, don’t worry,” he assured me. “You can include all your bonuses as well.”
“Well, I’m still not qualified.”
“Aren’t you working, miss?” he sounded quite sad by now.
“Yes, but only part-time.”
I gave him a smile, didn’t bother to wait for a response while I walked on.
What struck me was the fact that he could not fathom that someone like me was not earning $30,000 a year. I mean, hellooo? Chancing upon me at 11 in the morning on a weekday should give you at least a clue, right? Throughout our conversation, he looked really puzzled and surprised. Are adults like him so clueless about the wages of the lower middle-class these days?
Now back to what happened on the phone earlier.
I got a call from a landline that was not in my contact lists. I usually let it ring endlessly because it’s always some telemarketer trying to sell me credit card/insurance/something I can’t afford or don’t want or need. Most of the time though, I tend to miss the call since I’m never around my phone when it is actually ringing. Since I happened to see it ringing and I happened to have my hands free (both boys were down for their afternoon naps), I decided to entertain whoever it was on the line.
“Hello?” I said in my most bored voice.
“Hi ma’am!” a male voice greeted me. I hate being called that.
Before he could continue rambling, I asked, “Who are you looking for?” (Since he didn’t greet me by my name, I assumed it was another cold call. Then I could just cut the call short.)
“Are you Ms Soh?”
“I’m calling from AMEX and you’re selected to have this gold card…” Blah blah blah. Okay, actually, I forgot what he said because he went on and on, not giving me the opportunity to refuse him. I heard something about making the minimal payment with zero interest fees and getting discounts from a certain petrol station and from a certain sushi place and getting some kris flyer rewards (did I get that right?) with Singapore Airlines and I so badly wanted to tell him I don’t fly and have never sat on a plane before but that would be like mind blowing him too early into this phone sale.
Anyway, after he was done with his sales pitch, he proceeded to ask, “So, m’am (darn I hate that!), may I know if you’re earning $40,000 per annum?” (And I was thinking, I don’t earn the minimal and this is like… even more? )
“No?” (Yes, with a question mark.) He sounded surprised. “How about this: Do you earn $3,100 a month?”
“Okay, then do you earn $30,000 a year?”
“Nope.” I can actually feel his mind about to explode any time soon by then.
“What about $2,500 a month?”
“Huh? You don’t even earn $2,500 a month? You earn less than $2,500?” he sounded like the above mentioned guy by now.
“Yeah, I earn less than $2,500.”
“It’s alright then,” he tried to recover. “We’ll keep you in our database and contact you again in future.”
I guess I was a wee bit annoyed when he stopped being professional for that moment when he was trying to get the fact that, no, I don’t meet that minimum wage that all credit card companies require. If he acted professionally throughout the whole phone conversation then, he wins and I lose because I did not get my entertainment.
I should have told him to just take me off the database or whatever but I figured I could use some entertainment in future.