Every couple of weeks I receive quite bizarre telephone calls from random Singaporeans. They always start the same way and instantly arouse my suspicion. It is possible that they are telemarketers. I rarely give them the opportunity to explain the purpose of their phone call as I am not particularly interested. I confound them by answering their questions with questions of my own. I received such a call a few minutes ago.
"Is this Mr. Peter?"
"Possibly. Who is this?"
The norm is that they ignore my return question.
"Mr. Peter Charles?"
This is also a very strange thing. In Singapore they ask me my first name and then they add my middle name. It is rare that they actually ask me what my surname is. I have no idea why.
"This might be Mr. Peter Charles but it also might not. To whom am I speaking please?"
"Hello are you there?"
"Hello. Is this Mr. Peter Charles?"
"I am not prepared to say whether I am or I am not Mr. Peter Charles until I have established who you are. What is your name please?"
"This is Singtel"
Singtel is not a person it is an entity. It is a very large telecommunications entity. Singtel is an abbreviation of Singapore Telecommunications. They are not my carrier though. They never have been. I have no account with this organization.
"Singtel is not a person. It is a Company. What is your name please?"
"This is Singtel"
"Your name is Singtel?"
"No Mr. Peter"
"I think we have established already that my name may or may not be Mr. Peter"
"You are not Mr. Peter?"
"I might not be"
"I am from Singtel"
"You already said that. I am from Australia"
"You are Mr. Peter Charles?"
"I could be. I could also be from Singtel. What is your name and the purpose of this call please?"
Then they hung up. I can say with some confidence that we were both unsatisfied with the content and the outcome of the call.
It went nowhere.