Remember, these are cold callers who are contacting me out of the blue to try to sell my company their wares.
The other day, a woman rang me and talked to me in, apparantly, French.
“Pardon” sez I, drawing on my boyhood trip to a rather revolting Paris, “je ne parlez pas français. Parlez vous espagnol, s’il vouz plaiz?”
“I was”, replied the salesgirl in Castellano, in what I thought was an unnecessarily sniffy tone of voice, “talking Catalan, not French”.
“Really?” I said with interest. “Why?”.
“Because I’m calling from Catalunya” she explained. To which I asked, “fair enough, but do you know who I am?”
“Yes” she said, “you’re David from Almería”.
“So why” I asked (with some aspiration), “are you calling an Englishman living in Andalucia and talking some god forsaken language I have no reason to know, instead of the language that we both speak and would be logical to start off in?”.
We’ll never know the answer, as instead of replying she went into a salespitch, so I hung up.
It’s similar to (although even the Irish have more sense) someone from Dublin cold-calling someone in London and talking in Gaelic. Yes, we’re all very proud that you speak it, but I don’t and have no desire to be spoken to in that language, especially when I’m busy doing something else.
And now I have just received a rather badly scanned copy of a twenty page brochure in my email. Leaving aside the fact that it seems to date from the early 1980’s, to judge from the fashion and overall appearence of the brochure, the first few pages are in Catalan. And proudly put on the frontpage are the words “XXX S.A. Distribuïdor a Espanya – (93)xxxx BADALONA”. Possibly I would be interested in their products, but I can’t be bothered to translate it, and, anyway, I’m feeling in a “buy national” mood today. I also want to know why it says “Distributor to Spain” on the frontpage in Catalan, when the company is already in Spain, and not something like “Exclusive distributor in Spain”.
The brochure starts off asking “Ès aixó el millor que podeu oferir als vostres clients?” which I take to mean “Is this the best that you can offer your clients?”