A Senior Moment with John Docker: Beware the latest sales techniques

Now I freely admit that while I am pecking away at the PC on my current creative masterpiece, I get a tad touchy at any interruptions.

My better half and the dog are well trained to keep their distance while the keys are clicking – apart from permitted licks and coffee breaks of course.

But uninvited telephone callers are none too welcome, so it was not long before I cut short a recent call from a very pushy young sales lady galloping through the “I’m not selling anything” ritual, with the response that I was busy, not interested and she was wasting my time. Whereupon I was accused - in no uncertain terms, that I was wasting her time! At which point I reminded her that she had called me and terminated the indignant squawking. Some sales technique!

The point of regaling you with this sorry saga is to alert you to the possibility these intensely irritating people who insist on calling at the most inconvenient times with their irresistible offers which won’t cost a penny, will broaden your horizons, bring untold wealth health and happiness etc, etc, may well be entering a new era of selling methods - moving from soft sell to hard sell and now the latest technique – downright rude sell. You have been warned!

While on the subject of unwanted calls, I have received three in recent weeks from some unknown, unintelligible, but clearly foreign source – if that’s not too politically incorrect to mention.

The caller was seeking access to my computer under the guise of being from Microsoft responding to a fault report.

As I click on the fault report window quite frequently - usually because I have hit the wrong key or something, it all sounded quite plausible so I nearly fell for it.

Thankfully my annoyance at the interruption - and common sense, prevailed because if you have ever sought assistance from your internet provider you will know how easy it is for a skilled operator to take complete control of your computer by remote control.

A call to BT quickly confirmed it to be a scam and it really is pretty worrying to realise how easy it is for someone - thousands of miles away, to gain total access in the blink of an eye and click of a button. Scary!

I thought I was in for another scary moment last week when I found myself behind a huge articulated lorry during a tedious crawl into the outskirts of Leicester.

One of its brake lights wasn’t working so when we were held up by traffic lights I nipped out the car and hurried - well hobbled actually, along the side of this vast pantechnicon - which seemed to have doubled in length, puffed my way to the cab and shouted up to the driver several stories above “one of your brake lights isn’t working.”

I had acted on impulse and fully expected a less than friendly reaction. Much to my surprise I received a big grin, thumbs up and “thanks very much mate” response. What a pleasant change in today’s increasingly ill-mannered society. It made my day.

Mind you, the queue I had created behind me was none too happy!