Tag Archive | India

100 days – Day 85: Telephone Call Centres

100 days – Day 85:    Telephone nuisance calls.




Boy, have I had quite a few in the last few days – some the silent ones; others “International” (usually “Mike” or “Robert” with a sometimes impenetrable Indian accent) or, today, “Number Withheld -Private Caller”: this one about new windows and door frames and the caller was Scottish! I’m patriotic, but not daft!  After listening politely to the spiel and declining their kind offer, I was still informed that “one of my colleagues will phone you later to explain the technical details”  I said that this wouldn’t be necessary, as I wasn’t interested…… half an hour later – yep, you’ve guessed it; that time I was less polite. (I may have mentioned that I was happy enough with “Windows 7”)

Ah, the call “We’re phoning about your “Windows Computer” – usual answer, “I used an iPad most of the time” (True).  However, I had a ding dong “conversation” a few weeks ago, when industrial strength language was resorted to – and backwards and forwards we went, at one point my parentage being called into question; the call ending with my suggesting that the gentleman from the sub-Continent do something to himself that is physically impossible.

One call from a couple of years back was more than inappropriate.  The foreign caller asked to speak to “Mrs StraCHAN” (they rarely can pronounce our surname), and I replied that my wife had died just a month before.  Reply, “Oh, then, is that Mr StraCHAN?  Would you be interested in taking a survey?” I told him to – well, never mind!

Yesterday, “Am I speaking to Mr StraCHAN” (here we go again)  Truthful answer,”No” (’cause that’s not how one pronounces my name.) “Are you a family member?” was the come-back. Answer, “No but we’re VERY close , if you get my drift….”  Phone call ends abruptly.

Some friends have put their toddler children on the line; others have asked them to hold – then have gone off to make a cup of coffee; some have replied in dog-Gaelic; acquaintances have engaged them in polite conversation about the weather where they are or what they plan to have for their lunch/evening meal.

I’ve tried referring them to the fact that they’re in breach of “Section 4, subsection 5, of the Telephonic Communications Act, 1998”  – try “Googling that!  😉  

I did once elicit the reply that the call was coming from Mumbai and said to the guy calling from there, “I assume that you are Hindu? – followed up in my best Rev Iain Paisley imitation: “I PRAY THAT YOU FIND JESUUUUUUS!”

Even although I’m registered with The Telephone Preference Service (TPS), the volume of calls has increased recently.  So today I phoned BT and ordered two of their new DECT phones which incorporate the blocking of such nuisance calls. 


This, however, is the best way to deal with this nonsense:


postscript : this is TRUE: I was just finishing this blog entry when the phone rang.  Can you guess? “Number Withheld – Private Caller”!!!!!

100 days – Day 5

Today’s Gospel is the story of “Doubting” Thomas


Caravaggio(b. 1571; d. 1610)   The Incredulity of Saint Thomas ( c. 1601–1602)

“Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing.”

It’s commonly held that Thomas didn’t accept the Risen Christ’s offer, that his empirical world-view was superseded by FAITH; and so, because of faith, he believed.

This wonderful painting by Caravaggio would suggest otherwise and that Thomas did, in fact, take up Christ’s invitation.

Is Christ almost FORCING Thomas to carry out his  earlier declaration, “unless I… place my hand into his side, I will never believe”?

Look at the furrowed brow on Thomas’ forehead; Christ’s strong grip of his wrist- is there hesitation here?  Does Christ have to force a hesitant Thomas when the latter is actually with him.?  Is this Thomas effectively being told to “put up or shut up?”, given his earlier bravado?

Perhaps Caravaggio caught something of what the author of the Fourth Gospel really meant to convey, but what others over the centuries have misinterpreted.

Thomas is, after all, the Patron Saint of blind people!


a friend posted this today on FB:



 Tradition says that Thomas  became a missionary to India.

There once was  an Albanian woman in her thirties who  felt God calling her to go to that same country where Thomas has allegedly taken the Faith.

This young woman went, and for the next 50 years she did amazing things.

But inside she doubted. She wrestled with faith. Sometimes she even questioned the existence of God.

The other disciples may have called her, “Doubting Teresa”. But we know her as Mother Teresa, the woman whose life many call saint-like.

The opposite of faith isn’t doubt – it is apathy; and sometimes – just sometimes our doubt  can lead to an even stronger faith



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