Silence. Sounds through a mistreated microphone..
“Oh, sorry. My headset was giving me problems. Is this Mr. Hardwick?”
“Speaking, and with whom do I have the pleasure?”
“My name is Emily! and I’m calling on behalf of–[some outfit or other that sells something unwise to businesses who have just registered to pay taxes to the state of Texas, like the credit card processor who pretends to actually be the state of Texas and gets around to offering an “absolutely free of charge” credit card reader (skimmer included at no extra charge) and “for a limited time” credit card processing at the “special low price” of three times what Square or Paypal charge for exactly the same service]–“and we’d like to offer you–”
“Before you go any further, Emily, you have to pay.”
“After all, this phone isn’t free–I pay for it so I can talk to my family and friends and people I do business with and not so telemarketers who abuse government transparency laws to scrape customer lists off transactions that are none of their damn business can use it for free–but I’m a generous guy and I’m willing tell sell you the use of my phone and my time for the fee of $250 for the first ten minutes! and only $10 per minute thereafter! I believe you already have my email so once you send me the $250–just put your name, phone number, and extension in the PayPal comments field–I’ll call you back and can bill you for any overage–of course I have to make a living too so you should know I will definitely sell your phone number to any telemarketers who want it and also that I have no intention of ever doing business with you or anyone who would even consider doing business as you do no matter how chipper their telephone voice so bye bye now and we’ll talk soon..”
Silence….sweet, golden silence.