Thursday, 3 March 2011

talk talk

One of the human qualities I have the least time for is when someone talks excessively without actually saying anything. When someone decides to talk for the sake of making noise, attracting all the attention, hogging the limelight and having no respect for social interaction rules.

It happens to me more often than I would like and may have something to do with my line of work. If any one out there has any idea how to deal with verbal diarrhoea please let me know, it will come in handy I'm sure.

I was exposed to a massive dose of waffling recently at work and would like to share it with you.

They came into my showroom for a test-drive. Father and son, hailing from the Ukraine, the clues being the surname and the strong throaty 'Rs' in the dad's accent.

The driver/buyer was to be the son but dad did most of the talking. I asked 'son' if the test-drive proved the car to be the right one for him, would he be happy to pay a deposit and place the order. Dad interjected with "we won't make a decision today, but when we do can I pay the full amount with a crrrrredit carrrrrd?"

I asked why he would not decide today and explained how credit card transactions are accepted only up to the value of £500, company policy, and how it's to do with excessive charges by the credit card operators (the car in question costs £14,000).

I continued to explain how cash payments over £5000 are not ideal either as we have to ask the police for clearance, and how it's to do with anti money-laundering laws and so on.

Dad then proceeded to rant on about credit card charges, banking charges, interest rates, the IMF, how he knows all about banking, how we should accept credit cards, maximum £300 charges, his wish for air-miles, the state of world banking and fuck knows what else. 

Ten minutes later I had to stop the man and calmly reiterate our company policy. Again, dad started talking as if on a mission to prove his vocal chords were on steroids or nuclear-driven or both. Needless to say he made no sense whatsoever, only confusing both myself and his long-suffering son.

Dad's command of English was poor and extremely difficult to understand. His speech included unnecessary long words, adjectives bundled together in a way that made it sound like he was translating verbatim from his native tongue. To put it another way, he waffled on and on, making no sense at all to me or his perplexed son.

The son tried several times to stop dad from continuing but only succeeded in temporarily pausing the action.

Eventually we moved on to the test-drive, son driving, me on the passenger front seat and dad at the back.

Immediately, dad started his commentary on the engine sound, vibrrrrrations, rrrrroad noise, wind noise, diesel technology, comprrrrression...tyrrrre grrrrrip...low prrrrrofiles...sporrrrrts suspension... these are the only words I could understand, on and on without making any sense.

I was beginning to get annoyed as this man wouldn't shut up and let his son concentrate on the test-drive. Apart from being a dangerous distraction to the driver it was also doing my head in.

Son tried to stop dad from talking but to no avail. Dad was on an unstoppable roll that would inevitably lead to a 'no sale' and I could do nothing about it. Well, I could have but it would've been rude and I'm not a rude person.

Hours later, or so it seemed, they left with the promise to return with the rest of the family for the final decision.

I felt like I had just listened to the longest ever speech without understanding any of it.

Talking without saying anything.


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