Career Humour: My Conversation with MTN Staff

One evening, I was chilling out with my friend and having a very great time. The last thing I needed was a call, midway into my conversation with my friend my phone rang, I looked at the number it was one of those 5 digit numbers. The first thing that came to my mind was the Killer number rumour. You might have heard, sometime ago I was besieged with phone calls and text messages advising me not to pick calls from any 5 digit numbers that people had died answering such calls. Trust me, I never believed such talks, I still continued to answer them whenever I felt like, but this particular day, I was reluctant to answer but my friend urged me to go on and answer. I was already feeling irritated when I pick the call. I said “hello” in the most inhumanely way possible. The next thing I heard was a very sweet voice “Hello, this is MTN”. I would have said wrong number and dropped the call if that voice wasn’t so sweet, but a plan came to my mind and I decided to play along. I answered:

Me: Is this MTN?

MTN lady: Yes, this is MTN….

Me: This is MTN?

MTN lady: Yes. This is MTN….

Me: Is this MTN?

MTN lady: YES! This is MTN. May I speak to Mr. Andy please?

Me: May I ask who is calling?

MTN lady: This is MTN.

Me: OK, hold on.

At this point, I put the phone down for a solid 5 minutes!! I was thinking that, surely, this person would have hung up the phone. I ate my suya and chatted a little more with my friend . Much to my surprise, when I picked up the receiver, she was still waiting.

Me: Hello?

MTN lady: Is this Mr. Andy?

Me: May I ask who is calling please?

MTN lady: Yes, this is MTN….

Me: Is this MTN?

MTN lady: Yes, this is MTN….

Me: This is MTN?

MTN lady: Yes, is this Mr. Andy?

Me: Yes, is this MTN?

MTN lady: Yes, sir.

Me: The phone company?

MTN lady: Yes, sir.

Me: I thought you said this was MTN.

MTN lady: Yes, sir, we are a phone company.

Me: I already have a phone.

MTN lady: We aren’t selling phones today, Mr. Andy.

Me: Well, whatever it is, I’m really not interested, but thanks for calling.

When you are not interested in something, I don’t think you can express yourself any plainer than by saying “I’m really not interested”, but this lady was persistent.

MTN lady: Mr. Andy, we would like to offer you 5 Naira per minute, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Now, I am sure she meant she was offering a “rate” of 5 Naira a minute, but she at no time used the word “rate”. I could clearly see that it was time to whip out the trusty old calculator and do a little ciphering.

Me: Now, that’s 5 Naira a minute 24 hours a day?

MTN lady: (getting a little excited at this point by my interest) Yes, sir, that’s right! 24 hours a day!

Me: 7 days a week?

MTN lady: That’s right.

Me: 365 days a year?

MTN lady: Yes, sir.

Me: I am definitely interested in that! Wow!! That’s amazing!!

MTN lady: We think so!

Me: That’s quite a sum of money!

MTN lady: Yes, sir, it’s amazing how it adds up.

Me: OK, so will you send me checks weekly, monthly or just one big one at the end of the year for the full N2,620,800? If you send an annual heck, can I get a cash advance?

MTN lady: Excuse me?

Me: You know, the 5 Naira a minute.

MTN: What are you talking about?

Me: You said you’d give me 5 Naira a minute, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. That comes to N7200 per day, N50,400 per week and N2,620,800 per year. I’m just interested in knowing how you will be making payment.

MTN lady: Oh no, sir, I didn’t mean we’d be paying you. You pay us 5 Naira a minute.

Me: Wait a minute here! Didn’t you say you’d give me 5 Naira a minute? Are you sure this is MTN?

MTN lady: Well, yes, this is MTN, sir, but….

Me: But nothing! How do you figure that by saying that you’ll give me 5 Naira a minute that I’ll give you 5 Naira a minute? Is this some kind of suliminal telemarketing scheme? I’ve read about things like this in the Vanguard, you know. Don’t use your alien brainwashing techniques on me.

MTN lady: No, sir, we are offering 5 Naira a minute for….

Me: THERE YOU GO AGAIN! Can I speak to a supervisor please?!?

MTN lady: Sir, I don’t think that is necessary.

Me: Sure! You say that now! What happens later?

MTN lady: What?

Me: I insist on speaking to a supervisor!

MTN lady: Yes, Mr. Andy. Please hold.

So, now MTN has me on hold, and my food is getting cold. I begin to eat while I’m waiting for a supervisor. After a wait of a few minutes and while I have a mouth full of food…….

Supervisor: Mr. Andy?

Me: Yes?

Supervisor: I understand you are not quite understanding our 5 Naira a minute program.

Me: Is this MTN?

Supervisor: Yes, sir, it sure is.

I had to swallow before I choked on my food. It was all I could do to suppress my laughter, and I had to be careful not to produce a snort.

Me: No, actually I was just waiting for someone to get back to me so that I could sign up for the plan.

Supervisor: OK, no problem, I’ll transfer you back to the person who was helping you.

Me: Thank you.

I was on hold once again and managed a few more mouthfuls. I needed to end this conversation. Suddenly, there was an aggravated but polite voice at the other end of the phone.

MTN lady: Hello, Mr. Andy. I understand that you are interested in signing up for our plan?

Me: Do you have that friends and family thing because you can never have enough friends and I’m an only child and I’d really like to have a little brother………

MTN lady: (click) the call ended.

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About Andy

Andy is the co-Founder of Ngcareers, Nigeria's Top Job Search and Career site. You can follow him on twitter via @andychukse

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