1. Let the first thing out of your mouth be an incomplete interrogative as to your call-ee's identity without having yourself provided this courtesy in advance. As in "'Allo? Madame Machinchouette....???"
2. Feign confusion when call-ee responds politely with 'You have reached the Machinchouette household, yes", and fail to recognize that the call-ee has confirmed you have the right number without giving away any further information, including the name she goes by.
3. Repeat original question with higher uptick.
4. Respond to call-ee's courteous request for your own identity by providing, in a superior tone, only your title and surname without further elaboration as to the reason for your call.
5. Rephrase original question now complete with object, subject, verb etc., delivering new version in a tone which suggests the call-ee has been put on the stand with a Bible in her right hand.
6. Fail to recognize that your call-ee's cooperation is most unlikely unless you change both your tone and approach.
7. Be so utterly ignorant of the dynamics of social intercourse as to expect a polite response to an unequivocal demand to speak directly to Madame M., since you now suspect the call-ee might only be the cleaning lady.
8. Decline to reveal the reason for your call as it is a personal matter.
9. Having said that, ask to speak to Monsieur M. thereby implying that despite the confidential nature of your call, you would be prepared to speak to anyone at all, provided their last name is Machinchouette.
10. Respond with thinly disguised sarcasm to the call-ee's suggestion that, should contact with Monsieur M. be absolutely necessary, you call back later. As in 'Madame, you are much too kind. I would be more than happy to do that.'
And Then It All Went Splat
4 days ago