I get quite a lot of really annoying wrong number calls here, having to deal with callers who are incredibly stupid and rude in ways I’ve never encountered elsewhere.
For example, just now, I received a call from a woman with an irritating, school-mistressy voice, asking for a Mr. So-and-So. I politely informed her (in clear Chinese, but evidently with a full mouth, because I was in the middle of eating my dinner) that no such person lived here and I was afraid she had the wrong number. She followed up with the usual: “Is that such-and-such number?”, which I affirmed was correct, and then she asked how long I’d been living here. That was pushing it a bit, but I remained polite and told her “About a year.” Then she asked if the address was such-and-such (same road, different number), and I decided I’d had enough of her questions (I had made it very clear that she could not contact the person she wanted at this number, and it was obvious that she was disturbing me in the middle of a meal, which should have prompted her to immediately apologize and stop bothering me), so said rather tartly, “No, I told you this is not that person’s number, goodbye”, and hung up.
Two minutes and another mouthful of food later, the phone rang again (no caller i/d was shown, but I was sure it must be the same person, as no one I know is likely to call me at such a time). I let it ring a few times till I’d swallowed my food, then answered in a much less polite voice. She repeated her question: Is that such-and-such person? With obvious irritation in my voice, I told her: “No, I just told you that no such person lives here. Please do not disturb me by calling here again.” Then, instead of apologizing and leaving it at that, she made me furious by asking/saying: “You’re a foreigner, aren’t you.” I shouted back down the phone “Guan ni pi shi!” (“Mind your own bloody business”) and slammed down the receiver. Such gall! I’m still seething.
Is it only me, or do other people get bothered by callers like this? How do you respond, or suggest responding? Is this indicative of generally very poor telephone manners among Taiwanese, or are such experiences blessedly much rarer for others than they are for me?