The Top Ten most annoying ‘pretend-polite’ phrases people use to tell you you’ve lost the conversation, with possible translations (variable by tone of voice).
My favourite is number Number One. Inspired by the W5 bus in Hornsey, North London, my reply is: “Sorry but we are not in a Hail and Ride section of this conversation.”
1. Sorry I’m going to have to stop you there.
I don’t understand what you are telling me.You obviously have no social skills.
It is your problem, nothing to do with me.
You’re wasting my time because I don’t deal with your enquiry.
You’re speaking to the wrong person.
2. Is there anything else I can help you with?
I’ve had quite enough of you.
If you don’t detect the death-wish in my voice you are stupid.
I haven’t helped yet, but let me apply some more red tape.
I can’t help you with what you are asking me.
Why are you asking me to help you with that?
That isn’t going to get sorted.
I want to end this call.
You know I know that you know this isn’t an offer of further help.
Such as call the doctor and get your head checked?
3. I hear what you say
– …and think you’re speaking gibberish.
…and you are wrong.
You’re right, I wasn’t listening so don’t repeat it.
…but don’t understand it.
…and you will never convince me of it.
But didn’t take it in.
4. Bear with me.
You’re the stupid one
I’m being really patient with you.
I don’t know how people put up with you.
I’m gonna fob you off without you knowing.
Because I’m bearing with you.
5. OK, let’s park that.
It was never worth taking anywhere.
And let it be towed away and locked in a car pound.
We’re not going to talk about that again.
Why did you bring it up in the first place?
I won’t entertain such ideas.
6. What can I do you for?
Wow, I wasn’t expecting you to call as I didn’t want you to.
Make it quick. I’m busy.
Don’t I sound professional?
You know we have nothing to discuss.
Is it important this time?
7. That dovetails nicely.
And I’m evicting you from this conversation.
Here comes more of the same.
…and so you keep telling me.
Already got it covered thanks.
Can I stop you there?
Wow, using the word dovetail makes me sound business like.
8. You’ll have to run it by me again.
Wasn’t interested then, won’t be now.
…and I’ll pretend I’m at a clay rabbit shoot.
If I wear you out maybe you’ll leave me alone.
So I can see if it is as dismal as it sounded last time.
Remind me what tosh you are trying to tell me.
9. I don’t know what else I can tell you.
So I’ll keep repeating myself until you change the record.
I haven’t told you anything yet.
Won’t you let me go?
…so you go away. Go away!
I enjoy being rude to you, special case.
I can’t go outside my remit.
Don’t make me swear at you as you are not worth the aggro.
10. Where are we going with this?
I ain’t got a clue.
You are tiresome.
I’ll leave you to think that I never have problems with my services. It’s just you.
I don’t care how much this means to you. It’s not going to get sorted.
You lost me when you thought you were getting somewhere.
I’m too bored in my job to think about it.
So now you know!