So there you are, sitting at your desk trying to do your work.
A call comes in, you pick it up.
Me: $day_job, Landman speaking
Them: I would like to speak to (garbled) about (garbled)
meta-Me: [start 15 second BS detector clock filter]
Me: I’m sorry, I can’t hear you … who are you and what is this call about?
Them: (barely audible) I am XYZ PDQ representing ABC DEF, and how is your day going? Gratuitous request without really caring, or caring about the answer? Yes, this is going to be a time waster if you let them do so.
Use the regex /how is your day going/ or variations thereof, to detect when someone believes they will occupy your valuable time (OyVa). I bet we could construct a very simple HMM model for this to handle most combinations of insertion/deletion/rewording. That 15 second clock ticking down is your friend. If they can’t state who they are and what the call is about in that period of time … A customer with a problem would say something to the effect of “I bought X and I have a problem.” No issue, lets help solve it. A sales drone won’t quite do that. They will ask me “how is my day”. And not really care about how my day is going, or that since I picked up the phone, the first derivative of the day quality metric just dipped negative.
In this case, the person was trying to sell me something. Go figure!
In Joe’s patented Stop Wasting My Time technique, you handle it like this:
1) remove the receiver from your ear, but leave the microphone near your mouth
2) say “thank you but we are not interested”
3) hang up (though you can hear them protest).
You will never get back that 15 seconds, but its only 15 seconds.