Several times a week and sometimes twice a day, I receive a phone call that goes something like this:
'Madame Willer?' says a hopeful sounding voice on the end of the line.
'Oui,' I say, warily, 'Qui m'appelle?'
'Ah you speak English?' says the cheery voice.
'Qui m'appelle?'I repeat, trying to sound as stern as possible.
And so it goes - the caller will never reveal the company they are calling from - before I say that it's not a good moment/I'm very busy etc and hang up.
Despite being on la liste rouge, the French equivalent of being-ex directory, these calls continue to arrive with irritating frequency. Sometimes the cold-caller has the cheek to try and make you wait for the privilege of speaking to them, with a recorded message.
Still, the mispronunciations of my name do occasionally raise a smile. Most often I am addressed as Mme Wheel-air or Willer. But my favourite so far, was the caller who interrupted lunch today with a cheerful 'Mrs Wheelie?'