Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Telemarketer Tango

I have been trying to instill in my children that there is no job which is too menial for them to accept.......... with one exception: telemarketing.  I know telemarketing is a legitimate job which requires a lot of skill in order to meet sales quotas, but those people have a gift for being more annoying than a horsefly at a picnic.

Telemarketing, telemarketers,

I have employed many tactics trying to get them to quit calling our telephone number.  I have hung up on them, told them ever so politely I'm not interested, asked them to remove my telephone number from their list, demanded they quit calling my telephone number, and griped at them for calling me 30 times a day.

I do admit to veering a little off-course from Miss Manner's guide to mannerly evasion techniques with one particular telemarketer.  This telemarketer made the mistake of calling this redhead every 30 minutes for days on end.  This type of technique will never generate a sale from me, but it will spur me to step outside the bounds of etiquette so that I can entertain myself at that person's expense. 

Soap box moment:  I really miss corded telephones.  Besides the benefits of never having to dial your own home phone number because you can't remember where you left your cordless phone, you also cannot get the same effect that slamming down a corded phone gives you when all you can do is press the cordless phone's "off" button.  Instead of hearing the WHAM of a corded phone, all the telemarketer hears is the softest of clicks.  Without that level of satisfaction, I then resort to hitting the off button 5 times with increasing degrees of force as I yell at the phone "And.don't.call.me.AGAIN.!".    Off my soap box.

So, after my politely worded declinations did nothing to stop this most persistent telemarketer, I decided it was time to get "creative".  Instead of giving my usual "no, thank you" response, I added a bit of a s-s-s-s-s-st-st-stutt-ut-ut-er. When I started stuttering, it threw them off-course and made them st-st-stumble through their spiel.  This strategy, while effective in shutting them up, did not stop them from calling repeatedly.  It was time to go to DEFCON 2.

As soon as the telemarketer's number popped up on Caller ID, I was ready and raring to go.  As soon as I said "Hello?" they began with their typical "May I speak with Mrs. Bee-uh-Bile-ummm-Beelesssss?".  Immediately I started acting as though I was hard of hearing.  After several times of me yelling "I'm sorry hon, but I can't hear you.  You'll have to speak up.", you could hear the frustration growing in the telemarketers voice (from about a block away) as they yelled their spiel even louder. 

When I had succeeded in getting the telemarketer completely exasperated and they had yelled their spiel for the umpteenth time at the top of their lungs, I said with all the indignation I could muster in my redheaded body "Well!  You don't need to yell! I'm not deaf, you know!".  They hung up and I rejoiced as the rest of my day was telemarketer free.  I celebrated too soon though.  About 2 days later they started calling again.

I was prepared though.  If you have to go to DEFCON 2, then you pretty much prepare to go all the way to DEFCON 1, and oh boy! was I prepared.  I had even rehearsed it with my family.  The conversation went like this:

Me: Hello?

Tele-stalker (TS): Hi, may I speak with Ms. B-B-Brills, uh, Ms. Bless, uh....Blise....ummmm...... Ms. Christie?

Me: Speaking.

TS: Well Ms. Christie, I see that you ha...

Me: Do you hear that?

TS: have.....ummm....... I'm sorry Ms. Christie, what?

Me: Can you hear that?

TS: (audible pause as they listened) Hear what?

Me: You can't hear that?

TS: Ummm......no....... hear what ma'am?

Me: People talking.

TS: Oh, well, maybe you're hearing some of my co-workers in the background.

Me: Ok....... ummm......... why are they telling someone to get naked?

TS:  WHAT?!!

Me:  The voices I'm hearing keep saying to get naked.

TS: Ma'am?!!! Ummm........ hold on a moment ma'am. (I could hear her whisper to a co-worker: "Did you say something to someone about getting naked?"......... pause....... "This person is saying they hear voices telling them to get naked!".)

Me: There! I heard it again! You'd better look behind you because somebody is standing there naked. You could video it and put it on youtube.

TS: (I could hear the chair squeak as they flipped around in their chair) Nope. (sigh) Nobody here is naked, ma'am. Is there someone else in the house with you? Maybe they said it.

Me: Nope. Nobody here but me and the dog and the dog can't speak............well, she doesn't usually speak. Just every now and again she talks to me.

TS: Ummm........ your dog talks to you?

Me:  Yeppers she sure does! .......ummm.... Why? ........ Doesn't your dog talk to you?

TS: You mean your dog barks and whines, right?

Me: No, she speaks perfect English - just like I'm speaking to you.  Well, not all the time. She really only does it when no one else is around.  I guess she's shy. And she can speak Italian, Scottish, and British, which is just like our English but with a funny sounding accent.  I guess it's because she's a mixed breed.  Pure breeds probably only speak one language. 

TS: Ummm...... you mean she understands all that language, right? (whispers to co-worker) "Oh sh**! This lady's cray-cray! She's hearing voices saying to get naked and her dog talks to her......yeah! like speaking words and sh**....."

Me: No, she talks like you and I are talking.  (sounding anxious) Ma'am? There's that voice again.  Are you sure that's not your co-worker telling someone to get naked? Is this some kind of telephone porn solicitation? Is this 1-800-Hot-Jobs or something like that?  Has the economy gotten so bad that you are looking for "Johns" over the telephone? Oh.My.Gosh! You're a telephone hooker aren't you?! Does your mother know what you do for a living?!

TS: ...........click............(dial tone)

And they've never called back.  And that, my friends, is how you get rid of tele-stalkers.  1 tele-stalker down.......... billions more to go..........

by: Christie Bielss

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