Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Spider And You (Or This Is Your Brain On Drugs: A Cautionary Tale)

My sister sent this to me the other day with a note saying "hysterical".  It is.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Don't Underestimate the Power of Your Telemarketer

I don't know about you but in the past few weeks I have been deluged with unsolicited sales calls.  Did I miss something?  Did the DO NOT CALL registry expire?  Because literally one day my phone started ringing off the hook with sales pitches of all kinds.  If you scroll down the "calls received" on my handset, there are at least twenty to thirty in one day.  Not only do I receive mostly junk mail now but most of my phone calls are junk too.

When this began, I answered the calls as I always have. 

I didn't. 

Well, most of the time.  If I did bother to pick up the phone, I would only do so long enough for the obnoxious intruder to hear me hang up on them.  My husband, who is away most of the day, and doesn't have the pleasure of these telecommunication gnats constantly gnawing at his ear, has fun with them. 

He morphs into varying characters:  pretending he's hard of hearing, fluent in another (gibberish) language, a gun-toting conservative, a hippie dippie liberal, whatever is in direct conflict with what the person is selling.  The  hired employee desperate to make a sale, repeats their pitch over and over, keeping my possessed husband on the line long enough to have me and my kids rolling on the floor in hysterics.  Which is when they get a clue and hang up.  My husband has even gone so far as to ask them for their phone number so he can call THEM back during THEIR dinner.  (Funny guy, this is why I love him.)

But me?  I'm not so generous.  When I do bother to talk to these intruders it is not a conversation. 

"Please take us off your list," I order and then hang up on them as they attempt to change my mind. 

This is what I continued to do when this recent flood of phone calls began.  This time, the man on the other end yelled back, "Can you please let me say something?"

"No!" I said.  "I cannot."  And with that I hung up.

That very day and for every day since, I've been getting calls minute after minute, hour after hour, from salespeople asking for someone named Muhammed.  Or Ali.  Or Cassius. 

Do you see a pattern here?  Me, too.

I think that guy I yelled at put my phone number on every list imaginable.  Revenge is sweet.

Well it kind of is.  Because the telemarketer gnat  taught me a lesson.

If I ignored the dozens of calls I was getting a day, the same numbers would pop up on my phone 2, even 3, times in a 24 hour period.  The interruptions just kept multiplying.  It was like a horror movie, INVASION OF THE TELEMARKETERS.

So, I tried a different tact.  I did answer the phone.  And I politely listened to them asking for Muhammed.  Or Ali. Or Cassius.  Or sometimes, lo and behold, my real name.  And then I would, even more politely, in my sweetest, yet tele-weary voice, tell them they had the wrong number or I was not interested, and would they mind please taking me off their list. 

Well, you definitely get more bees with honey, or less bees, (whatever!)  because I have never spoken with such a lovely group of telemarketers.  Luck of the draw?  I think not.

Though I still do get many calls a day, the same numbers are not repeating themselves as they once were.  These are all new, unsuspecting sales grunts.

And one by one, I'm going to kill them all with kindness.

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