Telemarketers are annoying. The call comes in, and as when every call comes, you jump up and leap over furniture and knock over kids to get to the phone, which you have to find by sound because you have no idea where it is, and then you pick it up to find that it’s someone who insists that he’s not trying to sell you anything. And they usually call as soon as you sit down to dinner. This is why I stand when I eat. At the ready.
I could always tell what kind of call it is when the guy, right off the bat, mispronounces my name. This guy calls people he doesn’t know for a living, he should know all the last-name pronunciation tricks. I don’t know a single name that begins with “Sch” that’s pronounced “Sk.” Why does every telemarketer break their teeth? Good, mispronounce my name. That’ll make me feel good about this call.
You can check the caller ID, but most of the time it doesn’t say a name for these places. It says a number you don’t recognize, so you go, “I might as well pick up! I already knocked over the whole house looking for the phone! Maybe it’s someone calling to give me money! By phone!”
I get very annoyed at telemarketers; probably because of all the exercise they make me do. If there’s something I want to buy, I know how to go about getting it. I’m not sitting at home, calling up to the heavens: “I wish there was some way to get magazine subscriptions. But how? I wish someone would call!” Or, “I have all this extra money, and no idea what to do with it. Should I shove it out the window? I wish there was some kind of sign!”
Even people who love shopping don’t like doing it this way. This is a very specific type of shopping to like.
Apparently, the “Do Not Call” list doesn’t work. My mother-in-law still calls. And so do all these companies. I have some companies that call every single day to sell me the same thing, no matter how many times I tell them I’m not interested. They agree that their product is definitely not for me, and then they call back the next day.
“Didn’t I tell you I wasn’t interested?”
“No, I don’t think that was me.”
“Um, if you remember me saying it, it was you.”
“Oh. So are you interested?”
I’m not going to buy something just to get them to stop calling. Especially when I don’t believe for one second that they would stop calling if I actually bought it. They’re obviously not very good at taking people off their list.
For example, there’s one company that’s absolutely dying to save me money on a home security system. And if there’s one thing I know, it’s that you don’t buy a home security system from someone you’ve never heard of, because you’re basically giving them a way to break into your house. I explained that to the guy, and I told him that there was no argument he could give that would convince me otherwise, because anything he said would be exactly what an unscrupulous person would say. So he hung up. Then he called me a few hours later.
“Didn’t you just call me this morning?” I asked.
“No,” he said.
Oh, a liar. That’s someone I want to buy a home security system from.
So sometimes when these companies call, I say something like, “Wow, I’m glad you called!”
“Really?” they ask.
“Yeah! I was just about to call you!”
Option 2 is to try to sell them something: “So listen, would you like to buy some arts and crafts?”
There are other things you can sell as well.
“So listen, my kids’ school is having a raffle. How would you like to go to Israel? Israel. It’s in the Middle East. Seriously, you sell National Geographic.”
Then if they decline, I can say, “I’m sorry, did you call me at a bad time?”
Have a question for “You’re Asking Me?” Send it in. Or you can call me, but be prepared to buy something.Mordechai Schmutter
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