Sunday, October 11, 2009

Brief Conversations

I just hung up from a very brief conversation with some telemarketer trying to hook me into a promise to "Help Save the Children." I was my usual cheery self. I gave him about 30 seconds of my time. And then I ripped off our family's standard anti-telemarketer line. "Send us something in the mail and we will consider it. We make no commitments over the phone."

"Yeah but"................Click.

This small moment of my life got me to thinking. I first considered how desperate someone must be to take a job that entails taking abuse, profanity aimed at their mother, and must leave them totally drained and lifeless at the end of a day's work. Here I was only wasting 30 seconds of my day. And this poor slob was wasting eight hours of theirs. I figure telemarketers must be masochists.

As is the usual routine when I ponder things I really should not waste time on, I let the one useless thought lead me to another.

I had determined that telemarketers were desperate masochists. But what about those 30 seconds I lost helping them get their buzz? Just how many seconds, minutes, days, months, years have I wasted with my ear being bent by someone wishing to separate me from my cash?

I would say I handle 100 calls a year from these phone line leeches anyway. The number is most likely much higher, but I don't want Billy to accuse me of exaggerating again. So 100 calls a year . I figure I have been dealing with these calls for at least 40 of the 57 years I have been on the planet. That makes 4000 telemarketers who have tried to squeeze money out of me over the years. Say I gave them each 30 seconds of my time, the total minutes spent trying to say no comes to.......uh.....carry the... and add this......oh yeah, there's the calculator - 2000 minutes of my life gone. Poof. Lost in the BoZone.

Yet when I break the 33 plus hours down into days, the time spent almost seems laughable. A day and a half of a life does not seem too much too deal with. And suddenly I am feeling guilty for having been so abrupt, so testy over the phone. SO to any and all telemarketers out there - I promise the next time I hang up on you I will do it cheerfully.

Keep it 'tween the ditches................

(404 / 6521)


Demeur said...

Considering the amount of time we waste surfing the net which at times is three times as much looking at things we wouldn't have had they been offered up over the phone.. well you get the picture.
Why make it a telephonic irritation? You should make it as fun as looking at the latest cycle inventions. Turn the tables on them. When Big A carpet cleaning calls ask them if they can clean your big A. When the survey company wants your 5 minutes ask if they'll take your survey on Elvis.
When all else fails and you really don't want to deal with them throw on your thickest foreign accent and say "I so sorry I not interesting".

BBC said...

I sometimes have fun fucking with them. Hey, they took the job, deal with it.

I haven't been giving money to any organization lately, after discovering something about my favorite one I've decided they are all bullshit and the only good way we can help others is to hand them food and such ourselves.

Hey, bought a good pellet rifle today, I'm impressed with the power it has, it's good enough for hunting small game and the ammo is cheap, less than a penny a round.

Utah Savage said...

You are nicer than I when it comes to telemarketers. I'm on the do not call list and feel this entitles me to harass them. I probably should feel guilty. But I don't.

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

The last few time's I've received calls from telemarketers, I've had loads of fun. The very best calls I receive at work. After answering the telephone with our usual greeting (in English), I hear the two-second delay of the dialer, and then the click to open the line. Once the telemarketer starts speaking, I switch to French and claim not to be able to speak English. It's absolutely riotous.

My next plan is to use a John Malkovich approach, like his character in Burn After Reading. I plan to let the telemarketer give me his pitch, and then respond with the most passive-aggressive tone possible: "What on earth are you talking about? Whom am I speaking to?" It will all be down hill from there.

Randal Graves said...

Answering machine.