Thursday, March 4, 2010

where I talk to an automaton

As I write this, it is late at night and I realize, with a bit of a shock, that I had absolutely no phone calls all day. Not once were my thoughts, or sleep, interrupted by an annoying br-r-ing, br-r-ing.
Now, normally this wouldn't be shocking since I don't get many phone calls, but yesterday, I had 23. Twenty-three. I did not answer any of them. And not one message was left on my machine.
To say I was feeling a tad grouchy is putting it mildly.

There was one time I did answer a telemarketer's call, for the sole purpose of telling them to please stop phoning me. It did not go well.

overly friendly telemarketer: hello Ms Violet. How are you today?

overly tired me: you woke me up to ask me this? whatever you want I am not interested.

fast talking telemarketer: this will only take a few minutes of your time...

frustrated me: I am not interested.

determined telemarketer: we have a special on lawn care...

annoyed me: you are wasting my time.

bewildered telemarketer: oh... can I call you back at a more convenient time.

sighing me: no you can't. no time is convenient for this. please take my number off your list.

insistent telemarketer: well, is there another number I can reach you at?


  1. I know how you felt about that telemarketing call. Well, technology has two sides: a good one and also a bad one. The phone is a marvellous invention, but not all the phone calls are desirable.

  2. Violetsky , I can so relate to this, they make me crazy sometimes...they can be so a peaceful day today, sometimes my phone is so quiet, I have to check if it is still working. lol. Have agreat tomorrow.

  3. Doesn't Canada have a "Do Not Call" registry, like we have here? I'm signed up on it, and it has dramatically cut down on those kinds of things. The only ones I get are from fundraising organizations, and those are few and far between. Oh, and research organizations, but since I have caller ID, I know who they are when they call, and I ignore them.

  4. You have to turn it around on them. Try these...

    "What are you wearing?"

    "Have you heard the word of the Lord today?"

    "If you died today, would your family be cared for? I'd like to talk to you about life insurance..."

    Or, my favorite: Say to them "Can you hold on a minute?"... then just set the phone down and go about your business... check back every 20 minutes until they give up.

  5. LOL@Jim! Those are funny. I'm like you and get really grouchy and hiss at them, "You woke me up! I was ASLEEEEEP!!" Our elections were yesterday thank goodness because I had been getting recorded political ads which were hideous. If you had 23 yesterday and they stopped today, maybe a Texas political recording was accidentally calling your house.

  6. Yup, Jim's got the right idea...they hang up real fast when you start asking them the qustions. I got one once and when they asked how was I this evening, I retorted 'glad you asked, I had this operation..." and proceeded to tell the poor kid all about you believe it, they hung up on me! How rude. :-)

  7. I hate telemarketing calls. The last time one called, I said "Can you hold on a minute?" Then I laid the phone down and continued what I was doing. Every once in a while I would hear a faint "hello?" They finally hung up after waiting 5 minutes or more. LOL!! Best time I have had with one of those calls.

  8. DUTA: I know, I also have some friends who abuse the phone, and call to chat when they have nothing to say. I try to avoid them, too.

    CInner: most of the time my phone is very quiet, too. and I often check to make sure the battery hasn't died, since I'm always just putting the receiver down wherever I happen to be when I end the call.

    Mr Nighttime: yes, we do. I've heard that it doesn't work all that well and some people end up getting more calls, or they find your cell #. I use my caller ID - that's how I knew none of those 23 were important missed calls.

  9. Instantaneous rudeness, that's what telemarketing is all about. They are never welcome phone calls. I'm very lucky that I only get a few a year. I don't know why that is. I can still be somewhat polite, but they do test my patience. 23 Phone calls is an awful lot and you do need your sleep. Aren't you unlisted or does that make no difference?

  10. Jim: those are good. I used to play games with them, but got thwarted when they switched to automated calls with no real person at the other end.

    Geewits: then maybe I should have picked up so they'd have to pay for the call once it was answered!

    Sagittarian: I have been known to frantically ask if they were the hospital calling, saying my son was missing... they got confused and hung up quickly.

    SueAnn: I've done that too. I've also heard that with the automated calls, they will keep trying your number until you answer, so sometimes I just pick up the receiver then hang up immediately.

  11. Nora: No, I'm not technically unlisted. I'd have to pay for that, and often the internet means you can still be found. I'm sure they just dial numbers at random and hope for the best. I'm actually pretty good at ignoring the phone.

  12. And then one proceeds to gouge out one's eyeballs with a spoon.

  13. Ah these poor people are only trying to earn a living. They get their script and aren't allowed to deviate from it and if they don't get a certain quota of people signed up every week they get fired. It's just as shitty on their end of the phone as on yours. Not that that's any consolation. Turn off your ringer or get rid of your home phone altogether and just use your cell. They don't have cell numbers in most of the registries yet.

  14. They drive you round the bend don't they! And why do ask "how are you today?" What do they care!!

    CJ xx

  15. Jazz: certainly after a conversation like that!

    XUP: yeah, they are well trained to keep you on the phone. I actually worked as a telemarketer - for a day.
    I usually do turn off the ringer and I wish I could only use my cell phone, but I need a landline for the apartment intercom to let you in when you visit.

    CJ: as if that long pause before they actually say anything isn't your first clue, they make it harder on themselves with that one phrase.

  16. I have to confess, I worked as a telemarketer for two weeks, until the credit crunch put an end to my career there. I did not like the job itself at all, but I was desperate for one. That said, the bosses were decent enough and I had great colleagues, all in the same situation as me.

  17. I screen all my calls, but sometimes it just says 'unavailable' when it's actually a family member. I tell my friends and family, if I answer the phone when you call you'd better say something fast, or I'm hanging up.

    Don't friends who call and then have nothing to say drive you completely insane? One of my neighbors used to do that on a daily basis. Arrrggh!

  18. Guillaume: I don't think there are any telemarketers who enjoy their job.

    Susan: I am fortunate that, with my job schedule, I can always say "sorry, I have an appointment, have to go"!

  19. what i do sometimes is just place the phone on the sideboard and go about my business to tie up their line.

  20. I must say this sounds all too familiar. I think you were very polite. I admit, I am often less polite by simply saying "no thank you" and promptly hanging up.

  21. Aargh -- I hate them all. I don't care if that is what they have to do to earn a living, that's their problem. I think selling drugs is more honorable. At least you have a client base so you aren't violating the privacy of non-users.

  22. They are relentless. I rarely answer if I don't recognize the number.

  23. Char: that seems to be the preferred option for dealing with them.

    Stine: damn that politeness - sometimes I wish I had less of it!

    Mrwriteon: well yes, at least the dealer has people coming to him if they are interested.

    SAW: I'm with you on not answering. it usually isn't a problem, but occasionally you'll get a day when it just goes into overdrive!

  24. Is there another number I can reach you at? !!! Lol :)

  25. OMG! I know this feeling. We have a Do Not Call register, which has stopped a lot of these calls, but the chariy calls still arrive. I am less than cordial, & now, I just simply hang up. They never call back.

  26. Oh, I hate those calls. We are supposed to be registered so that we don't get them, but we do. Usually an Asian voice (they call from India or Pakistan) saying my name is Harry, how are you today? Ugh! I say no thank you and hang up.

    Mr. G is far ruder than I am.

    We still get calls.

  27. sunnymama: really, that was too funny to even respond to!

    Meggie: they do seem to be set up to disconnect after 3 rings - before your machine picks up, so when the phone rings, I usually just wait...

    Gilly: we have that too, and I've heard it doesn't work all that well, though maybe it has improved. I am good at ignoring the phone. besides, you can tell by the number if you have call display, which is a huge help.

  28. Now you have proof that I DO read your blog! LOL!
    We get sales calls here too, but it's easy, I just start speaking in English and they hang up.

  29. Anna: and it is good to see you here again!. funny how no-one else mentioned that trick. then again maybe we are all a unilingual group. (except Jazz, who doesn't come back to reread the comments anyway...)

  30. " there another number I can reach you at?" Ha! Telemarketers really don't get it, do they!?!


  31. Joanna: I know - at first I was just even more annoyed, then I laughed and laughed when I realized how funny that was!

  32. Ah ... such a familiar occurrence. I'm amazed at the tenacity of telemarketers even when I tell them I'm not interested, am on the Do Not Call list, and want to be removed from their list immediately. I confess that when I don't recognize the Caller ID, I frequently don't answer any longer because I just don't want to deal with these folks ... ever.
    Hugs and blessings,

  33. HRG: it is that tenacity that is most annoying. I wouldn't mind half as much if they just said "sorry to trouble you" or "thank you anyway".


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