A semi-fictional story about how unprofessional telemarketing makes the entire profession look like the crime that it isn't. Then again. . . . (important postscript at the end of the story)
What a day, OH what a day! (Guess that statement lets you know that I'm sick and tired of people calling my house, not leaving a message, and then getting arrogant with me whenever I DO pick up the phone to ask for identity.
All I know is if I see the unrecognizable number come up on my caller ID again, I'm going to make my way to the Better Business Bureau faster than Scotty could beam Captain Kirk out of a Klingon ambush in a galaxy far far away.
Imagine it's a sleepy summer Saturday morning. You've stayed up most of the night watching bad movies that should have been banned for anybody with an IQ over the square root of 36, and you're taking advantage of some unadulterated relaxation alone. Your libido is in low tide and you couldn't care less. All you want to do is rest in pleasant sleep-sleep-sleep-brrrrrrrrrRINNNNNGGGGGGG!
Blasted telephone. You forgot to turn off the ringer. Since you decide no intelligent bill collector would call you at the early hour of 10:30 a.m., know know you didn't leave your wallet at the Harry Potter party last night. Still, against your better discernment and since your 2/5ths of your left brain cells are awake, you answer. And your logical side begins to try and reason with the other 3/5ths of its cerebral components:
Maybe it's your security guard sistah-girl friend who can get you good seats at the next upcoming concert. Maybe it's your daughter asking to use the washing machine again so she can save her money to buy Taco Bell chalupas, extra fire sauce. Maybe it's your dream job calling. . . (uh huh--yeah right!)
You look at the caller I.D. You see these little digital letters spell out the words "Online Education." You say to yourself "what kinda dumb name is that . . .!" But too late, your auto-hand reflect has already picked up the receiver.
"Hello, may I speak to * * * ?"
I pause to yawn. "Who's calling"?
"Is * * * there?"
At that point I reconfigure the evidence. The caller I.D. tag. The polite decline of the unidentified voice on the other line that disturbed my Saturday a.m. slumber. Decision?
Fifty-nine point nine seconds later. . .
You ask your house partner. . . i.e., spouse. . . to answer. He says, "Who is it?"
You slur, "I don' know!"
He says, "Then pick it up."
You re-slur, "Why? I ain't talkin' to nobody who won't tell me who they are. Maybe it's Condelezza."
We both pickup and wait for the other one to say something. Again, the mystery voice of the weekend says. . .
"Is * * * there?"
Neither of us says a word. We both hang up.
Spouse says "Do they call often."
"Every single day."
"What do they want, you figure?"
Being at this point somewhat irritated about my husband getting irritated over the fact that his masters degree wife who is a top notch interviewer and speaker refuses to interview Mr. Mystery Date, I roll over in my favorite fetal position facing the west, away from the sun coming in the southeast window.
"Let the machine get it next time. Trust me, they won't leave a message."
Well, spin the wheel again and win a thousand bucks, the caller thinks three times may be a charm.
"You have dialed 555-1212, please leave a message." God bless the inventor of the answering machine. . . had to be a black woman who invented it.
BEEEEP! (and I quote, capturing the run on statement with AT-ti-TUDE!)
"Yeah this information was requested from us, * * * wanted to know about our degree programs he left his name and phone number to contact him at, soooooo, if you’re not interested in the creative programs you could have just said ‘not interested’. . .but well, I guess you just decided to hang up, several times. . . (dead air, dead air, CLICK.” (End of messages).
After hearing that so called professional telemarketing caller who was probably working on weekends because he didn’t have a social life, it got personal.
I sat straight up in bed, got up butt naked with my freshly done-did-it-all-by-myself french-pedicure (hey, a sistah’s gotta do something constructive watching those bad movies at 2:30 a.m.) and stormed to the answering machine.
Replay, (on no he didn’t!)
Replay, (on nawwww he didn’t go there!!)
Replay (Baby hold my earrings get me my boxin’ gloves and get the big jar-o-Vaseline.)
I look AIU up on the internet. Then I hit * 69 to confront those jokers.
After hitting “0” to avoid those meddlesome menu choices, lo and behold I get another dude who has no weekend life. After I tell him my story, HE proceeds to defend the acts of the bad telemarketer.
I won’t go into details about the conversation, but those of you who know me by my other articles and stories can just imagine the wonderful marriage between creativity, logic, and satire. Basically I told them to take my number off the list, that my son never did call them for information, and if I kept getting calls seven days a week that I’m taking the tape to the BBB. (That’s not the acronym of a strip club called Big BodaciousBoobies which I’m sure exists somewhere on this depraved unappreciative male-run planet.)
Well, basically, this dud (I mean “dude”) tries to continue to say that because of scholarship information being public knowledge that my son probably went to them to research financial options.
Whoops! Wrong answer. My son talks to HIS momma. Still, I get the lame excuse from this person that the telemarket (i.e. admissions counselor-(uh huh--yeah right!) can’t leave a message because that’s third party information.
Third party my ear wax! This ain’t heart surgery or Karl Rove, doggone it it’s telemarketing! So I say, “look Jack, even if I was interested, you don’t have to sell your information to me so let me just put my religion down for just one second to tell you
“TAKE MY NUMBER OFF OF YOUR SORRY (use your own creative language here) LIST!”
Now that I’m fully awake, and steamed, I walk into the bathroom, stare at myself in the mirror, wonder where the new burst of energy erupted from and said, “Mama would be SO proud!”
Roll tape. That’s a wrap.
© cynth’ya lewis reed, all of my God given right reserv’d
Case in point: There may be other bait lurking on the seas of the wireless world, but I just had to share my story about what I see as a very tacky marketing program out of Hoffmann Estates Illinois. So for those of you who think I don't know what it feels like to be a telemarketer, your reading the story of a former phone jockey who didn't give up on her dream to be a writer and speaker.