Friday, February 09, 2007


You could blame John Scalzi for this post, but that just wouldn't be fair. He merely provided the inspiration.

I hate telemarketers.

I don't hate the individual people. I mean, everyone has to make a living. But I hate, hate, HATE trying to explain to the people on the other end of the telephone that a) I don't wish to discuss their charity, and my husband is in charge of giving to charities in our home; and b) that this is a place of BUSINESS, and NO, we do not have to take your unsolicited sales calls if we do not want to, THANK YOU.

For the first one, at home, we're on the National Do Not Call List. Have been since anyone could register. So we don't get the sales calls. No, we get the "Please give us money" calls. My husband and I give to charities we know, but in the wake of post 9/11, the number of charitable organizations supporting the police and fire departments has increased astronomically. It's as if the telemarketing companies are hiring "charities" to be fronts to support them. And they call MERCILESSLY. And it doesn't matter that I'm not my husband, John "Justice." No, they're fine with talking to me... until I tell them I'm not authorized to make any financial decisions in this household. Hee.

Fact is, I can make any financial decision I want. Just in case anyone is worried I'm being repressed.

And at work? Holy Jesus God. Save me from them! I put the office on the National Do Not Call List, but it takes time for everything to go through, so in the meantime I have to deal with idiot companies who either make computerized calls (and then, when I get a real person, get SNIPPY that I want to put all six numbers on THEIR do not call list, which they have to do... asshats), or idiot stock brokers calling individual professionals at my place of business who simply must speak to "Robert."

I'm sorry, no one at the entire office goes by "Robert." We do have a "Bob," so "Robert" is a good cue that the person at the other end of the call is a stock broker who thinks "Bob" will want to buy some stock. Preferably from him.

I got into a loverly argument with such an individual just yesterday. I answered the phone, and the man at the other end told me, "Yes, I need to speak to Robert about a project."

Okay, "Robert". Red flag.

"And what is the name of your company?"

Response: "It's very important that I speak with Robert."

"What project would you like to discuss with him?"

Annoyed pause.

"It's my project. He's not aware of it yet. I need to brief him on it."

"Certainly. Let me speak with him. Just a moment, sir."

Yeah, "brief" him on it? My happy ass. This ain't no law office. And if anyone would know that, I would.

Here is where the interlude where I talk to "Bob" and ask him about this person, he tells me that yeah, he's probably a stock broker, and I'm welcome to make him go away, occurs. Then I return to the telephone.

"Yes, sir?"


"I'm sorry, but I spoke to my boss and he informed me you were likely a stockbroker calling with unsolicited investment advice, basically a telemarketer. He does not wish to speak with you, nor does he have time to do so. He also asked me to let you know we are on the National Do Not Call List."

Response, wherein the caller does not dispute the facts in question, and very snottily says: "Well, as that list doesn't apply to businesses..."

"Actually, sir, any number can be placed on the National Do Not Call List, and I personally placed all six of our office's numbers on the list. Now, I am trying to get some work done, and as I am the only person who answers the telephone here, I would suggest you put us on your do not call list or I will be next be making a complaint to the FTC."

I then hung up. And I WILL make the freaking complaint, too, should the jerkweed call again. I've done it before, and it reaps lovely (and quiet) results.

Hopefully things will quiet down once the office's numbers hit the list. And as for the homefront? Please know that you CAN request charities and polling agencies to put you on THEIR "Do Not Call" lists, and if they fail to abide by that, you can register a complaint.

And for everyone who heard the "Dead Parrot" sketch when they saw the last words of the preceding paragraph, I'm right there with you.