My phone rings, an unknown number, I refrain from answering. An unrecognized number will always receive this response. If it’s important, then surely a voicemail will be left. But ‘unknown’ that’s quite rare. I can’t call back; I have no way of knowing who let alone why. This call comes again the next night, around the same time, again I miss the call. Now my mind stirs. Is it someone from my past? My abroad friend wondering why the hell I’m not picking up the phone? Some freak that calls to hear my voice for a 30 second message and is doing who knows what on the other line?
Well, sadly nothing that interesting. I pick up the third evening. “Hello, this is ‘a name I will never remember because that involves caring’. I’m with the Edward Group wanting to do a survey of adults ages 18-30 about how they feel about certain groups. You’ll receive ten dollars for participating…” she doesn’t even take a breath, “Are you 18? Good. How do you feel about the IRS? Would you say strongly bad, bad, good, strongly…” I stop her, “Excuse me, I don’t want to be a part of this survey.”
This is merely a speed bump. “You’ll get ten dollars.” I don’t care. “It will only take a few minutes of your time.” Doubtful, this has already taken a few. “But you’ll get ten dollars.” I’m getting ready to leave for work. “Then when would be a better time to contact you?” I’m irked at this point, and just say, “Never. Because I don’t want to be a part of your survey.” Well have a goodnight, click. Really?! Not to mention I’m receiving a telemarketing call at almost 9 P.M., but then the person is rude, obnoxious, and won’t take no for an answer.
Lately, I’ve had a few telemarketing experiences that are proving to foster nothing but disdain for these people. I used to be a bit empathetical since I’ve had friends who have had similar jobs. It’s not easy calling person after person, likely getting cut off, hung up on, or cursed out; so, I usually let them finish their first portion of their script before saying I’m not interested, please take me off the list. I used to just lie and say I was seventeen because whether I’m lying or not, once I’ve made that statement, they have to end the call. But the tone of voice, the snideness in it, just makes me want to be so nasty right back.
In May, I was practically being phone stalked by Rooms To Go. I didn’t recognize the number, called it back, and their hotline picked up. I assumed perhaps they were calling to inquire about my satisfaction with the furniture. Missed several more calls from then that week. Then I started getting called almost daily, sometimes two or three times, which made me think perhaps this was a call of importance, maybe a warranty or recall issue. I picked up on a Sunday evening. It was merely about purchasing an extended warranty on the furniture. “I’m sorry, I’m not interested.” “Why not?” I’m thinking why do I need to justify not wanting something? “Because I’m just not. No need for it.” “Yes, but this is a good offer. Why wouldn’t you want it?” “Because I just don’t!” Then I hang up. But the calls don’t stop. Several days later, the number starts popping up a couple of times a day again. I finally answer, just ready to unleash. But it’s a different woman, much friendlier, and she’s speaking quick to get the script out. I calmly explain that I received this call last week, and that I am not interested at this time. Please remove me from the calling list. She doesn’t ask anymore questions, just says thank you and hang ups. If only they could all be that easy.
But the worst came over a year ago. An acquaintance from high school had called asking if I’d be interested in joining a job thing he was pursuing that sounded similar to an Amway. I hate any job that involves solicitation. It’s not in my nature. Either someone wants something or s/he doesn’t. With that philosophy, I know I’d be horrible in sales. I let him explain the entire program, which sounded sort of like a pyramid scheme, and declined. Then several weeks later I get a call from the woman above him trying to repeat the same spiel as if maybe he did an insufficient job, there was some misunderstanding, and by her restating the same exact thing, I’d change my mind. I told her I didn’t have any extra time to pursue another career between a full time accounting job and freelance photography, which is where I felt my focus needed to be. “So, basically, you’re telling me you’re not interested in making extra thousands of dollars a year?” Again, it’s really the tone in voice that riles me the most, and I just said, “I guess so because I make plenty of money now and don’t need your stupid job.” Silence. A quick goodbye. Click. And in my mind, I’m saying much more unpleasant words.
So, as of now, my patience is dissipated for telemarketers. For the one that called past a decent hour, for the ones that have no respect in the way they speak to people, and for using rude tactics when trying to persuade me to not say no. Don’t call me because in the future, I will be nothing but blunt, direct, and firm as can be, and when that initial no doesn’t shut them up, then I will.