Tuesday, March 17, 2009

will niceness ward off a telemarketer?

I know you guys must think I'm the biggest freak that 1) I actually answer the telemarketers' calls and 2) that I keep having such absolutely bizarre encounters with them.

why I answer the phone

The answer is two-fold. (I love using the word 'two-fold'...try it, you'll feel smarter) First of all, I'm here alone a lot. It's less now since Danny's schedule has changed, but for a while there, I had 5 days in a row of barely elementary level conversations, and more often, preschool-level conversations. Hours, days, what felt like weeks on end. Sometimes, the phone is literally my only line to the outside world and people. Real, educated, standing upright, walking around people. I'd find myself a bit starved for attention, even if it was only from the bored man on the other line wanting to know if I was happy with my long-distance service. Secondly, and probably the real reason why I will answer most calls, is because our landline phone and charger are dying, thus making it difficult sometimes to not only answer it, but screen it before we answer it.

example one

This happened a couple of weeks ago. I had been having problems with the phone, which rang while I was playing piano. I dove for it and just as I pushed "ON", I realized the caller ID said Desert Valley Aire, which I think is an Air Conditioning company.

Me: Hello?

He: Amie?

Me: Yeah? (taken aback a bit because I'm not used to such an informal greeting from a telemarketer)

He: Are you ok?

Me: . . .yeah. . . (thinking, 'is this someone I know?')

He: Because you don't sound like you usually do.

Me: (still racking my brain, wondering who I would know well enough who wouldn't identify themselves at the beginning of a phone conversation). . .I don't?

He: No. Are you all right?

Me: I'm fine. . .

He: You know what, I'll call back tomorrow. (click)

Is that not the weirdest thing? I sat there in a stupor looking at my phone thinking what the heck was that? and is this a new ploy to get me to call back and get a quote on my air conditioning tune-up?

example two

Well you remember the great vaccum cleaner debacle of  08.  Since then, the company that whores out hires out Kirby has called approximately once a month.  I have seen it on the Caller ID occasionally and once or twice Danny has answered when they call.  They called again tonight, and what the heck, I was in a good mood, so I answered it.

Me:  Hi!  (a pause)  Hello!  (still nothing, then that click when the telemarketer actually picks up) He-llloooo!

She:  Hello.

Me:  Hi there!!  Thanks so much for calling!  How are you today??

She:  I'm fine, thank you for asking. (said so blandly I wonder if she was gnoshing on saltine crackers at the time)

Me:  Where you calling from today? (me asking uber excitedly)

She: RK *******

Me:  And you want me to try your carpet service, doncha?! (acting like it was the most fabulous thing since single-serve gogurt was invented)

She:  Yes, ma'am (bland bland bland)

Me:  Yeah. . .you call once a month. . .would you mind taking me off the list?  I'dreallyappreciateit. (yeah, I said it just like that, totally fake perky and enthusiastic)

She:  Sorry about that ma'am, I'll take care of that for you.


Sure she will.  I give it approximately 2 weeks before they call again, and then I have decided I will start answering with fake accents, or act like I can't hear and she needs to speak up, or possibly just hand the phone to the resident four year old.  The other day, I actually video taped myself talking to one of them, asking to be taken off the call list in case they gave me some mumbo jumbo garbage about there being no list, or try to come onto me again.  (let's call that example three)

Ah well.  At least it breaks up my day.  (please friends, call me.)


Dahlene said...

That's a great way to get rid of them, at least fun. I'm not sure if we can ever get rid of them.

I'll give you a call soon so you don't feel so alone in the world.

Anonymous said...

Everytime I call you're in a hurry to get off the phone!


jinxi~ aka angi said...