Telemarketers to take tomorrow off.
September 10, 2002 6:30 AM   Subscribe

Telemarketers to take tomorrow off. According to the story, telemarketing companies will instruct most of their employees to not come into work for September 11, "recognizing that many Americans won't be in the mood for getting sales calls that day." Umm... we all pretty much have the same reponse in our heads to that line, don't we?
posted by XQUZYPHYR (51 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Poster's Request -- Brandon Blatcher

It seems _wrong_ to work tomorrow...and I'm not just saying that because I like days off. It would be wrong to take the day off and go to Busch Gardens or something, too.

Last year I spent the whole day looking for work. Now that I have it, and I know it'll be there on 9/12, I want to be with my family.

But I'm wondering: how many of you have the option of not working/working tomorrow? What do you plan to do?
posted by chinese_fashion at 6:34 AM on September 10, 2002

What we should all consider is weather their EMPLOYEES are still being paid or are they being screwed out of a days pay. ps to all the "spell check" asswipes I have compromised my systems security to please you now go away.
posted by hoopyfrood at 6:35 AM on September 10, 2002

I don't know - perhaps the true blue response would be to go on working and trying to make a buck as usual, as those who died were doing. There's perhaps a point where going against the grain isn't the appropriate form of respect. A day of inaction could equally be seen as an honour to the assassins.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 6:35 AM on September 10, 2002

It's more than my company is doing. Our local VP issued an email granting everybody 15 minutes of time in which to reflect and stressed that we're not to be doing any work, taking any calls or attending any meetings. At first glance this seems like a nice thing for the company to do.

Of course the time period allotted is a full hour and a half before the vast majority of people start working. I don't care whether the company requests a moment of silence, gives us 15 minutes or even the whole day off. What I find a bit offensive is taking the stance that they're making a positive gesture but carefully calculating how to make sure it doesn't affect the bottom line.
posted by substrate at 6:39 AM on September 10, 2002

Taking the day off to honor the 9-11 dead.....Please! !!! Just like we memorialize the WW 1 dead on memorial day or labor on labor day. As soon as the jingoistic BS wears off in a few years and dubbya goes into iraq to secure its oil supplies with a puppet government(not that I like saddam, you don't get the nickname butcher of Baghdad in the arab world for nothing) 9-11 will be another excuse to get drunk on a long weekend...patriot day indeed!
posted by hoopyfrood at 6:41 AM on September 10, 2002

offtopic: if you are so concerned about h4x0rz, why don't you compose your bon mots in another program that has spellcheck, then cut/paste into here? Then you can say flame on to your impenetrable firewall and stop worrying.
posted by Fabulon7 at 6:42 AM on September 10, 2002

Don't have much to say about the 9/11 angle to telemarketing, but I will say I was stunned to read that one of the groups most vehemently opposed to an opt-in "do not call" list in North Carolina is the state Press Association. Seems that allowing me to place my own name on a list so I don't get subscription calls "would have a chilling effect on the newspaper's First Amendment right to distribute news and information of interest to the public." Yeah, whatever. Apparently, newspapers get about half of their new subscribers via telemarketing, which somehow trumps my right to be left alone.

substrate, thanks for the morning laugh. I used to work in a place like that.
posted by mediareport at 6:43 AM on September 10, 2002

I'm not opposed to Bush declaring tomorrow a day of remembrance, or even to Congress making it official in perpetuity, but what I do find offensive is naming it "Patriot Day."
posted by nickmark at 6:48 AM on September 10, 2002

but what I do find offensive is naming it "Patriot Day."

How about America Rules day? Or Suck it Bin Laden day?

Seriously though, I've actually always wondered why we've never made December 7th a day of remembrance or a national holiday. Do you think it was hyped up as much one year after Pearl Harbor was attacked? Older MeFi's can help me out here.
posted by gwong at 6:58 AM on September 10, 2002

As someone who has to suck up several days of "forced unpaid time off" each year, I empathize with the telemarketers. As someone who like to sleep until noon on Saturdays however...
posted by JoanArkham at 7:00 AM on September 10, 2002

How about a Civic Duty day? A day that's a holiday but its intention is to allow people to provide services to the community? A day off where you're expected to donate time would capture the spirit that was prevalent immediately after September 11th. Donate blood, bake cookies for the fire department, serve in a soup kitchen, help clean a river or beautify the downtown area.

Basically, do something that isn't self-serving.
posted by substrate at 7:07 AM on September 10, 2002

"recognizing that many Americans won't be in the mood for getting sales calls that day." Umm... we all pretty much have the same reponse in our heads to that line, don't we?

Since nobody has addressed this yet, I'm assuming that response would be, "Are you saying we're in the mood to get sales calls any other day of the year?"
posted by Tin Man at 7:09 AM on September 10, 2002

My company has instituted liberal leave, but I am not taking it, though since I work a few blocks from the White House, I might have ample reason to do so. I can't get the hackneyed phrase out of my head, if you let it interfere with your normal life, the terrorists have already won. For me, the best way to remember is to come in and do my work, just like any other day. (It's also not a bad way to avoid the media onslaught.)
posted by NedKoppel at 7:17 AM on September 10, 2002

"I've actually always wondered why we've never made December 7th a day of remembrance or a national holiday. "

You should take a trip to the University of Arizona on the first Sunday in December sometime. There is (or was when I went to school there) a very somber ceremony there every year to commemorate the attack, put on by the ROTC units and some veterans.

I imagine there must be other, similar kinds of things going on in other places. Despite the fact that this ceremony can be a little over-wrought (they used to read a poem written by a USS Arizona survivor that was really, really bad) I find this kind of thing much more genuine than a national holiday.

I don't need to have a Patriot's Day Sale!! flyer in my weekly paper. Ever.
posted by Irontom at 7:21 AM on September 10, 2002

What we should all consider is weather their EMPLOYEES are still being paid or are they being screwed out of a days pay. ps to all the "spell check" asswipes I have compromised my systems security to please you now go away.

and the grammar checker?
posted by quonsar at 7:22 AM on September 10, 2002

Substrate I'm with you (I was with you on your first post and I'm with you on your second). I'm dreading work tomorrow. When we pass each other on our way to get coffee, and have to look at our shoes, and then make water cooler talk about the impending war in iraq. Then we nip back to our desks and deal with well the nonsense that we get paid for. i just got an email requesting that i be to work early tomorrow for a moment of silence, huh?

And Miguel, that's really cheap coming from the country that has America Rules month off.
posted by goneill at 7:22 AM on September 10, 2002

Why am I thinking of the beginning of "The Hudsucker Proxy" where all the employees take a moment of silence for the late, great Waring Hudsucker and then are told that the moment would be noted and adjusted from their paycheck?

(I tried to find the text online, but my google-fu is off today)
posted by ColdChef at 7:23 AM on September 10, 2002

I'm with substrate. Patriot's Day just rubs me so wrong in ways beyond its Orwellian bristle. A Day of Civic Duty would be a positive way to honor those who died doing thiers
posted by ElvisJesus at 7:32 AM on September 10, 2002

Umm.. in Massachusetts, Patriots Day is the third Monday in April, commemmorating the battles of Lexington and Concord. We've been celebrating it for years, and I get off of work since my office is a couple of blocks from the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Of course, George Bush would have known that already if it wasn't politically beneficial for him to wish that New England would just go back to where it came from.
posted by PrinceValium at 7:44 AM on September 10, 2002

Frankly to immortalize a national holiday for September 11 without doing the same for December 7 belittles the contribution to the US of the greatest generation. The very idea that any hardship that the country has faced over the last 12 months compares in any way to the Great Depression and the war effort that followed is inarguably shallow and self centered.
posted by shagoth at 7:45 AM on September 10, 2002

I know "do not call" databases exist, XQUZYPHYR, and how they're supposed to work. But the move to create statewide registries with, you know, actual teeth in the rules is growing. I'm appalled that newspapers here are opposed to such an obviously consumer-friendly idea and pissed that they're weakening it by couching their request for an exemption that boosts their bottom line by saving them marketing dollars in terms of First Amendment freedoms.
posted by mediareport at 7:47 AM on September 10, 2002

I was working in a call center on 9/11. Because it was a center for a satellite television company, there were televisions all over the floor, all tuned to CNN and the day's tragic events. It was hard to sit there watching while at the same time taking calls from people arguing over the $3.99 charge for The Supornos on their bill that month.
posted by debralee at 7:53 AM on September 10, 2002

We don't need to call it anything. What we need to do, in my opinion, is to convince news organizations and the like to break with AP Style and to spell it out: September Eleventh. This convention easily sets apart the events of that day from the date that appears on the calendar and takes into account that nobody regularly thinks of that day in terms of anything else but what the date was and what they were doing when they saw or heard the news.
posted by NedKoppel at 7:55 AM on September 10, 2002

I would also like to point out that, yonder back in our history, there was this little fracas called the CIVIL WAR where the entire country split in half and started killing each other. Dead? Lots. Holiday? None.

If we make 9/11 a national holiday then we officially have the Shortest. National. Attention. Span. Ever.
posted by PrinceValium at 7:59 AM on September 10, 2002

posted by NedKoppel at 8:06 AM on September 10, 2002

How about a Civic Duty day?

I think this is the best idea I've heard in a long time. With or without the events of last year, this is the one concept that the country could actually benefit from. Which is why our present administration would never go for it.
posted by robink at 8:33 AM on September 10, 2002

Look at what my company is "asking" me to do:

"Additional ways (my company) will be commemorating 9/11 is to have a moment of
silence at 9:00 am and immediately following the moment of silence, we are
asking employees to say the Pledge of Allegiance either out loud or to
themselves. Also, when you drive that day, put your headlights on during
daylight hours."

Is it me or is this the most asinine thing you have ever heard of? I'm not really sure how this will help me grieve. I guess I'm lucky that we aren't capping it off with a prayer. I think I'm going to quietly hum the opening theme to Mr. Belvedere to myself at 9am.
posted by LouieLoco at 8:40 AM on September 10, 2002

...September Eleventh. This convention easily sets apart the events of that day from the date that appears on the calendar

I've actually wondered what we were going to do once another September 11th had come and gone. For about six months it was "September 11." As the months went on, it became "last September 11." By linguistic convention, after tomorrow, "September 11" would ordinarily refer to the most recent September 11, or September 11, 2002. From now on, are we going to have to refer to That Day as "September 11, 2001"?

I guess "9/11" will probably still refer to September 11, 2001, or we could use Holy F$cking Sh&t day or whatever.

Anyway, I often think about weird stuff like this.
posted by Tin Man at 8:43 AM on September 10, 2002

Do you think it was hyped up as much one year after Pearl Harbor was attacked?

Well, we were beginning the War in the Pacific at that point, and making preparations to invade Europe. So I'm guessing yeah, probably ;)

I really like the idea of 9/11 being Civil Service Day, with some per-capita tax break given to businesses whose employees go out and do Good Deeds. I'm just so not looking forward to being reminded of how much people are not reminding me about the attacks.
posted by mkultra at 8:45 AM on September 10, 2002

"please do not call it Patriot Day. Even as a joke. The very concept of that needs to die. Right now. Thank you."

Why? A patriot is defined as someone who loves and defends his country. Admittedly, I'm more offended by the phrase "Patriot Act" than I am "Patriot Day." Maybe we should just call it what it is: September Eleventh. Why do we need to give it a 'holiday' name? It already has a name.

How is that any more or less offensive than 'Independence Day' or 'Memorial Day'? Actually, come to think of it, the lack of consistency and justice to the whole holiday naming and inventing affair is offensive. Why does a groundhog get his own day but none of the other animals do, then George and Abe have to share a day? Why do we use a saint who was crucified upside down as the guy to represent romance, then we use another saint as an excuse to drink so much we start seeing leprechans? None of it makes sense. As far as I'm concerned it's all just more excuses to slack off, which I'm for 100%, but if we all took every seventh day off as some old fart on a mountain once suggested, we wouldn't need all these silly extra days off.

"A Day of Civic Duty..."

I don't see how that's any better than "Patriot Day." I don't like being peer pressured into doing anything, even if it's for my own good and the good of the country. It's also illogical and potentially unhelpful. About eleven months ago, the Red Cross had more blood than they knew what to do with. Last I heard a week or two ago, they had a shortage. Maybe instead of having everyone do their civic duty on the same day once a year, we could spread the joy a little bit. Maybe, each person could make exactly six months after (or before) their own birthday a personal civic day. So in theory, every day of the year there would be people doing their civic duty, spreading the workload better and sharing the load.

Oh wait. That would make sense. We should never be accused of making sense now, should we? Sheesh.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:47 AM on September 10, 2002

Oh, and about telemarketers taking the day off? The only patriotic thing would be for them to do that EVERY day.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:58 AM on September 10, 2002

12 people in my office, gave everyone the day off tomorrow, or the option of taking another day later. It's split about half-and-half. It just seemed like the right thing to do, given that we (as a group) had five friends/relatives die that day, and one more (who got out of Tower One and survived) take her own life around Christmas.

As for me, I plan to spend some time by the ocean being quiet (unbearably beautiful Indian summer weather down here on the coast of South Carolina), then getting together with some friends to cook and eat and laugh and play music. It is unquestionably the best way we have to remember our friends.

Oddly enough, the traveling Declaration of Independence exhibit opens in my town tomorrow, and that may also be on the agenda.
posted by ebarker at 9:20 AM on September 10, 2002

I think I'm going to quietly hum the opening theme to Mr. Belvedere to myself at 9am.

LouieLoco, you are evil for putting that idea in my head- and more evil for putting that theme in my head

Streaks on the China...
posted by dogwelder at 9:26 AM on September 10, 2002

For every telemarketer who's taking the day off tomorrow, there are probably two who are going to redouble their efforts because there will be "less competition."
posted by kindall at 9:28 AM on September 10, 2002

No one's going to have a "Patriot Day" or whatever sale, because it'll be considered exploitative. Therefore, the term will be rendered commercially useless and fade away.

odd -- i thought that a similar campaign was integral to putting several people in fine ford cars and trucks this last year -- at 0% interest! you know, to keep america rolling?

either way, if we start taking any more holidays i vote for lumping them all into a single month like our lovely friends in most of europe.
posted by fishfucker at 9:30 AM on September 10, 2002

You're preaching to the choir Xquzy. I admitted I find the whole holiday decision making process rather illogical and absurd. At least it's better than the days of the Roman empire, when any crazy old coot in a toga who just happened to be emperor could announce entire months named after himself.

None of it makes sense. Many of today's 'Christian' holidays are loosely based on pagan holidays. If people celebrate a day for Christian purposes, they really should look into the subtext of the origins of that day of celebration.

The roman catholic church wanted people to stop celebrating all those nonChristian gods. After killing a few of them they realized they just couldn't compete with really nifty holidays. So instead of trying to beat them, they just joined them. The RCC adopted pagan party days and converted them into Holy Days -- hence the word "holiday." Some of the pagan gods became Christian saints, and various pagan days of mirth were simply renamed by the RCC. So long as the masses went along, they didn't get sneered at by the bishops during 'mass.'

Christmas is called that because it's "Christ's Mass." The time when the RCC convinced all those godforsaken pagans to come to church en masse and honor Christ. Even though prior to that the masses were celebrating the winter solstice, Jehovah's Witnesses claim that Christ's birthday was really some time in October or somewhere. They may not be far off the mark. December 25th was not picked because it was JC's b-day, but cuz the pagans were really partying around then and the catholic priests wanted to convert them.

Really, when you get right down to it, holiday celebrations have always been a way to control the mirth of the masses. Imagine the irony and hypocrisy of "July fourth." Independence Day where everyone independently does the same stuff to celebrate how free they are. Everyone looks up in the same place in the sky to watch the fireworks. Everyone goes and buys the same kinds of food and cooks out in their backyard. We're all independent in the same way. How convenient.

I personally never eat black eyed pea soup on New Year's Day, sheer out of principle.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:36 AM on September 10, 2002

We get to gather by the flagpole and wave little plastic American flags (to be given out while supplies last). It would have been nice to take a snow day, though.
posted by internook at 9:40 AM on September 10, 2002

ZachsMind: A patriot is defined as someone who loves and defends his country...

Those opposing the word "patriot" also know that patriotism's broad meaning also implies support for a country's governing institutions.

The word "patriotic" is now used as a device to point out political dissidents:

The nation is endangered, therefore it is unpatriotic to criticize our leader.
- George Soros
posted by freakystyley at 9:41 AM on September 10, 2002

My company is providing a conference room as the designated "Moment of Silence" room between 8:45 and 9:00 AM and we have been asked to wear red, white, and blue clothing, although it is our choice.

We received an organization-wide email stating that offices would close at 4 PM to allow us to spend some extra time with our families, followed seconds later by an email from my office manager saying that our particular office wouldn't close, and as long as we had no outstanding work to complete we could leave at four, although of course we would not be paid.

Again, the appearance of remembrance without touching the bottom line. This doesn't bother me as much as the suggestion to wear red, white, and blue clothes, however (I am accustomed to my office's particular brand of worker oppression). Fashion faux pas aside, I would rather take my own quiet moment to send positive energies to the surviving families than take part in company mandated patriotism. I'm unsure how this largely conservative office will feel about my decision to remember 9/11 in my own way. (Not to mention I don't think I could put together a red, white, and blue outfit without looking like a clown, although a part of me wants to use this as an excuse to wear jeans to work.)
posted by jennyb at 9:43 AM on September 10, 2002

Well that's why I'm offended by the phrase "Patriot Act." It has nothing to do with Patriotism any more than the McCarthy era Red Scare had anything to do with justice. They are both borne out of fear.

Patriotism does not include blindly following authority. Such misuse of the phrase is an abomination.

Questioning authority is perhaps the best and most daring way to show one's love for democracy. Didn't Tommy Jay say something like that once? Who's got access to a good quote search thingy?
posted by ZachsMind at 9:49 AM on September 10, 2002

relating in a small way to the FPP, TV Guide Channel "will replace infomercials in the 8:30 am and 9:00 am eastern time periods on September 11th with an early showing of What's On. Half of the What's On episodes for that day will include content related to the terror attacks, etc and half will focus on movies, family viewing alternatives, etc. At approx 9:30 am we will return to infomercials for the next 1 ½ hrs."

because, you know, we care.
posted by tolkhan at 9:51 AM on September 10, 2002

I read something in Matt's weblog that might apply here:

Due to my distance from the attacks last year, I never got to experience things first-hand, it was all mediated by media from 3,000 miles away. From that distance, immortalizing the event and paying tribute to it in hundreds of ways seems like it could possibly cheapen the memory, but being here now, and seeing "have you seen this person?" signs from the aftermath convinced me that the city still has some healing to do.So a day off in Wyoming might be too much, but maybe it's much needed in NY and DC.
posted by jennak at 9:53 AM on September 10, 2002

that may be confidential company information. everyone, please ignore my previous post.
posted by tolkhan at 9:57 AM on September 10, 2002

[OT: Tolkhan if it could really get you in the shit, you can probably convince Matt to take it down. You probably already figured that out tho'. Now then: when are The Banana Splits on, Guide Boy?]
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 10:04 AM on September 10, 2002

Seriously though, I've actually always wondered why we've never made December 7th a day of remembrance or a national holiday. --by gwong

Exactly. Or how about June 6. D-day was a pretty important day. Lots of people died. Fighting the good fight, I might add. Why is it that the towers falling deserves a day, but the storming of the beaches of Normandy doesn't? Or, as gwong mentioned, the bombing of our Pacific Fleet?

Or, how bout the massacre of unarmed American students during a protest? See, May 4th would make a good Patriot's Day...those students were exercising their rights...and were murdered by the National Guard because of it.

Patriot Day. Pshaw. As memes go, I've seen the Gril Scouts come up with better ones.
posted by dejah420 at 10:05 AM on September 10, 2002

One of my friends works for a small telemarketing company. She's working tomorrow because ONE CLIENT has demanded that they make calls on 9/11.

posted by Cerebus at 10:11 AM on September 10, 2002

I'm just glad because I have the names and websites (and top employees' names) of telemarketing companies. Now I know who to call at home at 4am when I'm pissed off at them...hehe.
posted by Vidiot at 10:45 AM on September 10, 2002

OFF TOPIC ummm...okay guess I was feeling bitter this morning. I don't claim to know anything about system security other than realizing the need for a firewall and knowing that im too absent minded to be constantly fooling with my settings far as editing off site if I wanted to compose term papers id go back to school...The terrorists have already won
posted by hoopyfrood at 10:48 AM on September 10, 2002

As noted above, there already is a Patriot's Day in Massachusetts, and here in Maine as well. And yes, we do get sales flyers for it. But of course, that day's about patriotism in the 1700s, not last year. Similar to the 4th of July.

I work in a public library at the moment, and lots of people have been coming in to see if we have any related reading matter, or if anybody in town's doing any kind of memorial service, etc. Therefore, I don't really feel like I'm "just going about my business to make a buck" if I'm working tomorrow.
posted by JanetLand at 11:21 AM on September 10, 2002


PST: Now then: when are The Banana Splits on, Guide Boy?

check here, though i don't actually expect you to do so. i have access to loads of scheduling data, but i still email my best friend to ask her what time things come on.
posted by tolkhan at 2:00 PM on September 10, 2002

While I don't actually do teleMARKETing, I do work for a major research & consulting firm. I call people all day long, primarily businesses, and conduct surveys.

We're working tomorrow. But we're not making any calls. Which means we'll be engaging in 8 hours of excruciating workshops and meetings and god knows what else. Functionally, for me, tomorrow will be observed as Putting Up With Corporate Bullshit day.
posted by cortex at 5:54 PM on September 10, 2002

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