Cold Callees Revenge
November 20, 2009 2:37 AM   Subscribe

"For a while now I've been dispatching for a legal messenger service in San Francisco. The following is recordings of a******s calling me at work."

Not Safe for Teleworkers.
posted by vapidave (125 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
I can't find this funny. I worked in customer facing call centers for far too long receiving these calls.
posted by crataegus at 2:43 AM on November 20, 2009


"The following is recordings of telemarketers calling an asshole at work." Would be a more apt description.
posted by Drama Penguin at 2:44 AM on November 20, 2009 [27 favorites]


The 'Are You Happy?' one made me very not happy. On the other hand, the first one, um hmmmm, was so annoyingly uncooperative that I couldn't stop laughing.
posted by iamkimiam at 2:49 AM on November 20, 2009


I think I'll have an aneurysm now.
posted by tehloki at 3:06 AM on November 20, 2009


"The following is recordings of telemarketers calling an asshole at work." Would be a more apt description.

Yeah. It didn't take long for my sympathies to switch. It was about the third smarmy "mm hmm" on the first recording.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 3:16 AM on November 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


I'm left wondering if this guy is breaking the law. Anyone have any thoughts on this?

Wiki implies it might be - albeit with few sources. So does the FCC. Suppose it all depends on the details of the circumstance and who knew what about what and when and whatnot.

Not that I care that much, but this doesn't appear to be very well thought through.
posted by IvoShandor at 3:21 AM on November 20, 2009


He's not one of those people who are naturally just, funny. Which makes this a bit challenging.
posted by From Bklyn at 3:26 AM on November 20, 2009


See (hear) also Phone on the Cob.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 3:29 AM on November 20, 2009


Clearly this person doesn't need the job and is just using as a platform for his humor. How nice that he can afford to just have this job as part of his strategy for making the funny at others' expense.

Way to stick it to the man by belittling those who are in a similar position to the average call centre operative.

Did I miss anything by only listening to about 30 seconds of this tripe, by the way?
posted by aesop at 4:22 AM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Did I miss anything by only listening to about 30 seconds of this tripe, by the way?

Yes.
posted by klarck at 4:38 AM on November 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Clearly this person doesn't need the job and is just using as a platform for his humor. How nice that he can afford to just have this job as part of his strategy for making the funny at others' expense.

What makes you say that? The people calling up telemarketing to him weren't helping his employer in any way. In fact, they were basically wasting his time.
posted by delmoi at 4:50 AM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


-What makes you say that?-
If I did this at work, I'd be fired. This guy doesn't care and is using his job solely to make fun of the hapless goons (god they're sooo annoying aren't they?) whose thankless job it is to call him up. I'm not saying that telemarketers aren't annoying, and if he wants to lampoon them in his free time, go for it.

I, personally don't find that having a bad job makes it ok to take the piss out of others just because they, too, have bad jobs. I'll be curt with timewasters, but I won't turn it into a project. In other words, it's just not my thing and thus there's a lot of personal opinion here.

-In fact, they were basically wasting his time.-

True. In which case what one does is say "No thanks" and put down the phone. What one doesn't do is stretch it out over several minutes and make it into a comedy spectacular on one's website. Which this person has done. It's deliberate.
posted by aesop at 5:10 AM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


This does not need to be MetaFilter. It does not fit any criteria for posting. Do you know how it's wrong?
No?
Well, I'll tell you anyway. I've just eaten a chewy bar called FRUCA. I bought it in a showbag from a fete this weekend, The fete wasn't that exciting (what fetes are), but I didn't eat it until you made this post. Now you've made this post and I've eaten a bar of FRUCA, can we call it quits?
posted by tellurian at 5:14 AM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I would like to hear more about this FRUCA object, and the eating of it! Is it a proper eating bar, or have you waylaid a different type of bar, and eaten it instead?

I once ate a copper bar. It was unpleasant. I suppose that perhaps the FRUCA object/bar is more pleasant? Pleasant eating-objects are nice. We should hear more about them.
posted by aramaic at 5:37 AM on November 20, 2009


a lot of telemarketers are paid on commission. so this guy isn't just wasting their time ... but actually stealing their time, since no one pays them to put up with his crap. thanks, asshole.
posted by lester at 5:43 AM on November 20, 2009


I telework one day a week, this has nothing to do with teleworking.
posted by fixedgear at 5:46 AM on November 20, 2009


Amazing. He made me sympathize with telemarketers. Say what you will, but that's an achievement.
posted by rusty at 5:54 AM on November 20, 2009


They are stealing as much time from him as he is stealing from them. Fair's fair.
posted by WhackyparseThis at 6:01 AM on November 20, 2009 [6 favorites]


Wow, I'm amazed there is so much sympathy telemarketers here. I personally have none.
I think these people to be fair game for any kind of verbal abuse that their victims care to inflict on them.

"a lot of telemarketers are paid on commission. so this guy isn't just wasting their time ... but actually stealing their time"

I guess you could say the same thing if I resist a mugger.
posted by cccorlew at 6:03 AM on November 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


I was a telemarketer for a year, and let me tell you we love having to call you about as much as you love getting to hear from us. No I don't know when you have dinner, because I'm stuck in a goddamn call center trying to make ends meet. Will you be the first person this hour to try to rehash that Seinfeld bit? Look mac, you're one of probably a couple hundred people i'm going to call this shift, and I've been here for a year: all of your anger, mean jokes, fucking with me, whatever, all filter into "Sale" or "No sale". It's fine that you only see me as an annoyance, because I only see you as a potential sale. Also I make dick for pay, nothing to lose, and I have your name, number and home address. Your move.

That said, my biggest problem with the guy is that it isn't very funny.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 6:18 AM on November 20, 2009 [8 favorites]


Well cccorlew, up until three weeks ago I was a telemarketer. It is the only job I could find that I could fit around my class schedule. I was a telemarketer for a pretty well-regarded arts organization that did very little cold-calling, but all the same, a few of said arts organization's patrons were theatrically uncooperative in the same way that the guy from this post isn't in these recordings.

Telemarketers are generally goons. Telemarketers are reading from a script, or encouraged to. And following a procedure, a procedure which generally entails not hanging up on a potential customer unless they actually become abusive. This means that if you are abusive to a telemarketer, they have to stay on the phone while you get out your schadenfreude.

Telemarketers are not making much money. They do not want to call you, but they have a minimum quota of calls per hour, or shift, or sales per hour. They appreciate a polite 'not interested, take care,' or even a nice, brisk 'take me off your list and never call me again'. Telemarketers document the results of calls with a series of boxes, left checked or unchecked. Theatrics never make it past that individual person. It's not like 'resisting a mugger', because it doesn't have any measurable effect on the telemarketing itself, or telemarketing's overall efficacy.

So don't think that people like this are striking back against the evils of telecommunication and modern sales. You don't have to pity telemarketers, but this guy is just jerking off on wage slaves' already shitty days at the office.
posted by voronoi at 6:22 AM on November 20, 2009 [11 favorites]


Let me join the chorus of former telemarketers. I needed a job. The only time a telemarketer is wasting is the time for you to say "No thank you" and hang up. If you fuck with them you are then the asshole wasting their time when they could be trying to make money. If you don't like telemarketers then the most effective thing you can say is that you have no money. It will get them off the phone as fast as possible.
posted by josher71 at 6:28 AM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wow, I'm amazed there is so much sympathy telemarketers here.

These particular calls are unsolicited spam, but business-to-business marketing is an entirely different circle of Hell from the ambush telephony that we usually mean when we say telemarketing. These people aren't trying to swindle granny out of her pension or into a pyramid scheme. Consequently, granny is protected by the do not call registry; business lines are not.
posted by kid ichorous at 6:32 AM on November 20, 2009


I think these people to be fair game for any kind of verbal abuse that their victims care to inflict on them.

Those people are usually poor, poorly paid, and frequently poorly educated or skilled. The telemarketing industry abuses telemarketers. Addressing a few sharp words to a telemarketer out of irritation is understandable, deliberately abusing them is pretty dickish. (I mean, I understand the temptation, but really, telemarketers have shitty enough lives already. Just hang up on the poor bastards and be done with them.)
posted by octobersurprise at 6:33 AM on November 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


I guess you could say the same thing if I resist a mugger.

there's a big difference between running away and stopping to kick the crap out of the mugger. and, done severely enough, kicking the crap out of the mugger is illegal.

but you go ahead with your bad self. it's okay for you to be a total dick to people trying to make a living simply because you don't like it.
posted by lester at 7:10 AM on November 20, 2009


this is mean and flagged, I suggest you all head over to here for your commiseration quota.
posted by The Whelk at 7:16 AM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


When I first read this post, I had to spend a few minutes figuring out why he bothered to stipulate that his messenger service was legal. Is there a significant problem with illegal messenger services in the Bay Area that I don't know about? I wondered to myself. What messages could they be passing? Is this perhaps Mirror's Edge fanfiction?
posted by penduluum at 7:21 AM on November 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think these people to be fair game for any kind of verbal abuse that their victims care to inflict on them.

I think not.

I hate what telemarketers and other unsolicited callers do as much as anyone. But inflicting misery on someone who's trying to make ends meet just for the sake of inflicting misery is pointless and will, in the general scheme of things, come around to bite you in the rear in one way or another eventually.

If you don't want to talk to somebody on the phone, tell them you're not interested, ask them (don't berate them, don't yell, don't be abusive) to remove you from their list, and hang up. End of story.
posted by blucevalo at 7:22 AM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


...The people calling up telemarketing to him weren't helping his employer in any way. In fact, they were basically wasting his time.


Thank you, thank you, thank you delmoi.

I thought the Are You Happy? segment was genius.

I am super-polite brushing off telemarketers. I know it's a shit job. I know it's not that person's fault when I'm on the call list when I absolutely should not be. I know it's a cold, mean world. I know the dude calling me today has no connection to the pushy tosser last month or the month before. I know it all.

And taking a moment's giddy pleasure in someone being an asshole back will sustain me for the next round of super polite brush offs. Brilliant post.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 7:26 AM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


True. In which case what one does is say "No thanks" and put down the phone. What one doesn't do is stretch it out over several minutes and make it into a comedy spectacular on one's website. Which this person has done. It's deliberate.

I'm in Canada, so maybe it's different. We get an absolutely ridiculous amount of these calls at my place of work, many of them from what are the same firm. Doesn't matter how polite/rude we are to them. Doesn't matter how many times we tell them to put us on their do not call list and never call again. They keep calling. I wish I had more than one phone line (it's a small retail store) so I could just let the phone dangle and waste these morons' time.

I don't really give a shit how bad their job is. That's not my responsibility. You want a better job? Get a fuckin' education or some skills at selling yourself. Hell, do anything but telemarket. I have more respect for people who ask me for change on the street than I do for these assholes.

Kudos to the recording guy for finding a way to deal with these idiots that amuses himself. Anything else just leads to constant frustration.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 7:33 AM on November 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


It's funny that people whining about this guy wasting company time are probably using company computers and internet connections to while away the day on this website.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:37 AM on November 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


It's funny that people whining about this guy wasting company time are probably using company computers and internet connections to while away the day on this website.

What a very priggish comment!

(Quite funny, though.)
posted by Jody Tresidder at 7:41 AM on November 20, 2009


me: "Hi, this is idiopath, calling on behalf of <company>"
Joe: "Joe's not home"
me: "That's OK, do you have the time for a short survey?"
Joe: "I'm not the head of household, I don't make the decisions here"
me: "That's just fine, I am just looking for your opinions sir, it is just a survey"
Joe: "Uh, yeah, OK, I guess"
me: "First off, are you between the ages of 18 and 34?"
Joe: "You are making me lose my erection"
me: "Is that a yes or a no, sir?"
Joe: "I am trying to think about my Grandmother and jack off, and you are making me lose my erection"
me: "Well, the quicker we get done with this survey, the sooner you can get back to that"

(he laughs and we finish the survey and I get a bit closer to quota for the hour)
posted by idiopath at 7:42 AM on November 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


Let me join the chorus of former telemarketers. I needed a job. The only time a telemarketer is wasting is the time for you to say "No thank you" and hang up. If you fuck with them you are then the asshole wasting their time when they could be trying to make money. If you don't like telemarketers then the most effective thing you can say is that you have no money. It will get them off the phone as fast as possible.

I really don't give a shit. I'll waste your time, I'll put you on hold, I'll tell you to call back later and ask for our purchasing manager, Étienne Forklift. Then when you call back while I'm at lunch I'll fake a shitty Québécois accent and pretend to be very interested in your copier toner or your car warranty for the car I don't own and oui I would love to give you my credit card number here is my AmEx 378255159581717. Oh there must be some mistake but you will have to call back later and speak to my brother Todd the comptroller.

And so on. I really, really don't care that you have bills to pay. Take any other job: mugger, heroin addict busking with a xylophone outside of my window at three in the morning, Secretary for the BYU Young Republicans club. Puppy-kicker. Genocide consultant. Telemarketers cause everyone a thousand little annoyances per day; they scam the elderly; they lie about who they are and what they're selling, and they never give up. "Put me on your do-not-call list?" Right. Good luck suing a telemarketing firm when it's a fucking Russian nesting doll of shell companies with blocked numbers, P.O. boxes, fake offices . . . yeah, so sorry you have to hear people repeat a Seinfeld bit. You poor things. Tell your sob story to the fixed-income grandmother you tricked into buying grand worth of Tae Bo tapes.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:44 AM on November 20, 2009 [16 favorites]


It's fine that you only see me as an annoyance, because I only see you as a potential sale. Also I make dick for pay, nothing to lose, and I have your name, number and home address. Your move.

Awesome, thanks! I'll add that to the list of threats I've received from telemarketers.
posted by ODiV at 8:01 AM on November 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


I hate to join the fray, but am I the only one who thought he was a double asshole for doing the beat-box when the African American guy called? Maybe it's a coincidence, maybe not. Still, this was made all the more unpleasant when he revealed himself to the be the worst beat-boxer ever. I've farted with better rhythm, LOL.
posted by pragmatik at 8:02 AM on November 20, 2009


No, not LOL.

(wow, welcome back pragmatik. Long posting gap!)
posted by ODiV at 8:05 AM on November 20, 2009


and all you manage to do, mr chyme, is to waste your time showing everyone else what a giant prick you are. guess that's useful to somebody.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 8:06 AM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


While this is a poor example of the genre (and I repeat my disappointed at their TERRIBLE beat-boxing), this does make me miss the days of prank phone calls.
posted by pragmatik at 8:10 AM on November 20, 2009


Recently, I've started noticing little stickers on the meter cops' scooters that say, "It is a crime to assault parking enforcement officers." Why the fuck is such a sticker necessary? Most adults know that it's a crime to assault everyone. Why are there certain people we need reminders about?

But just in case: It is dick to be a dick to telemarketers.
posted by roll truck roll at 8:10 AM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I listened to the first few of these.

My question: Why does he call them assholes?
posted by SLC Mom at 8:17 AM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was expecting to hear recordings of client assholes, so I was disappointed with the recordings. A serious lack of funny as well...

My wife and I have a fairly successful strategy of ready answers for telemarketers:
(not all are false)
- legit charity calls - we listen and decline politely, or request more info
- duct cleaners - we have hot water heating, no ducts.
- windows and doors, siding, paving, roofing - we renovated already
- credit cards/finance/mortgages - only the scammers seem to telemarket so we hang up instantly
- surveys - sorry I work for a polling company, so I don't participate
- prerecorded messages - hang up instantly

I think creative lying is both fast and polite. I mean, they're not telling me the truth either.

So we can usually get free of any telemarketing calls within 10 seconds tops.

I'd probably not answer any 800 numbers, if I wasn't too cheap to get call display.

I'm super-happy that alot of telemarketers still use calling systems that take a while to connect. You hear dead silence, then a click and that classic telemarketing boiler-room babble, then the poor telemarketer starts in with the good evening how are you? as soon as we hear silence - babble, we gently hang up.

So, anyways, we are able to deal with telemarketers quickly, and hopefully with a minimum of abuse.
posted by Artful Codger at 8:19 AM on November 20, 2009


This is not funny.

...But, ex-telemarketers? You can save your breath trying to stoke sympathy. The reason these recordings suck isn't because people understand your plight. Fucking with telemarketers definitely can be funny. This just isn't, because this guy just isn't funny.

It's like if one of the singers from those terrible American Idol auditions were to put up a website featuring himself singing a bunch of different songs. It's just kind of sad. It's a person who has absolutely zero talent for doing something, but who fervently believes that people will want to watch him do it.
posted by cribcage at 8:23 AM on November 20, 2009


Not one bit funny. Obviously this person is a raging attention whore, desperately trying to acquire some "content" for his dumb blog, otherwise he would just hang up like normal people do.
posted by carfilhiot at 8:24 AM on November 20, 2009


I get a fair amount of cold calls at work (if you buy servers and software and go to tech trade shows you get on a whole bunch of lists) and usually just interrupt them with a polite, stock "Thanks for the call but I'm good in [X area of IT services that you are calling about now]." Then I hang up and get back to wasting company time in more interesting ways that don't involve stringing hapless souls along.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:24 AM on November 20, 2009


...as soon as we hear silence - babble, we gently hang up.


But that call was me, Artful Codger:)
posted by Jody Tresidder at 8:26 AM on November 20, 2009


In college I took a job as a telemarketer. I was told we were calling to collect money on behalf of charity. Schools, hospitals, the like.

I was encouraged to call people on fixed incomes and browbeat them into giving whatever of their social security check they could afford, and was often successful.

Later, I found out the telemarketing company would buy lists of non-producing donors from charities. Say we'd pay $10,000 for the list. Anything over that the telemarketing company got to keep. I believe they would usually triple, and sometimes quadruple or more the money that came in. So only a smallish portion of the money that people donated actually made it to the hospital for needy orphans.

I quit shortly thereafter. Something about talking retirees into putting money into those scumbags pockets just made me feel wrong about myself. I have no love for telemarketers, I wish people had abused me more, maybe I would have quit sooner.
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist at 8:30 AM on November 20, 2009 [6 favorites]


yeah, so sorry you have to hear people repeat a Seinfeld bit. You poor things. Tell your sob story to the fixed-income grandmother you tricked into buying grand worth of Tae Bo tapes.

Good morning Mr. Chyme, I'm Uther Bentrazor calling on behalf of Metafilter.com and I'd just like a minute of your time to ask you to please show me on the doll where telemarketing touched you.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 8:42 AM on November 20, 2009 [9 favorites]


I refuse to believe that telemarketing is the only job available for the them. I also think the people doing it have to accept the responsibility for their job choice -- to inflict themselves on people without invitation.

No sympathy.
posted by cccorlew at 9:00 AM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Telemarketers cause everyone a thousand little annoyances per day; they scam the elderly; they lie about who they are and what they're selling, and they never give up. "Put me on your do-not-call list?" Right. Good luck suing a telemarketing firm when it's a fucking Russian nesting doll of shell companies with blocked numbers, P.O. boxes, fake offices

Look, I'm not saying that they're not annoying, but I have to say that's a pretty fucking impressive generalization when we've had so many mefites admit to having been telemarketers when they were poor and desperate.

Hey guys! Hands up if you spent your time as a telemarketer scamming the elderly or setting up fake P.O. boxes? What, not absolutely all of you? Well, shucks.

Look, I'm not saying that no telemarketers do these things, but you have no way of knowing if the person you're taking it out on is anything other than some poor hard working schmo stuck behind a desk. So don't get all fucking righteous about wanting to get a laugh out of punishing some nobody who's in a job that annoys you.
posted by emperor.seamus at 9:02 AM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Look, I'm not saying that I don't re-use the same phrases far too frequently, but try to ignore it, please.
posted by emperor.seamus at 9:04 AM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


"I vas chest followink orders." - all telemarketers
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:06 AM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Optimus Chyme: ""I vas chest followink orders." - all telemarketers"

You know who else made absurd and hyperbolic generalized insinuations about an unpopular group?
posted by idiopath at 9:09 AM on November 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


please show me on the doll where telemarketing touched you.

Everywhere but my entry on the National Do-Not-Call List.
posted by zippy at 9:10 AM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


You know who else made absurd and hyperbolic generalized insinuations about an unpopular group?

That standup comic at the Laff Shack?
posted by zippy at 9:11 AM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Dear telemarketers,

I have no doubt your day is awful, and that this job probably wasn't your first choice. However, I don't dislike you, I dislike what your organizations, collectively, do to me. You interrupt my thoughts using a resource I pay for and depend on for more urgent communication, inevitably with things that I do not want and at prices that do not make sense. You often lie to me as well ("Hi, I'm calling from Credit Card Services about your balance.")

So, please consider laying the blame on the previous 999 telemarketers who came before you and set the stage for our interaction.

Thank you, and please add me to your do not call list.
posted by zippy at 9:16 AM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


painfully unfunny. and i like this sort of crap.

i needed some Eugene Mirman to cleanse my pallet.

"AT&T sells sex favors?!?! ... are you saying that Canadians are child fuckers?!"
posted by mrgrimm at 9:16 AM on November 20, 2009


Look, I'm not saying that no telemarketers do these things, but you have no way of knowing if the person you're taking it out on is anything other than some poor hard working schmo stuck behind a desk.

He probably is. (Except for the "stuck" part. Telemarketing slave labor? Nah.) But then, as somebody noted above, that schmo may have no way of knowing that his "hard work" is on behalf of a scam outfit.

It's not really relevant, either way. Let's assume that your hypothetical schmo works for a legitimate company. And let's set aside the ethical questions about the fact that he's almost certainly equipped with a script designed to produce X result from each customer for that company. Let's give him all those benefits of doubt. He still knows that he's soliciting people without invitation. And that's the basis for most people's objection.

And he knew that when he took the job.
posted by cribcage at 9:21 AM on November 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Since we already have a Eugene Mirman link I will up the stakes with aMatt Besser album.
posted by basicchannel at 9:37 AM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


The thing is, if you fuck with telemarketers you are still wasting your time on a telemarketer. It is a little difficult to overcome the social imperative that you have to respond to conversational gambits even if you know that you are being engaged in a solicitation rather than a conversation. But you don't. As soon as you know what you're dealing with you interrupt, you say "I'm sorry but I'm not interested, have a good day, goodbye." You don't stop if they try to interrupt you and ask for just a minute or squeeze in some leading question from your script. You just say you bit politely and hang up. It isn't impolite to hang up because you didn't ask them to call you and you know that in all likelihood they are under instructions to keep you on the call as long as they can. It is not impolite to hang up, it is actually to their benefit because you know that they are not going to make a sale and every minute on the telephone with them is time wasted that they could be using trying someone else. If I allow a telemarketer to engage me in their spiel I don't get mad at them, I get mad at myself for allowing them to pull their social-engineering courtesy-abusing bullshit on me. I don't have to listen and I don't have to feel bad about hanging up on them. Over a couple decades of paying for my own phone service I have had exactly one asshole call me back and carp at me for hanging up on him.
posted by nanojath at 9:44 AM on November 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


If you have any sympathy for the person on the other end of the phone, there are ways to fuck with that person's boss, but perhaps not with them. For example, call rooms are pretty tightly supervised, bathroom breaks and smoke breaks etc. are all strictly timed, saying "can you hold please" and leaving them on the line for a while wastes their employer's money and could be giving them a welcome respite (and if they are paid per completion or needing to get a quota they are perfectly within rights to hang up). I often looked forward to calling the elderly folks who would use the call as an excuse to chit-chat, because they just needed somebody, anybody, to talk to, and it was a nice break from my work as well (as long as I went through the motions that we were still moving forward with the survey, of course).

Nobody doing cold calls will be offended if you hang up. Just hang up, no need to explain or say anything, it is easy to do, and harmless.
posted by idiopath at 9:52 AM on November 20, 2009


I was a telemarketer once. For a charity.

I quit after three hours. I just couldn't live with myself, interrupting people's days and trying to convince them that they should donate money.

It took a couple weeks of thin living, but I did find another job.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:52 AM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, forgot to say, seconding nanojath: the rules are, at any of these places, until you hang up their job is to give you the pitch, period. Any objection or excuse short of hanging up is pointless, because they are paid to ignore it.
posted by idiopath at 9:53 AM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Do Not Call list, by the way, really does work. The only telemarketing calls I get anymore are from the college my wife and I went to, who are exempt.
posted by rusty at 9:54 AM on November 20, 2009


emperor.seamus: "Look, I'm not saying that no telemarketers do these things, but you have no way of knowing if the person you're taking it out on is anything other than some poor hard working schmo stuck behind a desk. So don't get all fucking righteous about wanting to get a laugh out of punishing some nobody who's in a job that annoys you."

What? It's not chyme's job, or anybody else's, to vet telemarketers to find out if they're offering genuine products or providing some service he'd care about. further, it's not his responsibility or obligation to give them any benefit of the doubt. we don't want to be called, but they call anyway. we want them to stop bothering us, but they absolutely refuse unless WE hang up, then they just call again later. there is no set of people who fit the description "only fit for telemarketing work, cannot get a different job." this desperation you're talking about does not lead inexorably to telemarketing. laziness does, because it's a hell of a lot easier to get the job nobody wants than it is to look for something else. but the bar for "no other choice" is not "it was the first thing that I could get right away." everybody here who did not become a telemarketer has the shit job they took out of college, or high school, or after dropping out, that paid shit and treated them badly that they took because their other options were slim. every single one of those jobs, no matter what, was a better choice than telemarketer. I don't care if it's blockbuster counter jockey or bouncer at a strip club. at least it wasn't telemarketing.

I'll treat any wage slave with respect, so long as I'm voluntarily putting up with them. What I mean is that I don't care how badly a mcdonald's employee might look at me, or how loudly they sigh in frustration at having to do their job. they can glare, sulk, be rude, whatever. I'm voluntarily patronizing the place, and if I wanted GOOD service, I'd go somewhere where they pay their employees well to provide it. so I'll always be polite to anyone in that circumstance. but if you're bothering me at home or work without my permission, you can fuck right off and if you don't want the abuse find another fucking job.
posted by shmegegge at 9:57 AM on November 20, 2009 [9 favorites]


which has no bearing on the fact that this guy isn't funny. painful stuff.
posted by shmegegge at 10:00 AM on November 20, 2009


"there is no set of people who fit the description "only fit for telemarketing work, cannot get a different job.""

so apparently lots of your friends are telemarketers? or maybe you work in a call center and know this to be true?

telemarketing, just like any other occupation, is driven by demand. why should people take less money for working? just because you don't want to be bothered? it seems you're eager to condemn their decision because you find them a nusiance, yet you really don't understand the dynamics of the situation. that comes off as being pretty selfish.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 10:17 AM on November 20, 2009


Optimus Chyme:

This:

Tell your sob story to the fixed-income grandmother you tricked into buying grand worth of Tae Bo tapes.

is kind of exactly like, "You believe in Jesus? That's just great, broken up any gay marriages lately?" I mean, it's snappy. But given the incredible diversity of telemarketing departments, varieties of telemarketing, etc, the fact that some scam artists use the telephone is not really an excuse to be a dick to a stranger.
posted by voronoi at 10:25 AM on November 20, 2009


Telemarketed for three days, worst job ever, deserved the abuse for taking it.
posted by adamdschneider at 10:26 AM on November 20, 2009


No Optimus Chyme is right on this one. It is your fault if you are a telemarketer. There are thousands of other jobs out there, there is also the option of being jobless which is a better choice than telemarketer.
C'mon sell your various bodily fluids, be a prostitute, something... You know going in what a shit job being a telemarketer is, don't be surprised when you receive abuse from the people who you are being paid to harass.
posted by MrBobaFett at 10:27 AM on November 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


lester's sock puppet: "why should people take less money for working? just because you don't want to be bothered? it seems you're eager to condemn their decision because you find them a nusiance, yet you really don't understand the dynamics of the situation. that comes off as being pretty selfish."

because I don't want to be bothered? nobody wants to be bothered. and the former telemarketers here are talking about how they don't want to bother anybody either, but apparently have no choice. and that's bullshit. pretend all you want that there's simply no other job out there, but it's ridiculous. telemarketers aren't taking some huge salary home in exchange for their integrity. they get paid shit, and they can find another shit paying job that doesn't universally bother everyone they come in contact with for no good reason. what's selfish is the idea that what someone falsely perceive as a higher paycheck justifies the impositions they make on the people they call.
posted by shmegegge at 10:32 AM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


and yes, friends of mine have done telemarketing. each of them has said they'd never do it again, no matter how desperate because there's always something else, even if it's being a waiter or a gas station attendant.
posted by shmegegge at 10:33 AM on November 20, 2009


if you fuck with telemarketers you are still wasting your time on a telemarketer

Define "waste." You are choosing to spend your time in a manner that may or may not prove entertaining. Ever hear Tom Mabe's telemarketing pranks? Funny stuff. (This FPP, not so much.)

why should people take less money for working?

You're asking why should they take X for mopping floors instead of X+5 for telemarketing? Well...

just because you don't want to be bothered?

...Yes, actually. Making X+5 is not a justification for taking a job that requires you to rudely impose yourself on other people to coercive ends, any more than making X+500 justifies running a pyramid scheme. Your suggestion that amount of compensation should effect the judgment is bizarre. Particularly from somebody who is calling somebody else "selfish."

Shmegegge is right: Most everybody takes a shit job at some point, so there is no moral high horse for telemarketers. I'm tired of hearing that argument. It's dumb. The job is both easier to land and easier to do than the myriad "shit jobs" that the rest of us found instead of becoming telemarketers.
posted by cribcage at 10:37 AM on November 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


When someone calls me like this, I tell them I'm not interested and hang up. I don't get any "hilarious" stories out of it, but I get on with my life.
posted by Legomancer at 10:46 AM on November 20, 2009


Tell your sob story to the fixed-income grandmother you tricked into buying grand worth of Tae Bo tapes.

OTOH, screaming "You bastard! This is for the fixed-income granny who bought all those Tae Bo tapes, you son of a bitch!" at every solicitor who called could be delightfully nutty.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:46 AM on November 20, 2009


They are stealing as much time from him as he is stealing from them. Fair's fair.

And together they are stealing our time, as well. And this comment, this comment is stealing a wee bit of it on its own as you read it. You're welcome.
posted by davejay at 10:48 AM on November 20, 2009


Which one is the asshole?
posted by killy willy at 10:48 AM on November 20, 2009


Since we already have a Eugene Mirman link I will up the stakes with a Matt Besser album.

I just want to lose myself in this world and never come out.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:12 AM on November 20, 2009


kind of exactly like

what
posted by ODiV at 11:17 AM on November 20, 2009


doh.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:24 AM on November 20, 2009


If someone wants or needs x + 5, so they can pay child support or shore up a burgeoning coke habit and they decide to be a telemarketer instead of a mime, that's their business and doesn't change my lack of interest in verbally abusing anyone.

This whole "no sympathy! none!" thing is really overly hard-assed considering that the people involved are, you know, calling people on the phone.
posted by kathrineg at 12:10 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


kathrineg: "This whole "no sympathy! none!" thing is really overly hard-assed considering that the people involved are, you know, calling people on the phone."

it can be, yeah. on the other hand, if we're talking about the occasional "fuck you!" or prank, I don't really find it all that hard assed, and sincerely have no sympathy for the telemarketer since a prank or cuss ain't no great shakes, imho.
posted by shmegegge at 12:18 PM on November 20, 2009


This whole "no sympathy! none!" thing is really overly hard-assed considering that the people involved are, you know, calling people on the phone.
posted by kathrineg at 12:10 PM on November 20


If they don't want to be fucked with or abused they can just quit calling; problem solved. Until then, fuck 'em.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 12:32 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, yes, shmegegge, it ain't no great shakes. But most telemarketers already feel shitty about their jobs, so whatever prank you pull on them is just going to dislodge whatever temporary cognitive barrier it is that they have keeping the shame at bay. So why do it?
posted by voronoi at 12:34 PM on November 20, 2009


Kill Screen 'em all let God voicemail sort 'em out.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:40 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Pranks cut the intense monotony of the telemarketer's day. I always preferred them over the old people who didn't understand I was trying to take their money. Yeck.
posted by Darth Fedor at 12:41 PM on November 20, 2009


Well, yes, shmegegge, it ain't no great shakes. But most telemarketers already feel shitty about their jobs, so whatever prank you pull on them is just going to dislodge whatever temporary cognitive barrier it is that they have keeping the shame at bay. So why do it?

Humanistically speaking, shame is one of nature's great motivators for change.
posted by Darth Fedor at 12:43 PM on November 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


voronoi: "so whatever prank you pull on them is just going to dislodge whatever temporary cognitive barrier it is that they have keeping the shame at bay. So why do it?"

never pranked them, but if I did it would be so that the annoying ass phone call on my end at least provides me some measure of simple joy. why should I be bothered by a telemarketer feeling shame for doing something shameful?
posted by shmegegge at 12:53 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


But given the incredible diversity of telemarketing departments, varieties of telemarketing, etc, the fact that some scam artists use the telephone is not really an excuse to be a dick to a stranger.

I think you're missing the point, and overestimating the "incredible diversity of telemarketing departments." They might not be calling on behalf of a criminal enterprise, but they are calling to convince you to do something—usually, something that will cost you money. Typically they have scripts to help them, scripts that have been deliberately tailored to overcome people's reasonable, anticipated objections.

A car salesmen does the same thing. But the difference is, I walked onto his lot. I volunteered. When the telemarketer reaches for my pocket, it isn't because I extended an invitation. So your last bit isn't really accurate, either: It's not a question of being a dick to a "stranger." It's being a dick (or not) to somebody who has imposed on my time, unsolicited, to try and take something from me—which most people would consider a "dick" move in the first place.

I thought the Are You Happy? segment was genius.

It wasn't. From a comedy perspective (which is how it was intended), it was botched. The idea behind that question was to seem randomly philosohpical and musing, but the telemarketer interpreted it (predictably) as an antagonistic challenge—like, "Are you happy, being one of those scum-sucking telemarketers?" Now, you can appreciate what he was going for, because you're smart, but that doesn't mean that the joke wasn't completely broken. It only works if the telemarketer gets his meaning. She didn't, because he botched it.

This whole "no sympathy! none!" thing is really overly hard-assed considering that the people involved are, you know, calling people on the phone.

Really? Because nobody's talking about, you know, herding telemarketers into gas chambers. They're getting pranked. If you see some heinous disproportionality there, so be it. I don't.
posted by cribcage at 1:07 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Naw, I just think that taking a completely extreme position like "I have absolutely no sympathy for any telemarketers ever no matter what ever because that's how awful telemarketing is" is pretty silly.
posted by kathrineg at 1:13 PM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Re-reading my comment it occurred to me I may have been a bit unclear. These seniors had no debt to the charity, this was more of a cold-call for donation situation. The browbeating was playing on their love for the charity to get them to agree to a donation of any kind, no amount too big or small.
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist at 1:14 PM on November 20, 2009


I'm really confused by this whole "BUT THEY HAVE BILLS TO PAY!" argument, as though that makes telemarketing any less irritating or invasive. Lots of people with loathsome jobs have bills to pay. The CEO of Enron had bills to pay; Chuck Colson has bills to pay. The simple fact that this is someone's job doesn't somehow magically make it a likable thing, and the fact that these people are low-income wage slaves doesn't make it any better. Are you seriously going to argue that any and every low-income job is worthwhile, for no other reason than that it employs people that need the money?

And moreover -- if YOU are calling ME and initiating a conversation, you don't fucking get to complain about the turns such a conversation may take. It's bizarre to me that people in this thread are seriously complaining about the possibility that I might waste a telemarketer's time -- huh? Telemarketing contributes absolutely nothing positive to our world, and the song I'm playing on my tiny fucking fiddle right now is called "just for the telemarketers."
posted by Frobenius Twist at 1:16 PM on November 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


I find it interesting that many people here are (rightfully, IMO) dumping on telemarketing employees for choosing to work a shit job that could be easily replaced by some other non-harassing shit job — yet in the SEO thread the other day, I took a lot of heat for saying the same sort of things about the people who are polluting the web search space for a buck.

"If I didn't do it, someone else would" and "I'm just following orders" are absolutely unacceptable rationales.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:30 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


five fresh fish: "yet in the SEO thread the other day, I took a lot of heat for saying the same sort of things about the people who are polluting the web search space for a buck."

I missed that thread. consider me duly shocked that metafilter would even have SEO defenders in its ranks. I thought that was part of our thing, was hating SEO spammers.
posted by shmegegge at 1:34 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Telemarketing contributes absolutely nothing positive to our world, and the song I'm playing on my tiny fucking fiddle right now is called "just for the telemarketers."

No, but it lets an undergraduate eat, and cliché-ridden disdain doesn't contribute anything positive to the world either.

Really? Because nobody's talking about, you know, herding telemarketers into gas chambers. They're getting pranked. If you see some heinous disproportionality there, so be it. I don't.

Pranked implies creativity and surprise. This is just recordings of a dude abusing people. It's not life-threatening, but it is making someone else's life unpleasant because it's funny to you.

you don't fucking get to complain about the turns such a conversation may take

What? So if I come up to you and say "would you like a flier" and you call my mom a whore, I don't get to complain?

I'm really confused by this whole "BUT THEY HAVE BILLS TO PAY!" argument, as though that makes telemarketing any less irritating or invasive

The argument is not about goodness or invasiveness, the argument is simply "you can just hang up the phone, being cruel only for your benefit is a lousy thing to do".
posted by voronoi at 1:34 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I took a lot of heat for saying the same sort of things about the people who are polluting the web search space for a buck.

Well, marketing on the internet is, like, kewl man. And stuff. Plus I do it, so that automatically means it's moral and reasonable. Maybe even mandatory, y'know, for kewlness. If I can't ruin global databases for fun & profit, how else will I help the world learn more about wang enhancement methodologies? Or find new clients for this truly awesome mesothelioma-trolling lawyer?

...wait, wait, I meant to ask how will I help the world learn more about Aunt Sally and those lovely little lace doilies she sells to help cover the cost of her niece's lymphoma treatments. Yes, that's it. That's what I meant.
posted by aramaic at 1:36 PM on November 20, 2009


voronoi: "No, but it lets an undergraduate eat, and cliché-ridden disdain doesn't contribute anything positive to the world either."

bar tending also lets an undergraduate eat, and plenty of them do so and for more money than telemarketers. for that matter, if we're talking about undergraduates, then join work study, or the library staff, or serve fucking frozen chicken tenders in the cafeteria. also, a universally held sentiment isn't a cliche. that's like saying it's a cliche to dislike murder.

So if I come up to you and say "would you like a flier" and you call my mom a whore, I don't get to complain?

I love this game! I think murder's bad. "what, so you if somebody was going to rape your daughter, you wouldn't kill him if it was the only way to stop him?" jesus christ. I know it can be difficult to stick to the discussion at hand when you don't have much of a leg to stand on, but completely switching context because you think you'll be on more comfortable ground is simply bad faith argumentation. and for the record, yes I hate those flier assholes, too, although I simply ignore them because - and this difference is key - they're at least out in public and not coming into my house to push the fucking things on me.

The argument is not about goodness or invasiveness, the argument is simply "you can just hang up the phone, being cruel only for your benefit is a lousy thing to do".

actually, no. the argument IS about goodness AND invasiveness. you just don't want to discuss it on those terms, because at the end of the day there is no justification for telemarketing's invasiveness.
posted by shmegegge at 1:49 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


yeah, sure--go ahead and blame the teleworker. after all, they're the one that's chosen a profession specifically dedicated to harassing you. after all, why else would anyone take such a job? there's just so much opportunity out there!

the simple economic fact is that there is one reason why telemarketing continues: because it works. you don't want telemarketers to call you? stop buying from them. also make sure the companies that you work for don't support this behavior. after all your very own sales department might be cold calling in the next office over--better stop them before they bother your grandmother.

a lot of people seem to think there's plenty of work out there for anyone who just looks hard enough. you guys are picking on the weakest and least powerful link in a multimillion (or maybe billion) industry. good going, metafilter!
posted by lester's sock puppet at 1:57 PM on November 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


From a comedy perspective (which is how it was intended), [the Are You Happy segment] was botched. The idea behind that question was to seem randomly philosohpical and musing, but the telemarketer interpreted it (predictably) as an antagonistic challenge—like, "Are you happy, being one of those scum-sucking telemarketers?" Now, you can appreciate what he was going for, because you're smart, but that doesn't mean that the joke wasn't completely broken. It only works if the telemarketer gets his meaning. She didn't, because he botched it.


Actually, I completely disagree with your "broken" analysis there, cribcage.

The guy turned the telemarketer's annoying appeal to his conscience - she mentioned she had kids to feed, as if this fact should move his hard little heart - right back on her.

I think he responded with something like how it sounded as if she had a wonderful life compared to his. Which was in very poor taste. And made me laugh.

I thought that was a nimble comic save.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 2:01 PM on November 20, 2009


you guys are picking on the weakest and least powerful link

that's how you break a chain
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:09 PM on November 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


I also missed the SEO thread. Although there's a distinction to be made between polluting waters versus actually, actively, and directly soliciting people in order to persuade them to act to your material benefit.

Pranked implies creativity and surprise. This is just recordings of a dude abusing people.

Just because it's a bad prank—and it is, it's terrible and unfunny—doesn't mean it isn't a prank. A recording of a dude "abusing" people would be if he just swore at them. This FPP was telemarketing pranks done badly. Check out Tom Made for telemarketing pranks done well. Same principle, though.

the simple economic fact is that there is one reason why telemarketing continues: because it works.

Sure. The same is true of cons. Why are grifters out there, trying to con people out of money? Because it works. And that's not an inapt analogy, because your counter—"stop buying from them"—ignores the fact that the telemarketing industry is premised on the idea that people don't want to buy from them, and how to overcome that. It is a "con," in essence. Their scripts are written using the same principles and techniques.

You can blow the Personal Responsibility trumpet and say that ultimately, people are responsible for their actions. And I agree, but for two things: (1) Grandma might bear ultimate responsibility for buying the electric sock-dryer, but the telemarketer who convinced her bears some. And that's what we're talking about. (2) He also bears responsibility for trying to con people out of their money in the first place. And whether or not those people ultimately give in, that's a rotten thing to do.
posted by cribcage at 2:10 PM on November 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Shmeggege, maybe an argument is being made that telemarketing is good, or not invasive. Having been a telemarketer, I have some hangups about this, so maybe I was unclear, so let me be clear: My only argument in this thread is that grandstanding cruelty to telemarketers is useless and unneeded. My argument is that whatever you think of telemarketing, when you fight telemarketing, no matter how cleverly, you are not fighting telemarketing, you are fighting one tired person.

And, okay, maybe that was a hackneyed comparison, but I think "start a conversation with me and you get what you're getting, and I bear no responsibility" is a little silly. Also, as for cliché-ridden, I meant the "tiny fiddle" phrase, not the "disliking telemarketing."

Yes, undergraduates get paid being library staff. This is why I am now library staff. But I also spent six months telemarketing, during which I was constantly looking for other jobs which could fit around my class schedule and could offer me the right number of hours, and found none. Sometimes there's nothing else. This is evidence of nothing, it's just where I'm coming from.
posted by voronoi at 2:48 PM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Having been a telemarketer, I have some hangups about this

OF COURSE YOU DID!

Ahem, excuse me.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:49 PM on November 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


I guess businesses have to, but people actually answer the phone when they don't recognize the number? Huh. I havent talked to a telemarketer in over a decade, because I only answer when I know who's calling. On the few times a legitimate call from a company comes in (say, my bank calling me to verify transactions) and I don't recognize it, they leave voicemail. That's really the big difference --- legit calls leave a message, telemarketers don't. If I don't recognize it and they don't leave a voicemail, it wasn't important.

Of course, half the time I don't even answer when I do recognize the call, but that's because I'm antisocial.
posted by wildcrdj at 3:09 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


"super crazy woman vs. telemarketer" is the benchmark for unbridled craziness
posted by porn in the woods at 3:21 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


How about some links to fucking to telemarketers that are funny? Like this one.
posted by Cogito at 4:10 PM on November 20, 2009


s/to/with/
posted by Cogito at 4:11 PM on November 20, 2009


> that was insane, porn in the woods. "you deserve every pain known to man!" Why did he stay on the phone?

I think Fuck Buttons sampling her screaming on Street Horrrsing.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:33 PM on November 20, 2009


that's how you break a chain

Hey, everybody. I'm starting a betting pool for how long it'll be before Optimus Chyme's picture is set alongside that photo of the man facing the tanks during the Tiananmen Square protests. I vote one year. TOPS.
posted by invitapriore at 4:52 PM on November 20, 2009


Damn, there are some really horrible attitudes on display here. Advocating someone take up prostitution to pay their bills instead of telemarketing, even in jest, is... wow*. The lack of empathy is gob-smacking.

Optimus et al. you must be incredibly amazing, powerful people, that ten seconds of your time - less if you hang up quickly - is so valuable to you and society that the deprivation of it provokes such rage and anger at a group of people who are almost universally disadvantaged and disenfranchised.

But then again, I believe people have a basic right to some kind of dignity and general respect, regardless of how much they're pissing me off with their irritating phonecalls.

*not disparaging sex work, whatever gets you through the night etc, but saying people should accept what is a fairly dangerous, high-risk profession rather than telemarket is not good.
posted by smoke at 5:41 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Telemarketing is shit work, but sometimes it's the only work. When I was an undergrad, I scrambled for anything remotely reasonable I could find. No restaurant I applied to would hire me without experience, so I tried telemarketing for a department store way out in an industrial park. I lasted all of 2 days. It was a huge step up to move into market research, where we were more often tolerated, because lots of people like giving their opinions about anything and everything. (The only time I felt outright accepted and even loved was the summer we went door to door with free, cold beer.)

These days, I screen telemarketing through call display, say "No" right away, or ask to be put on the Do Not Call List, which usually works. When it doesn't, I make note of the numbers to screen. I can be pretty thin-skinned and impatient with interruptions sometimes, but I just don't see the point of harassing some short-timer on the other end of the phone in an attempt to more thoroughly communicate contempt and disdain for their bad life choices or thicker skin.
posted by maudlin at 7:19 PM on November 20, 2009


Since we already have a Eugene Mirman link I will up the stakes with aMatt Besser album.

Matt Besser is the fucking shit. His Bjork- and Jimmy Stewart-as-tech-support-staffers are fucking hilarious.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:45 PM on November 20, 2009


you must be incredibly amazing, powerful people, that ten seconds of your time - less if you hang up quickly - is so valuable to you and society that the deprivation of it provokes such rage and anger at a group of people who are almost universally disadvantaged and disenfranchised.

Try trying to make a sale at one end of the store and having to leave the customer to run to answer the phone to hear some dickwad or wadette, who has already been told countless times to stop calling, try and sell you paper for your Visa machine or cash register, or pens, or a scale for mailing packages, or some other piece of equipment you don't need. Or tell them you make a point of never ever buying anything from someone who cold calls you and that they're therefore wasting their time. Now repeat this multiple times a day every single fucking day. Try telling them that the employee on their list hasn't worked at the store in almost ten fucking years and that they should put you on their do not call list. Some times you say it politely. Some times you say it angrily. It makes no fucking difference. They don't care.

Ten seconds a day? You know what--it's my fucking ten seconds and your selfish "job" just cost me a sale.

Sympathy? I hope their fucking heads fall off.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 9:58 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Telemarketing, as a career, is more socially distasteful than prostitution - they don't make movies about telemarketers with hearts of gold, after all.

Sympathy? I hope their fucking heads fall off.

At the very least, I'm rooting for laryngitis.
posted by FormlessOne at 10:18 PM on November 20, 2009


the simple economic fact is

The simple economic fact is: the more crappy a telemarketer's job is, the more widely publicised how crappy a telemarketer's job is and the more publically stigmatised telemarketing work is, the more telemarketing firms will have to pay the cold callers to get them to do the job in the first place and the less economically viable the whole business becomes.

people who are polluting the web search space for a buck

If web search was a service I was paying for, and I was forced to visit all the crap links, then I would view it as the same thing. Telemarketing is more akin to a virus which pops up an advert for viagra every five minutes when I'm trying to think about something else.
posted by robertc at 4:16 AM on November 21, 2009


The FRUCA.
posted by tellurian at 4:42 AM on November 21, 2009


After reading all of the carefully considered "fuck telemarketers" arguments and all of the "fuck people who fuck with telemarketers" arguments I think I am going to have to say "Fuck whoever is responsible for the situation in which a person must find themself that they take a job as a telemarketer, and also fuck the people who take pleasure in fucking with such a person."
posted by tehloki at 10:03 PM on November 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


The strawberry FRUCA.
posted by tellurian at 3:30 AM on November 22, 2009


Picnik sux. I just wanted to correct the name typo. 'Stepping over the black cats' my arse.
posted by tellurian at 3:35 AM on November 22, 2009


The FRUCA looks like a pleasant eating-object! I am gratified to see images of the enclosure, as this will help me identify the pleasant eating-object when I am next in a purchasing theater.

My teeth will have many parties now, as they will no longer be afflicted with bars that are not of the eating-kind. My teeth will be thankful to you, allow me to also say that you should not be eating bars which are of copper unless your teeth are more powerful than my teeth. It is my suggestion to you.
posted by aramaic at 7:51 AM on November 23, 2009


I never worked as a telemarketer, but I did work briefly as a door-to-door solicitor for charity, which is arguably worse because doorknockers make you get out of your chair. I was an undergraduate and I needed the money, and you know what? If you ever see me doing that again, fucking prank me. Insult me, trick me, waste my time. I was only there for a couple days, but if I had been shamed enough to quit after the first day, good for me.

It's a shitty, unethical job. The company I worked for wasn't breaking any laws I knew of, and the cause was one I still believe in, but I met dozens of people that I was required by my job to treat with less respect and decency than I would ever want to be treated. If one or two of them had treated me the same way, that's fucking poetic justice served on a bed of life lessons.

Anyhow, I eventually got a job as a temp worker and assembled power strips for shitty pay for a summer, and I emerged with a good deal more of my soul than I would have if I had kept trying to hassle people into writing a check to a company they hadn't heard of five minutes ago.

I'm not advocating the abuse of telemarketers. I believe you should never be a cock to a stranger, even if they're being a cock to you. I'm just saying if it's ever me, you have my permission to lay it on with a trowel.
posted by lore at 4:20 PM on November 23, 2009


The FRUCA is indeed a pleasant eating-object! The enclosure in no way signifies the pleasure to be obtained from eating the pleasant eating-object. If you are not able to visit a purchasing theater, shoot me your address in an e-mail and I shall endeavour to send you a supply of the aformentioned pleasant eating-objects (please do preface said request with preferred flavour FRUCA – blue raspberry, strawberry, orange, milk).
Note: You're teeth may no longer be able to have parties and eat copper after partaking of FRUCA. This is my warning to you.
posted by tellurian at 6:30 AM on November 24, 2009


I have to say that this is the only thread I've ever been a part of that made me angry enough to walk away from the computer the way they always talk about over on MetaTalk.
posted by josher71 at 3:49 PM on November 29, 2009


No fan of FRUCA, eh?
posted by five fresh fish at 5:59 PM on November 29, 2009


Yep. Get that FRUCA out of my face!
posted by josher71 at 6:10 PM on November 29, 2009


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