Cold Call

November 30, 2006 at 2:14 am (Uncategorized)

Alright people, I’ll come clean with you. If you don’t want to talk to me anymore, I’ll understand. I just can’t live with this horrible secret anymore. I’ll hang on to the secrets I have about prostitutes, drug use, strange emergency room visits and tender moments with farm animals. But this one… this one is eating me up.

outrage.jpgI used to be a telemarketer. There, I’ve said it. You may start throwing rotted fruit or feces (Weasel) now.

My fling with over-the-phone sales lasted just a few weeks and I was absolutely horrible at it. There was nothing high pressure about my high pressure pitch. I would typically begin robustly enough, but midway through the speech, I’d start apologizing for the intrustion, agreeing that it was rude and offering never to call again. This before the person on the other end of the line even declined the offer.

I sold magazine subscriptions or some shit like that. Although as far as I recall, I don’t think I sold a single one. I collected a small check for my efforts, endured a windy speech from the sales manager about how I might have the right stuff if I just worked on my delivery, and beat feet to a bar to wash away my shame. I’ve been washing ever since.

As far as I’m concerned, the better a person is at sales, the more loathsome he becomes. I always want to be rude to those guys but I can never pull it off. Except for that one time, when an aluminum siding salesman called while I was having a tender moment with a farm animal. Boy, I let THAT guy have it.

Here’s a classic case of telemarketer revenge. It’s safe for work and absolutely brilliant. Resume feces flinging.



  1. Linda said,

    A telemarketer, Mark? Jeez, I bet you WERE awful at it. And I mean that as a compliment.

    Supposedly in a capitalist society, if the market wants it, it exists. And vice versa. So what does the market want with telemarketers? All I can think of is that they exist to be a target of our scorn. The only good telemarketer is a bad telemarketer.

    What a hilarious recording.

  2. Mainetarr said,

    That is hysterical, OMG, what a funny way to start off the day. I can’t imagine you being a telemarketer. I hate high pressure sales. That’s a big reason why I will not even walk into the Furniture Superstore in Lewiston. Once you walk in, you are tailed constantly and asked if you need help until you get so pissed off, you end up leaving. You can’t go there with the intent to look only, you have to buy buy buy. I appreciate someone asking you if you need help, but don’t follow me through the store telling the history of ever piece I happen to glance at.

  3. Richie said,

    Ha ha ha !! “Mark the Marketer” ! I thought I had some suck jobs in my life, but that one ranks right down there at the bottom. Richt next to it is being an “account executive” for a TV channel (you see them afvertising all the time) or perhaps being an “Area Distribution Manager” for the newspaper. Making cold-calls to people who are NOT interested in what you’re selling has to be the ulimate pits.

    Hey Mark, how long did it take for your self-esteem to make it back up to “zero” from the negative numbers ?

    I never did anything near as complicated as those radio people. When we used to get calls, I’d let ’em talk for a minute, then I’d yell something like “Hey, the cat is on fire !” and kust put the phone down. I’d then go in and sit down & watch TV. When the phone made the “off the hook” sound, I’d go hang it up. No repeat calls, so it seemed to work. I highly recommend the “Do Not Call” list, too.

  4. brenda said,

    I got a job as a telemarketer once. I was supposed to call & tell them they had won these great prizes. Then get their info, including questions designed to determine their demographics, and if they weren’t the desired demographics, they’d never receive any prize. I thought it was immoral so I quit. I think I lasted 3 days, because my friend got me the job, so for her, I tried to do it.

    I used to get mad at telemarketers, until it occurred to me the caller was a human being in a situation like me, trying to make a living and it was a job- the telemarketer is doing what they are given to do int he job, they didn’t think it up themselves, so hostility is really displaced to give to the caller. Sometimes I say that “You are doing a good job, but I am just thw wrong customer, I don’t have a credit card & refuse to get any, I’m not the demographics your company is looking for. I am glad you have a job * hope you find a better job soon… or something else to ackinowledge that the caller is a human being, however, I know that actually probably ruins their day. They have supervisors watching them and if they don’t get a certain number of successful calls, they have consequences. BUt realising they could get a better job is a fine outcome.
    I just can’t be rude to the caller anymore because I do realise that it’s just a person trying to get or keep a job.

    I should get on the do not call list. Drives me crazy when they keep offering me credit cards! ! ! I am SO against credit cards. If I can’t afford something, I certainly can’t afford to pay for it with compounding interest!

  5. Mainetarr said,

    No kidding about the credit cards. Too bad they didn’t teach kids in school the concept of credit cards and how if you can’t afford it in the first place, how will you be able to pay for it along with interest? My Godchild, a 17 year old high school senior got a credit card with a $4000 limit, mind you. $4000. She works part time in an ice cream shop. She no longer has it, but they will give them to anyone. It’s nuts!!!

  6. Linda said,

    When I first moved back to the U.S., I had no credit history at all. I had a good job but the bank looked at me crosseyed when I mentioned the word mortgage. So I applied for a Visa card to start squelching the rumor that I did not exist.

    Got turned down. For a Visa card. People at work thought it was hilarious. One woman brought in four credit card offers that had come in the mail for her 15 year old daughter, whose only job was picking peas in the summer vacation.

    That was 8 years ago though, and now I get a dozen offers a week same as everyone else.

  7. LaFlamme said,

    I’m on the do not call list. And I almost never get called. Go figure. Something works.

  8. LaFlamme said,

    I was a telemarketer for two weeks, I think. I didn’t sell anything, but I hooked up with one of the girls from the office. Priceless.

  9. Richie said,

    A short while ago (a few weeks maybe ?) there was something on Drudge Report reference Capitol One credit cards (the ones with the vikings rampaging around). It seems that they were issuing cards with short limits to people of minimal credit-worthiness. They’d max the card; putting them almost immediately into the 25% interest and extra fees bracket; and the company would then issue another card to the same people ! Some poeple were locked into indebtedness for the rest of their lives !! The others, who didn’t pay and merely skipped out, their “cost” was pushed off onto the honest people who pay their bills regularly. Ever wonder why insurance costs so much ? I haven’t had a car crash in 25 over yrs except 3 yrs ago when someone backed into me. Yet, why is my insurance rate so high ? Yup; paying the costs of all the mopes out there who are either not made to pay, or who are in some way defrauding the system.

    Credit can be a blessing or a curse; but one thing is for sure; like the truth about Santa Claus and sex, it should be taught to a chid as soon as they are of age to understand !

    (I remember when I was a kid, I saw Santa Claus kissing mommy. They were doing the mommy – daddy thing. Then Dad came in with his army gun; and Santa ran out the door. He probably left his sleigh parked somewhere. I looked for it because I wanted the presents, but I couldn’t find it. Oh well. Next year, new daddy was much nicer; he just beat Santa with his fists & didn’t try to shot him.)

  10. Linda said,

    Reminds me of a song … hmmm, can’t quite think of it at the moment

  11. LaFlamme said,

    “I Saw Mommy Kissing the Capital One Guy?” Sing with me!

  12. Robert said,

    Okay, everyone can chime in with your best ways to deal with telemarketers…

    See I’ve tried everytinng, first i slammed the phone down and said good bye…no luck,
    then I decided to take matters more seriously, so i started asking if I could call them back at a more convenient time, like when THEY are sitting down to a nice meal with their family…

    That one worked a few times, but here’s better revenge….listen to the sales pitch, we’ve all got cordless phones so its only our time and we can putter while they talk….just keep saying “yes Im interested” or “thats sounds pretty cool” or “I’ve always luved visiting there (condo calls)”….the theory being keep them on the line as long as you can without agreeing to buy anything. Eventually they will say goodbye…I know its your time, but think about it for a minute, each time I do that and keep them on the phone for 15 minutes, thats 20-30 calls they can’t make bugging any of you, so each of you owe me big time!

    So I urge you, do it for your fellow man (or woman)…..keep them on the phone, its perfect, none of your friends get pestered and they make no money on sales calls…
    as the commercial says “Priceless!”.

  13. Nadine said,

    Mark you bastard…you wrote this just for me didn’t ya? Didn’t ya? Admit it!

    Yeah I was a telemarketer — one of the top sellers too. Did the annoying “outbound” calls for credit cards and cigarette surveys. Then did some “inbound” calls for various infomercials (Avacor or Focus Factor anyone?). Pays VERY well if you can get the sales.

    I am now their worst enemy — Robert hit it right on the head. I never minded getting yelled at or hung up on, but hated when people kept me thinkin’ they were gonna buy only to get shot down after spending sooo much time on the phone with them. Lost a lot of sales that way too, time is money!

    But, now that I know all the tricks, I just tell em to go ahead and give me the required 3 rebuttals and then I say no and to put me on the DNC list.

    You owe me Mark — big time!

  14. LaFlamme said,

    Gotta admit, Nadine. I thought of you when I was writing it. But you were actually GOOD at it. I sucked bong water.

  15. Martha said,

    In addition to the do not call list, there is a way to prevent companies from sending you credit card offers and such.
    Everytime you receive one in the mail, it means the company sending it has looked at your credit report. If you contact the 3 major credit reporting agencies and tell them you do not want your information given out for promotional purposed, it will almost entirely stop that kind of junk mail. I rarely get any. Once you have notified the agencies (in writing) they will not give out your info for 5 years. One of them even sent me a form to fill out and they’d put me on a permanent list.
    Just a little known fact, I thought some of you might appreciate.

  16. Blumpkin said,

    Re: post #4.

  17. "The Weasel" said,

    Re: post#4

  18. LaFlamme said,

    Confirmation: what’s a good place to eat in Bangor?

  19. Nadine said,

    Damn, didn’t mean to be so harsh Mark, “bastard” is kinda crude.

    I shoulda said: Mark you asshat!! (Keep forgetting to use that term…and I love it so!).

    Just a couple of inside tips regarding telemarketers:

    ~~Don’t let them complete the CC application before you decide to hang up. You MUST decline before that happens. You can tell them at any time that you don’t want it, even at the last second before hanging up, but if you just hang up, and the application is done and they say “ok, let me just explain the terms”, it is considered a done deal. All calls are taped, and they have to continue saying the (approximately 6 screens worth of) “conditions” to dead air, even if you’ve hung up…and the card will be on it’s way.

    ~~If you hang up at any time before the application is completed, you are tagged as HU, hung-up, which just puts your number back in line in hopes that someone else will answer (and accept) next time it dials.

    ~~If you piss off a telemarketer and then hang-up as well, you will probably be tagged RC, recall, which not only re-enters your number but also can be entered by the telemarker with details to call you so many times a day or what time to call, etc.

    So, just say no, ask to be put on the DNC list, and THEN hang-up.

    If I think of any others, I’ll warn ya! You really can learn a lot from a shit-ass job!

  20. Nadine said,

    Couldn’t answer that one mark — have only stopped for gas there on my long-ass trips to Ft. Kent

  21. "The Weasel" said,

    A. There is none, I settled for Dysarts

  22. LaFlamme said,

    Dystarts. Dysarts is the restaurant we were looking for. Well done. Although personally, I’d recommend the Tavern, next to the bus station.

  23. Nadine said,

    Oh yeah! I HAVE been to Dysarts!! Very interesting people dine there — great place to people-watch!

  24. Gil said,

    Dysart’s rocks. The food is ok, but their truck service across the street is outstanding, quick, and reasonably priced. My big, gas-hog work truck went down hard in the truck stop parking lot and they had it fixed and ready for me the next day, at a reasonble price.

    Re: post #4 and a good place to eat

  25. Mainetarr said,

    Dysart’s, hands down…best place to eat in Bangor. Atomsphere is the best, too.

  26. brenda said,

    How is it that I’m “cuckoo” for acknowledging that people who are telemarketers are PEOPLE who are just trying to get through a day, doing a job to get paid, to make a living? People, like some of us.

    anyway, you sucked bongwater? did it make you sleepy? how did it taste? did you add anything like sugar or sweet&low & lemon to make it taste more like tea?
    how about bongwater/coffee? bongwater/coffeebrandy? eeewww! bongwater moonshine…..

    one more question- what do you think of when you say “asshat”? Do you have a description of what comes to mind?
    A ‘hat’ is a covering, for your head, so I think of an asshat as something that is ON an ass, but is NOT necessarily an ass. (well, I can visualise an ass on an ass, but that’s awkward, not to mention backward…)
    The most benign image of an ‘asshat’ is underwear. But my first image when I see the word ‘asshat’ is some kind of buttplug. Or a person on top, you know, sitting on someone’s butt– doing a back massage….yeah, a massage. I don’t have any reason to know about anything like that. (???) So when you say “asshat” are you saying you want the person to be like a hat sitting on top of your ___? Are you asking for a back massage? Or asking for a prostrate exam? of course women don’t have prostates, but women still say ‘asshat’ – I just don’t know if they are actually calling someone gay/dominant, or maybe, inviting someone to be in top of her butt?

    I mean, what do you think “asshat” means? What picture comes to mind when you say the word?
    Inquiring minds want to know.

  27. Mainetarr said,

    1. asshat

    One who has their head up their ass. Thus wearing their ass as a hat.

  28. Blumpkin said,

  29. brenda said,

    well, mainetarr, that just seems backwards to me. A hat is something that is on top.

  30. LaFlamme said,

    I was always fond of “ass munch” from Beavis and Butthead days.

  31. AO said,

    Hmmm…I gotta think about that one.

  32. brenda said,

    well, I suppose. A beaver hat is not a hat for a beaver, it is made from a beaver, so I guess you’d say an asshat is a hat made out of ass.
    I like my visuals of the asshat being something or someone on top of the ass better though.
    well, if someone elses head is up the ass, or munching …. now I’m back to thinking of bad bad porn…..

  33. asshat photos said,

  34. Linda said,

    If you can see this comic strip — the guy has underpants on his head. The cartoonist submitted the strip with the guy having an ass for a head, but the editors rejected it (sound familiar, Mark?) so he resubmitted it with the underpants.

    Not exactly an asshat, either way, but still, I thought it was possibly relevant.

  35. brenda said,

    ha! I like that Linda!

  36. Jane Froom said,

    Google is the best search engine

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