Now that I have unlimited minutes on my cell phone, I do things that I normally wouldn’t do. I accept calls from telemarketers, time permitting. I used to just hang up on the frequent calls but now if I’m not really doing much and I’m bored, I entertain myself by either trying to keep them on the line for as long as possible or by trying to shake them a little by getting them to go off script.
Recently, a telemarketer from India ( Ahhh outsourcing. I miss the days when I talked to annoying American telemarketers.) called me to talk to me about online education because apparently I had inadvertently signed up for someone to call me to speak to me about furthering my gun repair and home taxidermy education when I requested my free PERT shampoo sample in the mail.
This particular telemarketer was speaking really fast and all I catch is,
“You requested information about online education.”
Here is a transcript (but not really because it’s from my memory and not an actual recording) :
He: Miss Jane Knifer Morphine?
Me : This is she. (Wheels began to turn, think fast! Think fast, Jane Knifer!)
He: My name is ______________(To protect his anonymity and because in reality I don’t remember it. ) and I’m calling because you requested information about online education.
He: You requested information about online education?
Me: Are you speaking english?
He: Yes. I called about online education.
Me: Honey, I can’t understand a word you’re saying. (At this point I’m not sure if my character is old or deaf but I just go with it and decided to sort the details out later.)
He: (Slowly, because the elderly or people with hearing issues need more time to process the words. ) I’M CALLING TO SPEAK TO YOU ABOUT ONLINE EDUCATION.
Me: Awning? Oh honey, I don’t even own my own home.
He: ONLINE EDUCATION.
Me: I rent.
He: Ma’am I’m calling because you requested that someone call you about online education.
Me: Hon, I can’t hear you. Can you speak up? (I do this just to see if I can get him to nearly scream.)
He: (decibels louder) CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?
He: (speaking slowly and yelling) I’M CALLING TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT ONLINE EDUCATION. YOU REQUESTED INFORMATION ABOUT ONLINE EDUCATION.
Me: Honey, I don’t need an education about awning because I just rent this apartment.
He: Oh, OK. You’re deaf. THANK YOU MA’AM. (click)
The man literally said “you’re deaf” and hung up on me.
Then a few days later, I had the best experience with a telemarketer, EVER. I was zoning out in the hallway of the hospital where my doctor’s office is (because I am always way early for appointments and then I get frustrated when they’re even a minute late.) when my phone rang.
It was a telemarketer for a credit consolidation corporation. I’m not sure how they got my information because my credit is spectacular. Perhaps I wanted a free sample of Nutter Butter cookies. I had at least half an hour to spare, and I could tell she was another outsourcee so I decided to have some fun. She told me her name was Alice. What?
In perfect, albeit accented english: “Hello, my name is Alice…” and then she went on to verbally stumble through the rest of her script.
So distracted was I by her obvious lie, I let her finish her first pitch and then said,
“I’m sorry. I don’t believe that Alice is your name.”
There was a long pause and then she dutifully went back to her mumbly jumbly script about debt consolidation. So I let her finish again and then said,
“Am I right?”
She paused again and then said, “About what? I did not hear you.” (Thank you Alice, for paying attention to your potential customer instead of just plowing through your script half-heartedly as you try to occupy the minutes remaining until your next smoke break.)
“I said, I don’t believe that Alice is your real name.”
What happened next has been, and always will be the best thing a telemarketer has ever said to me.
Alice came back with:
“Then you can just go to hell.”
And as fast as she had connected, she was gone. Alice hung up on me.
I went through telemarketing training and the rules were very clear. You were not allowed to hang up on a person and you must wait for tme to hang up first no matter what. You give them a “Have a good day,” or some other “polite disconnect” even though what they probably just said to you was far from polite.
I was a little shocked. And very amused. This seemingly soft-spoken woman just told me to go to hell! Awesome. I hope she calls back. I don’t know how the ques work and it may be random dialing but someone from the same company called me the next day and I just hung up on her. I refuse to talk to anyone but Alice about my non-existent credit issues from now on.
So if you get a call from Alice, as a favor to me, please keep her on the phone as long as possible so that she doesn’t make her monthly quota and doesn’t get that “Employee of the Month” certificate.
You may also opt to tell her that Jane Knifer Morphine decided against the trip to hell and instead chose to go visit the National Tin Foil Museum, where upon she purchased a miniature of the World’s Largest Ball of Tin Foil for her coffee table.