I know why people hate telemarketers now. When I called for my school to ask people for money, I didn’t understand why people were so defensive and rude right off the bat. But you haven’t even heard my sweet, little voice making a pitch for scholarship money! Listen to my plea. I just want $5! Or $50…
Really, I was quite shocked that few people were courteous enough to remember that I was human.
I had the same experience of feeling inhuman again tonight, but this time from the other end. After two hellos (the second one sounding more annoyed than the first because I hate having to say “hello” more than once… they called me, right? they should be ready to talk.), the man asked for my mom. She wasn’t available, so I asked to take a message.
I could rant about what happened afterwards, and it might feel good, but I’ll just say that I wish the conversation had gone differently. And I can think of multiple ways that it might have been better.
I could have pretended to be my mom’s sassy secretary:
Man: Is Debbie available?
Me: May I ask who’s calling?
Man: It’s a courtesy call.
Me: Well, you don’t sound very courteous. I screen Ms. McDonald’s calls for her, and I must ask you to remove her from your list.
Man responds with something indignant, like I’ve attacked him when he was only trying to help me.
Me: I’m sorry, sir, but if you won’t tell me who you are or what your purpose in calling is, I will have to assume that you are a criminal. Please hold while I call the police.
*Bobby McFerrin hold music*
Here’s a little song I wrote. You might want to sing it note for no-
And he hangs up. And takes us off of his “courtesy” list forever.
End of fairy tale.
When I told him that I wanted to be able to let my mom know who had been repeatedly calling all day (coming up on caller ID as “unknown name, private number”) he said, “well, isn’t that nice of you.”
Oh, my blood boils.
Too bad you can’t phone slap people.
It’s too bad you think of all your good retorts too late to speak them. Granted, I wasn’t a doormat. People don’t get to call our house and be bullies or treat the daughter like she’s being dumb for wanting to know who is on the phone.
How does this guy keep his job? I doubt anyone wants to talk to him and even fewer want to listen to his pitch. How does he have friends if he’s so manipulative and condescending?
How the heck would Jesus respond to that guy? Would we get “you brood of vipers” Jesus or the flipping-over-tables-in-the-temple Jesus? Or would we get the “Father, forgive him for he knows not what he does” Jesus?
I’m still not sure, but I’m pretty sure that if I get to talk to that person again, I will have words for him. Hopefully the right words at the right time.