One of the things that used to just drive me crazy was telemarketers calling in the middle of a relaxed evening. Not anymore! Now, I LOVE telemarketers! One unsuspecting telemarketer can make the week!!
Telemarketers today are the old door to door salesmen of years gone by. And as for either one, it doesn’t matter what they are selling, soliciting or surveying, this dog ain’t biting that ham bone!
It’s probably not right, but my goal when telemarketers call and disturb a quiet, peaceful evening is to tie up as much of their time as humanly possible. Their uninvited call becomes my entertainment.
The key, and this is important, the key is to make a telemarketer think you are sincere, but not very smart. I have a get out of jail free card on the not very smart part, but the sincere part has to be done in some other voice, like a backwards redneck with a severe southern drawl.
My telemarketer call record was a couple of 15-minute phone calls. My first 15-minute call I convinced the poor woman I’d taken pain medication, so I mumbled and acted confused the entire time. She kept asking if she could put me down for a donation to an environmental group, but I was able to turn the tables on her and started thanking her repeatedly for offering to help me financially. I just kept talking non-stop, in slurred speech, about how I was 83 years old, just had surgery, didn’t have any food and my great grandkids needed new shoes for school.
The more I talked, the more uncomfortable she got. She kept trying to interrupt and explain that she was asking for money, not giving it away. Every time she would start to say it I would just mumble over and over, “Oh tank ya, Jesus! Tank ya!” That was a fifteen minute call.
Last Spring a telemarketer number popped up on caller ID, so I used an idea I read about. Before they could say a word, I answered by half speaking, have secretly whispering, “John! I got rid of the body, but there’s blood everywhere!!”
There was nothing but silence on the other end.
“John?! John!! That better be you on the phone!!” Then all I heard was a dial tone.
Janet was sitting on the couch and looked at me mortified saying the police would be showing up any minute. They never came. I’m assuming the telemarketer was afraid because their number was on caller ID. (Said with an evil Dr. Jekyll laugh of, “Bru,who,hahahahaha!”)
Two weeks ago, I had a telemarketer frustrated because I kept trying to enroll my kids into a military school by scholarship. He wasn’t even selling that. He put his supervisor on the phone. For the next ten minutes, the supervisor was very patient. No doubt she was trying to show her subordinate, who was listening next to her, how it’s “supposed” to be done.
In mid-sentence I would pull the phone away and yell at imaginary teenage boys for playing chicken with a butcher knife. “You fool boys quit playing with dat knife before someone gets hurt!” I would get back on the line apologizing, and since she had stopped talking, started trying to sign them up for “dat military school that dat first guy said I could put ’em in!”
I could tell she was getting frustrated and about to end the call, so I made a preemptive strike by yelling, “Oh no! Oh gosh! No! He done gone and cut off his fingers!! I GOTTA GO!!!”
Success! 15 minutes! Yeah, that’s right, that’s right! Fifteen minutes on the phone with a telemarketer!! And say what you want, but that’s one telemarketer that won’t call back!
The other night though, it was a grand slam! I shattered the old record! Shattered it!!
Sam, the telemarketer, called doing a survey about health insurance companies. Poor Sam was a rookie. For the first 5 minutes, he was trying to convince me that what he said about recording the phone call for quality assurance purposes had nothing to do with the government, Trump or Obama spying on me!
He was doing a survey of insurance company perceptions. He asked about Aetna, so I got him to spell it out, and then told him I “don’t need no antennae cause I got cable TV.”
When he got to United Healthcare, I assured him they were the ones that “send me a little government check every month, so I love ’em!” He professionally refused to loan me money personally though since my “little check” had already run out this month.
He asked about Blue Cross Blue Shield, which I praised wholeheartedly. “Oh, yes siree!! They are my favorite! Ever job I ever been fired from had Blue Cross Blue Shield! That’s some gooood insurance! Even paid for lots of cough syrup. You know what I’m sayin’?”
He just bit his lip when asking me to rank various qualities of each company, like dependability, on a scale of 1 to 5. I would go into a long diatribe about how they really should be dependable since this was America and we all get sick and die eventually.
He wanted me to rank “accessibility”, so I told him, “Uh, huh! Uh, huh! You’re right! You’re right! Thank you so much for asking these here tough questions! You just a really nice man and I appreciate all you trying to do for all us down here amongst the working people!”
He was getting irritated and emphasized every word when he said, “I just need a number for the ranking!!”
OK. Uh…..2 1/2.
“NO! It has to be a WHOLE number!!”
Umm. Alright then. Zero.
“NO!! IT HAS TO BE BETWEEN 1 AND 5!”
Uhhh, then I’d have to say, neutral.
“NO, NO, NO! IT HAS TO BE A NUMBER!”
Well, how about the middle number, like neutral?
“NO!! 3 Is Somewhat Satisfied!!”
Well no sir! I ain’t one bit satisfied, so it ain’t that. I’m neutral!
“Just. Give. Me. A. Number!”
“IT HAS TO BE BETWEEN 1 AND 5!!!”
OK, then 3, cause I am a little satisfied.
His next insurance satisfaction question was, “Rate on a scale of 1 to 5, but just give me a number this time! Just a number! No explanation! Just a number to rate how satisfied you are with freedom of choice in insurance.”
I smiled, and began rambling about freedom and the Statue of Liberty and how kids ought to have to say the Pledge of Allegiance in school and wondering why they didn’t pay for deposits on glass coke bottles anymore in Texas…
He was so glad when he completed his survey!
Now I don’t want to brag or anything, but that call was 33 minutes and 12 seconds! Not only is that a personal best, it’s got to be a world record, or something!!
Maybe Sam’s supervisor will listen to the quality assurance tape before he feeds the information to Trump and Obama so they can spy with it.
If the supervisor listens to the recording, just for quality assurance purposes you know, I bet he’ll call about how they can do a better job on the survey.
I hope he calls! Oh, I really, really hope he calls!!