:: Youth & Eternity ::
Telemarketers, scourge of American society. I hate them, I pity them. Can't live with them... end of sentence.
[2004-04-21 @ 9:34 p.m.]

Don't have time, but... must... update.

Here's my latest English paper (stick around- it's really funny!)

Telemarketers in the World Today

We have all had to deal with them, calling us, interrupting fine dinners and important episodes of Frasier, the scourge of the American world: telemarketers. The power-hungry force that cannot be stopped, telemarketing continues even after the “Do Not Call List” was created, even after ages of the sound of a telephone slamming onto a wall. How can we ever get it through the thick head of a telemarketer that we are not, nor shall we ever be, interested in a new Oreck or telephone service? Slamming the telephone into the wall no longer serves its purpose, there is more—much more—to be done.

The philosophy that must be adopted is thus: they annoy us, so why should we not annoy them? This being said, there was another great mind that believed the same thing, humor columnist Dave Barry. Barry made a call to all Americans, Democrats and Republicans, Pepsi-fans and Coke-lovers, to join together in a common cause, the abolition of dinnertime phone advertisement. “The public hates…them even more than it hates France, low-flow toilets, or ‘customer service’,” said Barry, striking a cord with red-blooded, toilet-hating Americans the country over, and overwhelming numbers responded by calling the American Teleservices Association at dinnertime.

If this is too strenuous, contacting the telemarketer yourself, wait until he calls you. If the telemarketer should ask you, “Is Mr(s). Insertnamehere home?” respond in a timely manner, “Why, yes it is, and you have no idea the day I have had” and proceed to explain how your mother-in-law hates you, how your child failed his science test, and how you spilled coffee on your boss earlier that day. Continue to describe your day in full, excruciating detail until the telemarketer gives up, and the phone sounds with that glorious blank beep.

Another effective method is the scare tactic. If the company washes houses, in your most menacing manner, inquire if they can remove bloodstains from your linoleum siding. Quickly try to explain yourself, making sure to stumble through sentences, “Uh, I… uh, my son shot a goose—no, a duck flew through my window and I…” Eventually they will hang up and either never call back, or quickly inform the police. If it is a home security company, ask, “How well does your stuff work, because my neighbor has one,” then ask them as many questions as you can about how possible it could be to disarm such a product from outside the house, and in what ways it can be done. Once again, they will eventually hang up and contact your local authorities.

If you prefer not to spend a few hours in a cell, when the telemarketer introduces himself as “Harry from AT&T,” shout with joy and mirth, “Harry, how have you been doing?” and ask him about his wife and kids, his pet dog Rufus, and how that fake kneecap has been holding up. You do not know him, but he will be so confused with such a greeting that he will hurriedly hang up on you, leaving you with a smirk on your face and a song (most fitting would be “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister) in your heart. And if this immature approach does not appeal to you, you can take it a step further by repeating the word “No,” or the words “I don’t care” while they pitch the product in as many different ways you can think (say it once like you are singing, again like you are yelling) until they become angry and hang up.

Perhaps still the easiest way out is the foreigner approach (best if you speak a second language, as you will see). The phone rings, and the telemarketer introduces himself. You answer, in your best foreign-language accent, “I’m sorry, I don’t not speak the English,” and continue in whatever language you speak (or make one up from the top of your head). It can be utter nonsense, “Mes chevaux est très cher,” (my hair is very expensive), or you can insult his mother, “Votre mère est très grosse et moche,” (your mother is very fat and ugly). The only flaw is that-- and considering telemarketers, this is unlikely—they may speak the language that you do, and then you will have some trouble. If you are afraid of that outcome, you can pretend to not hear them at all, repeating, “What?” This is most rewarding the more like an elderly person you can sound, and if you can get louder and more aggravated throughout the call. Or, if you can do a nice impression of a well-known pop culture icon, answer with that. For example, in your best Michael Jackson voice, say, “Oh, your vacuum cleaner would make this ranch a lot nicer, it could reach under all my statues of Peter Pan!” Or, as Gollum from the Lord of the Rings, answer, “Yesss, preciousss, that sounds nice, it doesss, precioussss!” Just hope that Spongebob Squarepants answering his call does not brighten the telemarketer’s day.

Telemarketers are relentless foes, only out to disrupt American Idol and a hot, steaming bowl of meatball Spaghetti-Os, only to suck out your finances and your soul. Not all telemarketers can be bad (we must remember that even Johnny Depp was once a telemarketer), but most are horribly malevolent and evil people, without hearts or compassion. Next time the phone rings in the middle of dinner, quickly brush up that French before you answer, because you don’t want that caller to ever make the same mistake twice.

And if you are interested in calling the Telemarketer’s Association, dial: 877-779-3974 (toll-free)


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one thousand embraces

SILENCE, TRAITOR! - 2006-05-10
Irish History - 2006-05-02
Goodbye Bio! - 2006-05-01
DANCE, WATER! DANCE! - 2006-04-26
Gaaaaaah. - 2006-04-24

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