fun with telemarketers

This joke is funny but I hesitated to post it. I had a niece who tried to work as a telemarketer, and she has unbelievable stories about how rude some people were. Not just hanging up kind of stuff, but telling her she was a low life, etc, when all she had done was introduce herself. One guy was so nasty she cried, and then he told her she deserved it for doing that kind of job and if she couldn't take it she should quit (she did). Many telemarketers have thick skins and don't understand common courtesy, but most are just trying to do a job. As long as they don't call me when I am on the no-call list, or argue with me after I say no, then I think they should be treated with respect (annoyed respect, but respect).

Fun with telemarketers
What to say to a telemarketer! One of the things that has always bugged me (and I'm sure it has most of you, too) is to sit down to dinner only to be interrupted by a phone call from a telemarketer. I decided, on one such occasion, to try to be as irritating to them as they were to me. The call was from AT&T, and it went something like this:

Me: Hello

AT&T: Hello, this is AT&T....

Me: Is this AT&T?

AT&T: Yes, this is AT&T....

Me: This is AT&T?

AT&T: Yes. This is AT&T....

Me: Is this AT&T?

AT&T: YES! This is AT&T. May I speak to Mr. Salem please?

Me: May I ask who is calling?

AT&T: This is AT&T.

Me: OK, hold on.

At this point, I put the phone down for a solid 5 minutes thinking that, surely, this person would have hung up the phone. I ate my salad. Much to my surprise, when I picked up the receiver, she was still waiting.

Me: Hello?

AT&T: Is this Mr. Salem?

Me: May I ask who is calling please?

AT&T: Yes, this is AT&T....

Me: Is this AT&T?

AT&T: Yes, this is AT&T....

Me: This is AT&T?

AT&T: Yes, is this Mr. Salem?

Me: Yes, is this AT&T?

AT&T: Yes, sir.

Me: The phone company?

AT&T: Yes, sir.

Me: I thought you said this was AT&T.

AT&T: Yes, sir, we are a phone company.

Me: I already have a phone.

AT&T: We aren't selling phones today, Mr. Salem.

Me: Well, whatever it is, I'm really not interested, but thanks for calling.

When you are not interested in something, I don't think you can express yourself any plainer than by saying "I'm really not interested", but this lady was persistent.

AT&T: Mr. Salem, we would like to offer you 10 cents a minute, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

Now, I am sure she meant she was offering a "rate" of 10 cents a minute, but she at no time used the word "rate". I could clearly see that it was time to whip out the trusty old calculator and do a little ciphering.

Me: Now, that's 10 cents a minute 24 hours a day? AT&T: (getting a little excited at this point by my interest) Yes, sir, that's right! 24 hours a day!

Me: 7 days a week?

AT&T: That's right.

Me: 365 days a year?

AT&T: Yes, sir.

Me: I am definitely interested in that! Wow!! That's amazing!! AT&T: We think so!

Me: That's quite a sum of money!

AT&T: Yes, sir, it's amazing how it adds up.

Me: OK, so will you send me checks weekly, monthly or just one big one at the end of the year for the full $52,560? If you send an annual heck, can I get a

cash advance?

AT&T: Excuse me?

Me: You know, the 10 cents a minute.

AT&T: What are you talking about?

Me: You said you'd give me 10 cents a minute, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. That comes to $144 per day, $1,008 per week and $52,560 per year. I'm just interested in knowing how you will be making payment.

AT&T: Oh no, sir, I didn't mean we'd be paying you. You pay us 10 cents a minute.

Me: Wait a minute here! Didn't you say you'd give me 10 cents a minute? Are you sure this is AT&T?

AT&T: Well, yes, this is AT&T, sir, but....

Me: But nothing! How do you figure that by saying that you'll give me 10 cents a minute that I'll give you 10 cents a minute? Is this some kind of suliminal telemarketing scheme? I've read about things like this in the Enquirer, you know. Don't use your alien brainwashing techniques on me.

AT&T: No, sir, we are offering 10 cents a minute for....

Me: THERE YOU GO AGAIN! Can I speak to a supervisor please?!? AT&T: Sir, I don't think that is necessary.

Me: Sure! You say that now! What happens later? AT&T: What?

Me: I insist on speaking to a supervisor! AT&T: Yes, Mr. Salem. Please hold.

So, now AT&T has me on hold, and my supper is getting cold. I begin to eat while I'm waiting for a supervisor. After a wait of a few minutes and while I have a mouth full of food.......

Supervisor: Mr. Salem?

Me: Yeth?

Supervisor: I understand you are not quite understanding our 10 cents a minute program.

Me: Id thish Ath Teeth & Teeth? (Is this AT&T)

Supervisor: Yes, sir, it sure is.

I had to swallow before I choked on my food. It was all I could do to suppress my laughter, and I had to be careful not to produce a snort.

Me: No, actually I was just waiting for someone to get back to me so that I could sign up for the plan.

Supervisor: OK, no problem, I'll transfer you back to the person who was helping you.

Me: Thank you.

I was on hold once again and managed a few more mouthfuls. I needed to end this conversation. Suddenly, there was an aggravated but polite voice at the other end of the phone.

AT&T: Hello, Mr. Salem. I understand that you are interested in signing up for our plan?

Me: Do you have that friends and family thing because you can never have enough friends and I'm an only child and I'd really like to have a little brother.........

AT&T: (click)

When I get a call from a telemarketer I prefer to give them options. I simply tell them Steve is not here right now but would they prefer to speak to Slob Boy, Gutter Boy, BrainDead Man ..... Click............

Or My Other Favorite... Are you single? Click............


  • 5 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Years ago my mom used to get lots of calls from the "handicapped selling special long-lasting lightbulbs" thing. I gotta give her credit, when they kept pestering her she would, in her best "little old lady voice", say things like "Oh, bless your heart. What sort of handicap do you have?" and just keep chattering away until they finally gave up and hung up.
  • I'm a fairly polite person who feels strongly about good phone manners, but... I have to admit, when the telemarketer starts with the pitch I just hang up. No "I'm not interested", no nothing. I just hang up.
  • Not quite sure why we still have a land line phone - but we do. We let the ol' answering machine answer all the calls. We do not even make an effort to answer the phone. Any friends, relatives or those we are close to have our cell numbers and stopped calling the land line long ago. With the elections getting closer, get ready for all the calls pushing their candidates and asking for your vote.
  • I got a call several months ago from what turned out to be a scammer...I assumed at first it was a telemarketer so I just said "not interested" and hung up without waiting for any kind of reply. The jerk called me right back and proceeded to lecture me about why I shouldn't hang up on him! I figured out as much as I could about the scam he was trying to get me to fall for, so I could let other people know that they were calling in this area.

    Lo and behold, last night the same bunch called me again. This time I said "Hey, I already know this is a scam" just to see how quickly [U]she'd[/U] hang up on [U]me[/U]. She didn't bother to say another word before she hung up, and thankfully she was smart enough not to call back!
  • My son says the best way to stop telemarketers is to keep them on the phone as long as possible. They count on making lots of contacts before they actually get a sale, so by keeping them on the phone with no intention of doing business with them you are ultimately costing them money. Of course, IMO, that only works if you don't value your own time and have nothing better to do.

    My thoughts are if they are rude enough to call me without an appointment or invitation and don't have the courtesy to ask me if I have time to speak with them before they start their spiel, they don't deserve courtesy from me.
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