Just over three weeks ago, I become the next contestant in “This Was Your Life”, when in the wake of reorganization, my company let our entire department go. Now there are lots of things I can write about this new adventure (and given time you will probably be subjected to most of them) however, today I discovered a new silver lining – ways to stop telemarketers in their tracks!
Your first thought might be, well duh, just don’t pick up the phone. But the problem there goes back to that first sentence… I lost my job. Therefore, I have to answer that phone. Otherwise, I risk missing that perfect offer for the ideal job that wants to pay me a million dollars; or the Hollywood mogul who fell in love with my artwork at first sight and wants to be my benefactor; or that once in a lifetime chance to be paid for this wonderful, amazing, creative, snarky, blog. Sigh.
Obviously, I understand that everyone needs to make a living, (now more than ever,) but telemarketing has to be one of the worst jobs for both parties involved. You would have to have some pretty strong self-esteem (and brass cojónes) to have person after person reject you. I can’t imagine every day being subjected to nasty, angry, mean, vicious, petty, vindictive, and downright hostile responses to the very first thing you tell someone. Granted, there are plenty of people out there that maybe deserve that response, but most of the people are just trying to make a living. So I try to be kind when saying “No friggen’ way am I interested in your commune in the back woods of Arkansas.” And I very rarely just hang up on someone (at least not without saying “Thank you very much. I appreciate the offer but I really have to go as my dog is peeing on my laptop.”) Or my favorites: “Can you repeat that? I’m sorry, I can’t hear you. Hello? Hello? Hello?” Click. But being suddenly unemployed introduced the perfect show stopper to the call no one wants to get: “I lost my job 3 weeks ago and just don’t have any money.”
It is amazing how not one person has attempted to continue their sales pitch. The responses have been interesting and quite varied, but they all have one thing in common – no one continued to try and sell me their condo, vacation, access to monster sizes of toilet paper, new car, used car, rental car, glamping adventure, multi-level marketing program, or all-you-can-eat buffet. The responses I have gotten mostly involve the following: an awkward silence, a throat clearing, and some type of “so sorry to hear that.” This effectively ends the conversation and the poor bastard that has the unfortunate job of trying to sell me on a chimney cleaning service, a 10-day cruise to the Antarctic, pest control for a year, or personal ear wax removal, can quickly move on to the next name on his list. I wish him luck
If I hadn’t lost my job, I might never have ever learned this neat little trick to getting rid of unwanted solicitations. As a rule, I try to be honest and kind to my fellow humans – and that includes avoiding lying whenever possible. However, for the rest of my life, I can honestly say I lost my job – I will just avoid saying how recently it happened. Since this is true, I don’t mind using it.