I’ve done my fair share of telemarketing due to pro-active marketing strategies in a workplace. I’ve left messages and hung up at the start of an answering machine if I didn’t want to leave a message. I’ve been trapped on the line by chatty people, yelled at and hung up on. It isn’t an enjoyable job, but it’s a fairly easy one. Just because I have done the job, doesn’t mean I like telemarketers more than the next person. I don’t like them at all. They never fail to call just as the baby goes down for his nap, morning or afternoon. They never call when he’s awake. It’s like we’re bugged or something. Somewhere out there a person is yelling “call this house, she finally got the baby to sleep. Let’s wake him up!”
Through the wonder inventions of caller ID and answering machines, I never pick up on a number I don’t know. It spares me from having to listening to someone mispronounce my last name. We don’t have voice mail through our telephone provider. We have an answering machine. After five rings you hear my voice asking the caller to leave a message after the tone. It’s often confused with my sister’s voice. We sound alike according to everyone. Even my ex-finance couldn’t tell my sister and I apart on the phone. Our answering machine also plays the message as the caller is talking. So when I don’t recognize a calling card number and hear “hello from Melbourne” booming from the kitchen, I run to pick up the phone because I know it’s Steve.
Now most telemarketers hang up as soon as they hear the answering machine pick up, but there are a few who can’t seem to tell they got a machine rather than a person. They confuse the hell out of me and make me wonder just how little of a brain you really do need for the job. I’ve recorded a simple “please leave a message after the tone.” Nothing more, nothing less. And we get people saying “hello?…hello?” after the message has played. Or they ask for whomever they’re calling for, followed by a pause and a confused hello. The best one is some lady who calls almost every day. She first asks for Mary (my mother’s junk mail name, so we know it’s nothing important), pauses, asks to speak to the lady of the house, pauses, thanks us for our time and hangs up. It’s got to be a machine, right? Nobody’s that stupid, right? I really hope it’s a machine!
Remember, if you call my house and get the machine, just start talking. Someone will pick up if we’re home.
Until next time…