Monday, February 20, 2012

I can't find the words for how much I hate telemarketers

The other day, this number appeared on my phone Call Display: 1-206-465-0661. I didn't recognize it, so I didn't answer the phone; my answering machine did. The caller immediately hung up. Four seconds later, the phone rang again. Same  number. They hung up as soon as the answering machine cut in, then a few seconds later they called again. This time I picked up the phone, and hung up. They called immediately again. I let the answering machinge pick up for the next two calls, but they hung up and dialled again. (Come on, already. Take a hint. I am not going to talk to you.)

 This continued for at least five or six more calls. Finally, I picked up the phone but said nothing. I could hear the usual call centre bustle and chatter in the background. The caller was yammering away in some unintelligible Asian language to his buddy in the next cubicle. Suddenly he addresses me, with the sort of opening line you would expect from the average telemarketing employee: "Can you hear me, you mother****er?" at which point he and his fellow caller-drones shared a jolly chuckle.

What if I had answered, "Yes, hello?" in a sweet pleasant voice. Would he actually have tried to sell me something?

I told him to quit calling my number or I would call the police. He tittered like some half-wit (which he probably was) and I hung up. It was a meaningless threat, since my local RCMP are not likely to go to India, or Bangladesh or Washington State (the only place I could find with a 206 area code) to arrest some goofball in a call centre. But it evidently was enough, because he stopped calling.

And I still have no words to describe how much I hate the presence of these institutions on the planet. No one talks to them, listens to them or buys stuff from them. So why do call centres exist?


  1. Yes, they have some nerve. I especially love the ones working for newspapers, who demand a reason why you don't want to buy a subscription to their dying left-wing rag.

  2. Call centers exist because Buy'n'Large can't bear the thought that there might be a few waking moments of each day when human beings are not accumulating stuff. That is why they feel it their duty to intrude upon our privacy at home, aggressively offer us crap, and then obnoxiously demand (see above) why we don't want the crap we never asked for.