Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Telemarketing Follies

From time to time, meaning, at least once an hour, we get a phone call at work from a telemarketer. Lots and lots of phone calls from people who want to speak to the Mister and get him to buy something, or sign up for something, or donate something or give them something.
I get that telemarketing must be the most miserable of all jobs on God's green earth. No one wants to be a telemarketer; I imagine they've fallen into it because fate has consipired againste them, they were desperate and had no other choice, sort of like a Victorian prostitute. Really, you won't find any seven-year-olds proclaiming that when they grow up, they want to be a telemarketer.

And I get that that's their job, to get to the Mister.  Just as it is the receptionist at work's job to make sure they don't ever get anywhere near the Mister. And the receptionist at work, Barb, takes this aspect of her job deadly seriously. The only time the Mister has to deal with a telemarketer is when Barb is off on vacation, or when she's reallly pissed at him.

She is always (well, usually) very polite and says the Mister is busy with a client, and if they leave their name and number, she will pass it on. She usually pretends to take down the information and that's the end of it. On occasion, they are on to her, and ask if they can call back another time, when he's available to come to the phone, and she politely says "no", without explanation. That often gets a puzzled silence on the other end of the phone before they say "okay" and hang up. Once a telemarketer, who was already having a pretty bad day, snotted that we had a funny way of doing business, and she'd appreciate if Barb would just get the Mister already and stop screwing around. Barb hung up on her, and then called the company back and pitched the mother of all hissy fits. I'm pretty sure that young woman isn't in telemarketing any more.

Most of the time, you can tell when the telemarketing company has no idea who or what they are calling. If they use the Mister's name at all, they usually get it wrong, or assume he's a woman. (In that case, Barb tell's them she's the Mister, and expidites matters. It's all in the name of efficiency.) I like the ones who call asking if they can speak to the "Head of Accounts Recievable", or "the Manager in Charge of Human Resources". We are a hair salon with 12 employees, 11 of whom are women:  ALL of us think we are in charge of Human Resources. And I guess Barb is the head of Accounts Recievable, because she's the one who knows how to work the debit machine.
I  like when they try to sell us things like calendars and pens as "client and employee incentives". Seriously? How awful is your job when you are inspired by a crappy pen with your company's name on it? (I know!! A You're a telemarketer!) Our staff is way more likely to find incentive in a plate of natchos or a Lululemon gift certificate.
We are a very low tech operation.

Barb has told people that the Mister won't tell her when he's coming in to work, that he's on vacation and she doesn't know when he'll be back, or that he's been too busy to come to the phone. She's toyed with the idea of telling people he's in rehab or a the casino.

 I've suggested that she use my brother's standard phrase when we were teenagers and someone would call looking for me: "She went crazy and we had to shoot her."

That should shut them up. It worked for my brother.


Carolyn said...

You might want to listen to how Tom Mabe deals with telemarketers

Jolin Strömberg said...

I disagree in you,Some telemarketing are doing a positive and some of them is negative things,like customer services if telemarketing is out how can you call a customer service conveniently the bad thing about it is they always being annoying for calling every time.