Telemarketers: A Rant

Would you like to know one never-fail way to ensure I never buy your product or service? Call me on the phone and tell me about it while I’m working on something important.

I’m sure at some point telemarketing was new and cool. A fancy new take on the door-to-door salesman. Today it is the last refuge of scams and junky things that can’t find a place on the shelves at Walmart. Nothing sold over the phone is worth buying, and most of it is actually illegal or at best a great way to separate fools from their money.

But, even if you are selling advanced copies of the final Wheel of Time book or a reliable car that even I could afford, making my phone ring while I’m focused on something else is an excellent reason not to buy anything from you. I often just let the answering machine pick up for me. I’ve even set it for two rings not four. Sometimes, however, I’m expecting a call and I need to answer in person. That 500ms silence after I answer is the bane of my existence.

I wish I had the guts to do what this guy did. but generally I don’t even want to devote that much time. I usually just hang up the phone without another word and try to get back to what I was doing. Usually I don’t succeed. Occasionally I’ll get out “please put me on your do-not-call list but not often.

I guess the point of this post is to say that with the coming election and push-polling ramping up I just don’t have the emotional energy to drop what I’m doing to listen to another sales pitch for siding or lowering the interest rate on the credit card or especially a robo-call from senator so-and-so asking me to vote for someone. I’m just letting it go to the machine. Leave a message and if you are not a telemarketer, I’ll call you back when I’m done with the project I’m currently working on.