I’m not proud of it. It was not a shining moment of maturity, nor an example of my sanity. But, yes, today a telemarketer made me cry.
She happened to call at a particularly bad time. Let’s just say I had recently dunked my fifth post-Halloween kit-kat (“fun size” my left foot) into my third cup of coffee and was trying to ward off a so-much-work-so-little-time panic attack. This was at least the gazillionth time the same organization has called asking for my mother. In the beginning, it was funny because they added “Dr.” to her name. She’s not a doctor, but my family likes to joke that she could have been so the first (and even the second and third) call was amusing.
When I answered today’s call–teetering on an emotional cliff, even as I reached for the phone–the familiar request for my mother the doctor hit me hard. “Who is this?” I demanded.
The woman remained cheerful. The fool. “This is a political call,” she said. “We’re looking for donations–”
I cut her off right quick. “Well, the person you want isn’t a doctor. And she won’t give you money. And anyway, she’s not here. She works–particularly on Wednesdays, at 1 o’clock in the afternoon. Like. Most. People.”
At this point, my voice was breaking and I’m sure the faceless woman could hear that I was two kit-kats past crazy. “Someone from your group keeps calling. Do these calls even work, anyway? Could you stop? Could you take us off your list and stop calling? Please? PLEASE JUST STOP.”
There was a pause and for a moment I thought that she hung up on me–a first, in my experience with telemarketers.
“I–I understand.” She finally said. “I do apologize.”
I felt a twinge of guilt. She sounded shell-shocked, hesitant. I generally don’t like to be rude (or batshit crazy) to telemarketers. “We’re not interested” is my go-to phrase. (Not sure if that’s a royal we or if I am speaking for the household. Either way, I’m a queen–right?) If they mispronounce our name in a particularly creative way, I politely tell them they have the wrong number. If I’m really feeling non-confrontational, I just say he/she isn’t home. Of course, then they call back later and I have to mentally choose my own adventure: continue the cycle or end it?
So I felt sort of bad for talking to this woman like I was a supporting role from Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.
“Ma’am?” She ventured. “Would you be interested in providing a donation?”