Today, a Telemarketer Made Me Cry

3 Nov

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?”

29 Responses to “Today, a Telemarketer Made Me Cry”

  1. Jo Eberhardt November 3, 2011 at 12:36 am #

    Definitely a facepalm moment. What a horrible experience. But, on the other hand, what a great story.

    • Oh My Words! November 3, 2011 at 9:53 am #

      ha–exactly! I was so frustrated and irritated but then I thought Well, there’s my story of the day…

  2. Kimberly Pugliano November 3, 2011 at 11:04 am #

    Sometimes I tell them I’m dead when they ask for me by my previously married name.

    • Kimberly Pugliano November 3, 2011 at 11:05 am #

      Oh wait…that’s bill collectors.

    • Oh My Words! November 3, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

      That ought to stop them!
      …unless you actually say “I’m dead.” Then you might lose your credibility… 🙂

  3. madstickynotes November 3, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

    Some people…!

    You wasted time feeling bad for that woman! :p

  4. tamarapaulin November 3, 2011 at 1:46 pm #

    I try to get rid of them quickly, but I do feel bad after the fact. It must work, though, or they wouldn’t keep trying.

    If one lies, it ruins it for them all! Once, I was asked to participate in a short survey that would only take “a few minutes.” Apparently, that can mean 20 minutes. Never again!

    • Oh My Words! November 7, 2011 at 11:26 am #

      ha, my Grandma got sucked into a “short” survey once. Now when she’s asked, she says “I’m 93, your short survey means a significant fraction of my life” and hangs up.

      • deshipley November 8, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

        *rim-shot* Your grandmother is my hero of the hour. XD

  5. avikabir November 3, 2011 at 10:17 pm #

    It is funny and appealing…Good JOB..!

  6. durdlin November 4, 2011 at 2:12 am #

    Crapballs man! That’s quite something. Sounds like you need something like our “do not call register”. I haven’t had a call like that for years and I didn’t realise how sweet my telephonic life has been until reading this.

    • Oh My Words! November 7, 2011 at 11:24 am #

      I’m pretty sure we’re on the Do Not Call list….but, clearly, it’s not so effective. Maybe we need a Do Not Call, I Really Mean It list

  7. Deborah the Closet Monster November 4, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

    That conclusion? That there takes balls!

  8. Musings of a Mad Molly November 5, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

    I just got so irritated one day, that I hung up on them. The same woman then phoned back to tell me off then hung up on me. It was very strange.

    • Oh My Words! November 7, 2011 at 11:22 am #

      Oh, gee, was she annoyed that you hung up on her oh-so-important call? Poor thing.

      Wow, I didn’t think they would do that call-back, hang-up thing!

      • Musings of a Mad Molly November 10, 2011 at 2:01 pm #

        Yep, I presume that she had had a bad day, but still. I was so surprised that she did that. Her phone call must have been sooo important for her to flip out like that.

  9. Kay Hudson November 6, 2011 at 3:51 pm #

    This is why God invented Caller ID. I was brought up to think a ringing phone must be answered, but I have changed my mind on that. I have no interest in talking to Unavailable, and on the off-chance that Out Of Area wants to leave a real message, I have voice mail. That way I don’t have to be nasty to those poor souls stuck in telemarketing hell. Meanwhile, have another KitKat–it’s all blog fodder.

    • Oh My Words! November 7, 2011 at 11:20 am #

      I don’t have caller ID but man, would it be useful. Meanwhile, I think I will take your excellent advice and hunt up more Kitkats–you’re speaking my language! 🙂

  10. Wbbly Words November 6, 2011 at 7:41 pm #

    Wahahaha! Oh I wish I were there for that whole incident! Have you noticed how many times our old college has been calling for money? Dont they realized we haven’t been gone long enough to be making money!?!?!?!?!

    • Oh My Words! November 7, 2011 at 11:18 am #

      OHMYGOD don’t get me started!!! It irritates the HELL out of me! I tell them, hey I’m currently making no money to speak of, can’t afford to donate right now. It’s like they can’t hear me. I don’t want to be mean to the little freshlings, but I do want to strangle them….

  11. happinessafterheartache November 7, 2011 at 7:47 am #

    Pull a Jerry Seinfeld on them……..I’m sorry, but why don’t you give me your number and I’ll call you back while you’re eating dinner……..or something to that effect. I’m sure it’s on YouTube if you want the real joke. 🙂

    • Oh My Words! November 7, 2011 at 11:16 am #

      Found it!
      I can’t believe I’ve never seen this before! (Thought I’d seen all Seinfeld episodes…) Thank you thank you thank you for helping me plan my future telemarketer reactions 🙂

  12. Megan - Best of Fates November 7, 2011 at 1:28 pm #

    I was feeling so sorry for her until the end! Now that’s persistence!

  13. shreejacob November 27, 2011 at 3:25 am #

    Aww..I didn’t know whom to feel sorry first it was you, then it was her and finally of course you won!

    Jeeze I missed so many of your blog posts..have read through all the ones that I did miss, and as usual it put a grin on my face 🙂

    All the best for your GRE and may your vocabulary filled heart be strong..

    I also had fun trying to imagine a 93 year old lady rocking at a b’day..hehe!

  14. Scriptor Obscura December 19, 2011 at 1:49 am #

    You have won a Kreativ Blogger Award! Stop by and check it out here:

  15. allenavw December 29, 2011 at 9:45 am #

    Where’ve you been? Missing your posts for the past while. Hope all is well and that you had a great Christmas.


  1. Monday’s Top 5 | The Happy Logophile - November 6, 2011

    […] finally, please go and read Abigail’s post Today a Telemarketer Made Me Cry on Oh My Words! I promise — if you cry, it will only be because you’re laughing so […]

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