See what happens when I try to be A Good Mom?
Perfect already

To the telemarketer who called tonight at 8:36

Look, it's nothing personal. I'm just not going to purchase anything from you. I'm not. It's not because I dislike you - how could I? The only things I know about you are that you have a rotten job and I'm pretty sure English is your second language. I'm not judging you for either of these things. I'll tell you a secret. Shhhh. Ready? I was once a telemarketer.

It's true. It was when I was in college. I'd been fired from my terrible job as a waitress, and hadn't yet gotten my terribly underpaid job as a nanny, and in a fit of desperation, I took a job as a telemarketer, calling people for the Fraternal Order of Police.

Except if you know anything about the people who call on the behalf of most fine charities, I wasn't really working for the FOP at all. I was working for a scrawny 19 year old guy who was famous in our little office for getting a speeding ticket on the way to work for driving 96 mph in a 35 mph zone.


Anyhow, my point is that something crazy like 95% of the money we raised by bothering people went to our 19 year old boss, with the generous remaining 5% going to benefit our fine men in blue and their families. 

Okay, to be perfectly honest, 95% of the money my coworkers raised went to our boss. I was not what you'd call a telemarketing success, with my knee-jerk tendency to apologize to people and a complete inability to press my point. I did not last long on the phone bank.

What I'm trying to say is that I understand. You have a terrible job, and however you landed there, this is probably not where you'd thought your life was going. I'm sure you're a very nice person. The only reason I'm not ever ever ever going to buy anything from you is that it's my policy not to give money to businesses that seek me out. If I need you, I will find you, m'kay?

But let me share a little bit of information with you, some insight from this side of the phone, telemarketer guy. I will never be persuaded to purchase your product, but when you drone your script in a monotone, just slightly slower than normal speech patterns, as though the metronome in your head were grinding to a standstill, and the second hand on the clock stalls, trapped in the molasses-like quality of your voice?

 I will be filled with the desire to stab you in the neck with a fork.

Thanks! If you have any questions, please call 1-800-CrankyGal! 


Jan in Norman, OK

Amen to that.


Next time a telemarketer calls I'm going to have to do what my friend suggested: Ask them to hold on a minute, put the phone down and step away. ~evil grin


That is exactly my policy as well. It goes for charities too (of course, I still feel incredibly guilty saying no, especially if I KNOW it's a good charity like St Jude or the Jimmy Fund). I just always feel like I am being phished. Too much 20/20 or Dateline or something. I'll give to charities but like you said, I'll do the seeking.


Uh... yeah. I usually just wait until they stop to draw breath, and say, "No thank you. Please take me off your list." And if they persist, I say it again and hang up.

Another Former Telemarketer

I think the trick is to know their rules; otherwise they are like cockroaches...they just keep on coming back. For example, if you say "Please place me on your Do Not Call List," then they are required by law to read a little spiel about how it may take 30 days and if you receive calls in the meantime they are sorry and blah blah blah...anyway the point is that if the person being called (the telemarketee?) hangs up before that spiel is over...the telemarketer does NOT have to add that person to their Do Not Call list. So next time they call, tell them to place you on their DNC list, and be sure to wait until the call is completed to hang up! It will take 15 seconds, but will save you a lifetime of "BUT I THOUGHT I TOLD YOU LAST TIME TO PLACE ME ON YOUR DO NOT CALL LIST!!!" And if they persist in trying to sell you something after you request to be added to their list...then that is illegal and you should demand to talk to their manager!

Another Former Telemarketer

You can also skip that step and place yourself on the National Do Not Call List:

That is unless you ENJOY talking to clearasil-huffing teenagers at 8:36 at night...

The One True Josh

I think we're all missing the most important point here.

There have to be some entertaining stories from the horrible waitressing job, right?


My husband likes to play with telemarketers. One time we got a call for a carpet cleaner...and my husband's response was "oh, great! Maybe you can get all this blood out of the carpet!"

THEY hung up on HIM.


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