I shall start this post by saying that everyone needs a job and some of them, well they are just rubbish. Not for one minute do I begrudge a person a wage or criticise them for earning it neither do I try and make it harder for them. There are enough people in this country living off welfare as it is, anyone that tries to earn a crust should be encouraged. I am the sort of person that is polite to the traffic officer that wants to fine me for not wearing a seat belt or driving with the window down or whatever stupid rule he can enforce. This is not a job for me, but then I like people and don’t see the fun in the challenge of making every living thing detest me, but hey each to their own.
I can understand that some, rather stupid, companies believe that there is a place for ‘direct marketing’ or as we know it ‘cold calling’. These are companies that have not moved with the times but that is no crime, they are not alone. Just turn on the TV for more than an hour and you will be assaulted by the moron that owns a window company yelling his catchphrase at you. Seriously this fella does his own advertising despite looking like a paedophile that hasn’t washed in a month! But, back to the case in point, they have now farmed call centre work to the third world so you are never quite sure if the call originates in Calcutta or London since both sound the same these days.
Now if you are calling from another continent I don’t believe that I should feel obliged to give you the same respect as I do the locals. I hate cold calls but I have noticed that they are becoming harder to deal with. I was told, years ago, by a friend that if you were offensive they had to block your number for staff welfare reasons. The Judicious, if embarrassing, use of offensive language did indeed deal with the issue for some time but then it stopped. The reason it stopped was that when they shipped this work overseas they empowered the operators, now they fight back. But how can you tell if you will get a fight or offend somebody? Well, thanks to an early hours call yesterday, I know how.
I have a few means of dealing with cold calls, I adjust them according to the caller. When I receive calls for my ex wife I patiently and emotionally explain that since she has passed away she can’t be reached on this number. This is most successful especially if you upgrade it with a distraught “if only you could speak to her, you could tell her how much we miss her”. The blatant sales calls sometimes have some entertainment value, I’ve enjoyed explaining to SKY that I don’t possess any televisions. After some tenacious debating the girl gave up when I started whispering that I couldn’t have a TV since the voices in the box “told me to do those terrible things”. If you get the ambulance chaser call then it’s always a challenge, should you have time, to come up with a new ailment that they can assist with. If you get this technique right you should be able to get the caller to laugh, my favourite that was ever since I walked into a street lamp I had an uncontrollable urge to sniff dog’s bums. This caller held it together, with sympathy, until I explained how I had to learn to surreptitiously stroke their bum and then sneak off for a sniff then she broke.
The latest ploy is to place the phone on speaker phone and leave it on the side. This technique will either lead to the call terminating when they realise that you are not responding or, more interestingly, will lead to abuse. If you have a foreign call centre this technique often drives them over the edge and they start to yell and call you names. Now let me share something with the foreign call centre staff, a little secret from me. If you call me and wake me up to talk rubbish then don’t for one minute think that you are angry when I don’t respond, I am the angry one. In truth you have suffered no inconvenience whereas I have and I’ve suffered it because of you. If you want to learn offensive English language step right up because you are in for a top notch lesson.
I share this because I think sometimes we all need a carefree rant to clear our thoughts. If you are the most timid or shy person then give this a go, remember the other party is on another continent and paid pennies so he’s not going to chase you. Best of all because they start the argument all you are actually doing is following their culture, you are actually being multicultural. Go on get stuck in and do your piece for world peace!
This post was brought to you by some god forsaken claims company at 6 am on Saturday!!