Funny. But.

This is very funny. And it isn't.

The Laboratorium: Today's Telemarketing Fun

Can I speak to Mr. and Mrs. Grimmelmann?

Speaking …

I'm calling from the [name omitted] Sweepstakes, and you've been entered in a drawing to win $25,000 or a trip to Hawaii. The sweepstakes is also available to cardholders with a Visa, Mastercard, or American Express. Do you have one of those?

Yes. When did you say the trip to Hawaii is?

The winners will be announced August 31.

Oh, I'm sorry. August 31 isn't good for us. Is there another time we could take the trip?

No, you'll find out on August 31 whether you've won.

Okay, then. We'll take the money instead. Now, you'll put that directly on the credit card, right?

I tell you what. We'll get in touch with you if you win, okay?

James ends by commenting, “I’m getting better at this.”.

Now I certainly emitted a number of evil chuckles at this one. And a chunk of me wishes I had the reflexes to do something like this in real time.

But the problem is, that horrible person on the other end of the phone is a wage slave. They are only a tiny bit responsible for the call; the whole thing is orchestrated by someone better paid. Maybe they could find something else to do, but maybe they can't.And I remember the time that phone sales was the only summer job I could find with my newly minted high school diploma. That would be shortly before I discovered people would pay you money to do programming even if you had no formal training. I found something else to do. I am lucky.

So I laughed. Then I felt guilty.

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3 Responses to Funny. But.

  1. Yeah, I try not to be actually abusive to whoever’s calling. The best would be to amuse the actual person calling while making it abundantly clear that their employer won’t get anything from me. Maybe next time, I’ll just try telling jokes.

  2. Phill says:

    Thats a criminal, not a wage slave.

    The script sounds to me like an example of either a phishing scam or an advance fee fraud. Both are criminal.

    Anyone who is working for a company that violates the do not call list knows that they are working for a criminal conspiracy. They deserve jail time. If we jail crack whores we can jail telemarketers. No excuses.

  3. Alex H. says:

    I spent a few weeks during a summer cold-calling people, but I have no sympathy for people like my former self. I didn’t get bonuses for sales, but many do. Moreover, even if it’s slave wages, you know what you are doing is icky–telemarketers are not prisoners. Well, at least the ones who are not prisoners are not prisoners. (http://www.usatoday.com/money/economy/employment/2004-07-06-call-center_x.htm)

    If honestly think that summer is why I now absolutely hate talking on the phone, fifteen years later.

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