No-Brainer Guide to Utah 2000 Elections

Letter to the Editor

Hung Up on Number in Utah

Sue Your Telemarketer

Bobsleders Take Seventh Place at World Team Trials

"E" Stands for Annoying

Rocky Mountain Hollywood

Something Stinks

Sexnight at Casa Del Crenshaw

Comics & Images

Phat Tat

Ski Bums


Sue Your Telemarketer

by rock oakeson

"Hello! Is this Mr. Hank Yehudi? This is the Good Times Matchmaking Service-the premier dating service of Utah. Some friends of yours gave us your name as a person who could certainly use our services. How are you today?"

"This is Hank, but who are the friends who gave you my name, please?"

"Oh, well, I don't have that information available. But anyway, we have many beautiful women for you to choose from, and you can pay by credit card. Isn't that wonderful!"

"You said 'women.' I'm gay. If any of my friends actually gave you my name-which I don't believe they did, then you would know that I'm not interested in women."

"Well, um, we don't actually deal with gay people."

"No kidding. Please place my name on your do-not-call list; I don't want to be bothered by your bogus company again."

With no skill set at all other than the ability to dial phone numbers and read pre-written scripts to disinterested people, you too can become a telemarketer. This is an exciting career path for anybody who wants no more in life than minimum wage pay and an absence of even the most basic vocational ambition.

No, telemarketing is not illegal-yet. So don't listen to those who say that it should be. There is absolutely nothing wrong with interrupting people who, after a long day at a real job, are in the middle of preparing their family dinner, or just sitting down to the table to eat.

Those who are watching television peacefully after 9 p.m. certainly ought to be interrupted. This is why many of us crafty telemarketers are doing the world a favor to call at this time. After all, there is nothing good on television at that hour. Nor did the baby need to remain asleep after taking two noisy hours to fall into slumber. That baby probably napped too much throughout the day, anyway. Isn't it true that too much sleep is a sign of infantile depression? Those who just don't understand can't possibly fathom all the wonderful things we telemarketers add to their lives. If they would only stay on the line long enough to hear our message, people would see how essential lawn fertilization, home pest removal, and family photo portraits really are. And in their heart of hearts, who really doesn't want to know that they won a free mini-microwave oven-as long as they attend a local lecture about time-share condos in Ely, Nevada?

Every job has occupational hazards. Even stupid ones. But it is ironic how the more wealthy people behave when we call. I guess they don't know that they are targets for more telemarketing calls than the average Jones family. If they could only see what a privilege it is to be counted among the telemarketed elite! What with investment schemes, home refinancing ploys, and every realtor in the local yellow pages wanting to buy and sell the better homes, the affluent have a greater opportunity to find out how inadequately their little lives are lived without unsolicited phone salespeople like us. Again, it is up to us telemarketers to show them the way!

One thing we must always observe is the First Commandment of Telemarketing: Never let people know that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), passed by Congress in 1991, can protect residential and business phone users from the likes of us. If we at our company call any phone number more than once in a year after the owner of that number has asked to be placed on our don't-call list, they can sue us in state court, often small claims court! They can also sue us if they receive a call-or even a recorded message-before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.! Our penalty can be from $500 to $1,500 per call, and then we are not allowed to call them back for ten years! To help prevent us from willfully calling them again after they request to be on our don't-call list, federal law requires us to give them our names, the name of our company, and its phone number when they ask! We also are required to give them the name of our supervisor if they ask for it! Many people are already paying close attention to who is calling and how many times they call. Obviously this isn't fair to those of us whose fingers suffer from touchtonephonia. People have much more power against us than they realize. So let's not tell them. We'll just keep dialing.

I know you are wondering what got me interested in such an exciting profession. Well, I have to admit that I got about ten telemarketer calls per day at home, and answered them all since I was not able to get a job anywhere at the time.

Once, this guy called me trying to get me to buy magazine subscriptions. Since I don't read very well, I told him that I was not a good target for such a literary sales pitch. He thought I hung up when I accidentally dropped the phone. (I now use a receiver piece that attaches to my ear while I work as a telemarketer. No more clumsy phone drops!) But I picked the phone up off the floor, only to overhear the conversation that ensued between him and another telemarketer. I was quiet as I listened:

"Okay. Apparently you're not interested, you illiterate a**hole! No magazines for you. Hey, Phil… Do you like this job? I mean really? Nobody is buying a thing from us. I think the only thing left for me, if I quit, is to work at the Burgerama. And I would hate that! What to do…?"

That got me to thinking. I knew that I didn't want to work at the Burgerama, so telemarketing was the final possibility for me. I took it, and I have never regretted it! You, too, can work in this thrilling field! Luckily, the turnaround is very fast, so we are never filled up. Call us today. Or, better yet, let us call you. We probably will. Very soon. Many times. Like it or not.