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Amanda Esque
The Honorable
Level 3: 212 points
Alltime Score: 307 points
Last Logged In: November 7th, 2012
TEAM: MNZero BART Psychogeographical Association Rank 1: Commuter Humanitarian Crisis Rank 3: The Honorable

15 + 27 points

Talk to a Telemarketer by Amanda Esque

April 25th, 2009 4:02 PM

INSTRUCTIONS: Try to find out what their name is, where they're from, what sort of problems they're having in their life. Get to know them, if you can. Enjoy the telemarketing experience as a way to communicate with someone, rather than being annoyed by it.

When I was young, dinner was always, always interrupted by a telemarketer. Dinner was also frequently interrupted by a member of the family or a friend calling to catch up, and as we didn't have a caller ID, we almost always answered. This lead to a few cheerful chats with folks we knew, but often brusque dismissals from my mother or father of a telemarketer.

I stopped maintaining a land line in 2005, and don't receive too many unwanted calls on my cell, especially from telemarketers. A big part of this task was... waiting. I had to wait for someone to call. I could have provoked telemarketing by tossing my number out there, but that would result in long-lasting annoyance, as telemarketers would keep calling long beyond the one I needed.

Finally, last weekend: jackpot. My phone rang ("The Final Countdown," by Europe, for the curious) and it was an unknown local number. On the other line was an earnest young man, who we'll code name Ernest. He was calling as a representative from the English department of my alma mater, hoping that I would give money. You know, I don't think he ever got his answer.

I asked him about how he was liking the English department, as a student. It turned out we had some mutual professors and chatted on about them, and what we liked and didn't about how the major was structured. He asked me for advice on the senior class load, and I asked him what he was going to do after school. His hemming and hawing sounded like the perfect opportunity to talk about the work abroad program I did after graduation.

We talked about travel, global perception of Americans, teaching, and how being an English major fit into all of it. I had to beg off, as company had arrived at my house (yes, the telemarketer even called and potentially interrupted something!), but I told him that if he had any more questions, he knew how to get in touch with me.

I hope he doesn't get in any hot water from the department hotshots about not wringing any money-giving commitments out of me... and I also hope he does something great with his life.

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3 comment(s)

posted by Waldo Cheerio on April 27th, 2009 7:12 PM

Looks like you got cut-off there mid-sentence. That sometimes happens with a poor connection. "Can you hear me now?"

(no subject)
posted by Amanda Esque on April 27th, 2009 8:37 PM

Ack! This happened with another set of proof I submitted on the same day. Thanks for the alert, and fixed.

(no subject)
posted by rongo rongo on May 7th, 2009 6:57 PM

Nice job making a connection with the caller :)