Thursday, November 01, 2007

Actual Fantasy Telephone Conversations Not Actually Heard in My House #99


ME— Hello?


ME— Hello?




ME— Helloooo?

MICHAEL— Hello. Mr. Aaron?

ME— Yes?

MICHAEL— Hi, my name is Michael and I work for the State Troopers' Association. As you may know, our fall fund drive is approaching and it’s very important that we…

ME— (Rudely interrupting) Here’s where I have to stop you, Michael. See, I’ve already had this conversation with about four of you guys in the past four months and I can already tell you exactly how this is going to go down.


ME— No, no. Let me finish, Michael. Cause I’m pretty good at this. See, Michael, had I allowed this call to continue, uninterrupted, what would have happened is as follows: You would have continued speaking, going into a long-winded spiel about how the Troopers' Association needs money and is in the process of gearing up for their annual fund drive and were hoping to find people willing to donate funds to that drive. However, Michael, you would have delivered this appeal in such a rapid-fire burst of speech that I would not have been able to get a word in edgewise without rudely interrupting you. In order not to seem rude, I would then have allowed you blow on for nearly a minute until you came to the end of the massive paragraph printed on the card in front of you. At that point, you would have issued an inquiry such as, “Can we count on you for $50?” or “How much can we count on you for?” You might even use a bold statement such as “I can put you down for $50.” Whichever you used, the goal of your endgame, as we both know, would be to get me to part with as much money as possible, with continued negotiations downward should I not wish to give the full $50. At this point, Michael, you would have at last paused to allow me to speak, an opportunity I would then take in order to make the point I would have preferred to have made far earlier; which is this: beyond the repeated annoying phone calls, I have nothing against the Troopers' Association, nor many of the other organizations who call seeking my money; I do, however, have a hard and fast rule in my household, which is that I accept absolutely no telephone solicitation of any kind. The only exception to this rule is if that solicitation is coming directly from representatives of my telephone company, my long-distance service or a competing long-distance service, and these are only entertained if those companies are actively looking to save me money over my present services. Even then, it’s really really dicey and, to date, not one of them has succeeded.

MICHAEL— Sir, I can assure you that I'm not soli…

ME— At that point in our hypothetical conversation, Michael, you would have rudely interrupted me to assure me that you were not actually soliciting money over the telephone at all, and what you had only intended to do was to offer to send me material in the mail which I might look over and then make a donation of an amount of my choosing, say $50. You would then have further assured me, as your brethren have many times before, that this was in no way telephone solicitation. I would then have been forced to read to you the definition of solicitation out of my handy American Heritage Dictionary; which is, Michael: 1) To seek to obtain by persuasion, entreaty, or formal application; or 2) To petition persistently. Both of these would have fit our particular conversation like chipped beef gravy on a biscuit.

MICHAEL— But, sir, I...

ME— And it is at that point in our conversation, Michael, that you would either have attempted a second dash against the defensive barriers of the definition of solicitation, or—more likely—hung up the phone without another word, or—even more likely—hung up the phone while uttering the word “asshole” slightly over your breath.


ME— So, Michael... Why don't we save ourselves some time, here, and you can just go ahead and pick one of those options now.


ME— Click indeed, Michael. Click, indeed.


Angel, librarian and educator said...

I just wish I could tape that/put it on a card and have it handy to read when my local State Troopers Assoc, or whatever it's called here, calls. I have nothing against the state troopers, or any other law enforcement. On the contrary, that they are people willing to do such an important job is commendable. Sadly, I don't have any money to spare for one, and two, calling me on the phone to ask for money is likely the worst way to solicit. I hate telemarketers with a passion, and them using telemarketing does not put them in good light.

Anyhow, these days I just screen calls. Caller ID and the answering machine are wonderful little devices. A number comes in on the caller ID we do not know, it does not get answered. And if someone calls but fails to leave a message, well, we figure they are not important enough to bother. A pity these days a phone has become such a pain in the ass thanks to solicitors.

Scott Minor said...

You, uh, wouldn't mind if some of us gentle readers printed out your little spiel to ...umm... keep next to the phone for future use. We could even be willing to add a copyright disclaimer whenever we used it on telephone parasit... ahh solicitors.

Actually I usually just interrupt with a quick, "I'm sorry, I really not interested, but you have a good day, goodbye." and then quickly hang up. Your way may be a little more satisfying.

Clouded Dreamer said...

I really hate that organization! The last time I dealt with them, I agreed to let them send me something about them in the mail. Then another guy called me telling that I had agreed to a donation and he wanted to take it right then. I corrected him on the situation before hanging up.

Anonymous said...

I love to engage phone solicitors in phone sex. Tell them they called at just the right time, how I want to know what they're wearing and start moaning and grunting like crazy.
It's even funnier if they're the same gender as me.

katze said...

The same conversation in my house is much shorter:

"Hello, Mrs. Katze, I am calling on behalf of the Brotherly Organization of Troopers--"

"I don't donate money to any charity that calls me at home."


Once, I did allow the young fellow on the phone to get all the way through his spiel. I was younger then, thought that those people calling were, you know, actually police, and was kind of afraid that I'd get in trouble if I hung up on a police officer (silly, I know, but I was much more naive). I politely told him that I was in school and living off loans, and therefore had no money to donate to any cause whatsover. Instead of saying "Thanks for listening, have a nice day" or some variation thereof (which I kind of expected-- again, I was naive), he said "Oh, I understand. We'll just put you down for $25 then." "Um, NO, I'm not interested in donating any money at all." Lather, rinse, repeat, with varying degrees of pushiness until I had to say "OK, I'm going to say this one more time, and then I am ending this call. I. Do. Not. Want. To. Donate. Have a nice night." Click.

And after I had time to think it over, I got very angry because it's obvious that they're trying to use the authority of the police to bully you into giving them the money, and I think that's incredibly predatory. I wonder how many little old ladies have given one of these men their heart medicine money because they were afraid to say no.

Mella DelPantano said...

I usually use, "Oh, I'm terribly sorry, but I'm not here right now. Thanks, though, bye!"

Ordinary Janet said...

Next time, hang up when nobody replies when you say hello.

tiny robot said...

I usually pretend I'm hard of hearing and say "Eh?" and "What?" a lot before sighing loudly and hanging up.

You need to get on that do not call list. It works. Mostly.

The.Effing.Librarian said...

you are insane, and life is better for it...

An employee of a small town "liberry" chronicles his quest to remain sane while dealing with patrons who could star in a short-lived David Lynch television series.