I know that y’all are like me…..tired of people calling up wanting donations for charities. It happens all year-long but around the holidays, it increases triplefold.
Most of the time, I just don’t answer the phone unless I recognize the number. But, occasionally, I’ll get a bit curious if the number has called several times and pick up the phone. I have found that the most frequent beggars are law enforcement “representatives”. Now, I’m not referring to supporting actual policemen/women. They are underpaid and underappreciated. So, don’t start leaving “cop hater” comments or such.
I’m referring to organizations like the Fraternal Order of Police or Shop With A Cop or the Barney Fife Official Museum Council, etc. And, I’m sure that they have noble intentions basically. However, they don’t realize that they are calling an expert on the field of fundraising for groups like this. Yep, that’s right. I spent a whole month in one of these fund-raising boiler rooms!
One fall, after the kids were back in school, I wanted to make a little extra moolah for Christmas. I love new experiences and begged my best friend to do this with me. She was very reluctant but when I started calling her at 3 o’clock in the morning, yelling “PLEASE DO THIS WITH ME!” in the phone, she relented. Over the years, she has come to realize how annoyingly persistent that I can be when I want something.
I was more excited about the mischief that we could get into than the piddly pay. We did have fun! Unless you’ve done this, you have no idea the variety of people to whom you get to talk. We just had to read this really standard (and boring) scrip while trying to act bubbly and nice. We turned it into a contest to see who could change their voice the most. We used accents, tried to sound like men, tried to sound really shrill and all other sorts of juvenile crap.
One of the calls that I remember with fondest (and a case of the giggles) was to a really hard of hearing lady. Now listen…I did NOT prank that elderly woman. Let’s get that straight. I might be mischievous but I’m not mean. The conversation went like this….
Me…”Hello! How are you? This is blah-blah and I’m calling for the Fraternal Order of the Blah-Blah.”
Old lady…”WHAT? Yes, I’m at home.”
Me….”Honey, that’s not what I said.” And, then I went thru the whole damn script again.
Old lady…”Groceries? Yes, I’ve got groceries.”
Me…”Well, good for you. I was worried that you didn’t. Now, you have a really nice evening!’
Old lady…”Ok. Call me tomorrow. Bye-bye.”
(A side note which has nothing to do with this topic but the above reminded me of it. Once, I called my uncle. He is a little hard of hearing so I was speaking a little loudly. I inquired about how he had been doing. He told me that he had just gotten out of the hospital. I was surprised since no one had told me that he had been ill. We discussed his health problems and his hospital stay, etc. We talked for about 10 minutes or so when suddenly, he said, “Why are you talking so damn loud?” In horror, I was suddenly aware that I had dialed a wrong number and this guy was not my uncle! I didn’t want to admit to the man how stupid I was so I told him that I was talking loudly because there was something wrong with my phone and I couldn’t hardly hear him and figured that he couldn’t hear me either. I told him that I’d call him back once my phone got fixed and hung up. I’m sure that to this day, that poor ol’ guy is wondering just who the hell I was.)
So, there is where I learned Trick #1 to handle telemarketers. Act deaf!
The next trick, I learned from calling a doctor’s house and his housekeeper answered the phone. She couldn’t understand a word that I was saying nor could I understand her.
Trick #2….act like you are the housekeeper and don’t speak English.
The next trick I learned while talking to a welfare mom. (I am not putting down all welfare moms. Please do not leave me hate comments!)
I run through the whole stupid script and then ask her if she’d like to buy one of the coupon books. She ask me what coupons were in them. I told her restaurants,dry cleaners,food, etc. But, she wanted to know what each coupon was exactly. I had to read her off the whole damn book of coupons. Finally, out of breath, I asked her if she wanted to “donate” and get one. She told me that she couldn’t until her welfare check came in!
Trick #3….do what the welfare lady did!
Here’s a few other tips that I picked up from that job.
Trick #4…..tell them that you do not have the money. You are saving up bail money for one of your relatives.
Trick #5….this is my favorite to use. I took an idea and perfected it for my own use. Turn the tables on ‘em. For instance, I got a call from the Special Soandso wanting to sell me some outrageously priced circus tickets. I told them that I would be happy to buy some except I had two special needs children to support. I left out the part about their special needs being cellphones, rides to the mall, brand name clothes, etc. Hey…that stuff is special to them and they think they need it. So, don’t be judging me!
Now, no matter what the person is collecting for, I boomerang it and tell them a sob story until they are sooooooo ready to get off the phone from me. Or, I tell them that I’ll be happy to donate to their organization if they will donate to mine. When they ask me what mine is, I make up some off-the-wall group…..like Keeping the Ostriches Alive in London or Support A Stylist for the people who go out in public wearing their pj’s or pants down below their butt. You can make up all kinds of names for organizations!
Seriously, though, I do support some charities of my choice. I support the Woman’s Domestic Violence Shelter which is located a few miles from me. I send money to the famine victims in Africa. I give money to my church. I do my share. So, don’t be hatin’ on me or think I’m a heartless biotch!
So, readers….my Christmas gift to you. Tips to handle telemarketers!!!!!
OK..one more little story that I just remembered. There was this one guy in the boiler room who thought that he was really all that and then some. He was constantly bragging about how many coupon books he had sold that hour/day. Well, me and my friend really couldn’t give a rat’s ass how many he had sold because we were way too busy trying to hold back the giggles when we had when we had to call somebody with the last name of Dick or Peters, etc. We totally channeled 12-year-old boys at this “job”. But, one day, he really got on my nerves. So, I decided to fix his wagon. See….he, also, thought that he was a real ladies’ man. I failed to mention above that we got cursed out a lot by people on the phone. That day, I got a really rude, mean, nasty woman on the phone who said some curse words that made even me blush. After she hung up on me, I went over to his station and told him that I had called a woman who wanted to buy 5 books of coupons if I could get a guy to call her and deliver them to her. I gave him her number and of course, the cocky butthole couldn’t wait to call her. Lawdy…..you could hear her cussing him clear across the room!!!!
I know that was mean and I shouldn’t have done it. But, gosh it was fun!!!!!