If you're like most people, and most people are, you resent telemarketers calling you at home trying to sell you something. Since they seem to be a fact of life these days, I thought I'd make the best of it and try to have a little fun with them.
At first, I would just let them go through their entire spiel, then say, "I'm sorry, I'm hard of hearing. Would you repeat that?" I'd do that several times until they finally caught on and hung up.
One of them got really irritated after repeating his pitch three times and snapped, "You're just wasting my time."
"I guess that makes us even," I said.
But that got old after a while. Besides, it took too long.
So that's how I stumbled upon a new hobby. Whenever a telemarketer calls,
try to come up, on the spot, with a spiel of your own.
The following are genuine examples:
The phone rings.
"Hello, is this Michael Owen?"
"Hello, Mr. Owen, my name is Brenda and I'm with MCI. How are you
Fine, and you?
"I'm fine, Mr. Owen. Does anyone in your home make long-distance
"Well, do you receive a lot of collect calls?"
"You don't make ANY long distance calls or receive ANY collect calls?"
No, m'am. You see, I belong to the Seventh-Day B'nai Antioch church,
and my religion strictly forbids me from using the telephone at all.
"Uh, Mr. Owen, you're using the phone right now."
OH MY GOD! SEE WHAT YOU'VE DONE! OH MY GOD!
You get the idea?
"Hello, this is Christi with Rollin' Hills photography studio. Would
you be interested in a free family portrait?"
No, thank you.
"Not even for free?"
No, ma'am. You see, my brother is a staff photographer for National
Geographic, and he does all our portraits for us for free.
"Really? That's nice."
Yes m'am, it is. Of course, we have to take off all our clothes and
squat naked around a camp fire for him to do it -- so you can imagine
what our Christmas cards look like -- but hey, they're free.
"Hello, is this Mike Owen?"
"Mr. Owen, I am authorized to offer you a week's stay at a fabulous
resort if you and your fami ..."
Not interested, thank you.
"Mr. Owen, it's free, if you and your ..."
'Scuse me, sir, but you see, my Uncle Horatio Hilton owns all the Hilton
Hotels in the United States.
(I swear to God he then said:)
"So ... uh, I guess you get a discount, huh?"
"Hello, is this Mr. Owen?"
"How would you like to make big bucks in your spare time?"
No thanks, I'm rich as hell.
You get the idea.