The Life of Riley: Telemarketers

I know most people just hate these calls. Well, I’m different (no comments) – and, what a revoltin’ development this is! Sometimes they interrupt what I am doing. Other times I take the time to spar with the people. That takes some patience on my part. I have to listen to the recorded messages and decide if I want to talk to someone, press the number that supposedly removes my number from their call list, or just hang up.

If I press the button to connect me with a person I usually have to wait while their phone rings. Then I have to struggle with understanding them, either because they are reading there patter rapidly, or because of their broken English, or a combination of both.

When I do get a person on the line, my first question is “I’m on the national do not call list, why are you calling me?” That is usually answered by a click, signaling that they hung up.

The other day, I received one call during lunch and went though my standard question – and received the usual click. A little later there was another one. My first thought was to just hang up. This was from an electronic security company saying I had won a home security system. This was enough to insure I wouldn’t hang up. In fact the recoding warned me not to hang up. The recording stated how burglaries were on the increase and they had been authorized by the FBI.

I changed my question a little. When a real person answered, I asked why the FBI would authorize calls to people who were on the national no call list. This was followed by the usual click of disconnection.

The next morning I got the same call. This time I pressed two, to be removed from their list. Well, we’ll see.

Jerry Riley comments for the News Bulletin. He is a retired telecommunications supervisor.