So over the weekend, while I’m dealing with a still-sick kiddo, I get a phone call from a telemarketer. And I’m just irritated enough that they’re calling that I pick up and decide to engage.
Me: Why are you calling me?
Her: We are calling because we learned from Experian that you have one or more credit cards and we’d like to help you lower your credit card rate.
Me: How did you get my number?
Her: Experian gave it to us.
(I seriously doubt this but I keep that to myself. Or maybe they did. I don’t know.)
Me: Take me off your list. Right now. I don’t want you to call me any more.
Her: I cannot do that.
Me: Why not?
Her: Because I cannot, that is why! YOU NEED TO PRAY TO GOD FOR THAT!
Me: Take me off your list.
At this point it goes quiet on her end, but I can hear her breathing. I wait…five, ten minutes goes by.
Me: I can do this as long as you can. I have a lot of patience. Take me off your list.
Her: (mumbling in some language that might be English, I don’t know. It’s hard to tell.)
The phone goes quiet again and I wait. Another five, ten minutes goes by. I know she’s there and I’m not giving up until she hangs up the phone. I silently curse the fact that the National Do Not Call Registry is essentially useless.
Her: You need to hang up the phone so I can make other calls, ma’am!
Me: Not until you do. Take me off your list. Take me off your list. Take me off your list.
Her: YOU NEED TO SHUT UP! We will NEVER stop calling you! YOU NEED TO SHUT UP!
Me: Take me off your list.
I’m not angry. I’m not using a threatening tone of voice. I am calm, patient. The phone goes quiet again and after about 20 seconds, she hangs up this time. I wait for her, or another telemarketer, to call back. But they don’t.
The only way, I think, to get these jerks to stop calling is to call them on their bullshit, to engage with them and make them realize that you’re not going to fall for their crap. Maybe if everyone did this, instead of ignoring them like we’re told to do, they’d realize they can’t harass us anymore. Because that’s what it is…harassment. And they can get away with it because they think we’re just going to ignore them.
I know a little about harassment and being bullied. I was bullied quite a bit when I was in school and I was told to be a good girl, to ignore the bullies and they’d eventually get bored and leave me alone. But they never really did. They’d ramp up their antic until I finally couldn’t take it anymore and I would snap, lashing out at them. Usually, after that (even though I was alway in trouble for defending myself) they’d pretty much leave me alone because they knew I was willing to escalate if that’s what it took to get them to leave me the heck alone. They never liked being called on the crap they pulled, it seemed.
And it looks like these overseas people who keep calling and calling…”Amanda”, “Rebecca”, “Alexis” and the various other (usually female) names they use..don’t either.