Sunday, July 03, 2005

Confessions of a Telemarketer

**Or "Why" Spelled in ___ Different Ways.
**Or "Kissing Telemarketing Goodbye."

If, for some reason, you beg to differ with all the hostility you can summon, then leave me alone. Do something else, like polish your sales pitch, or practice speaking faster. I've been there, and I CAN sell. I can probably outsell you ten to one if I'm still interested, but Ben Tumbling has left the building and is now doing a happy job as a technical support personnel.
And don't get offended. You'll get over the effin truth anyway.

What do you mean you can't go fuck yourself?Aside from learning how to speak like an American and argue with an American, the other good thing about telemarketing is quitting.

I've been doing a lot of telemarketing for about more than a year now, and for some people, that's just about long enough. I did hardcore telemarketing, phone scamming, and business listings for more than is required, and I figured it's just about time to rinse my brain cells for something fresh. I quit doing it, and since my resignation letter was as honest as it can get, there are still other reasons which strengthened my resolve to go and, as those Americans placed it, "get a better job."

So I did it for the pay, and the pay's excellent. There was a time when my tax alone was another person's income for a full pay period, and that made me feel good. Not because I'm making this much money, but because I'm worth this much dough. And I wasn't even THAT good yet. So I stayed to figure out how far I can go. Turns out that I wouldn't go THAT far, thanks to the various influences I met along the way.

There isn't much room for learning. You can only learn as much, and then your brain proceeds to rot from the same mind numbing telemarketing. I mean, how much brain work does it require for anyone to update a business listing and sell crap after that? See, you can only do so much with your rebuttals, twist them and turn them around for plausible manipulation as you please. But it sometimes verges on scamming, so there isn't much you can really DO with them. It's always the same routine, day after day after day. And then the day after that. You can get to master everything in this much time, but what happens after that? You can get lucky and learn a new product in a span of six months, but that is only if you are lucky enough. And unless that happens, you're stuck to updating online business listings which nobody ever looks up.

I'm smarter than this sonofabitch who's cussing at me over the phone, and I wonder why I can't just cuss him back and get it over with? Damn, I learned the art of cursing assholes early on in grade school, and it's pretty much a secondary nature. But there's somebody listening in to this call and may actually be recording it for posterity. Quality. So I give him the finger while I'm doing my rebuttals, but, for all the wrong reasons, it just doesn't feel right.

Quality in this context simply refers to the quality of the verbal receipt involved in all this telemarketing. We record the agreements over the phone, and we're doing that just to say that we have a tape of them saying YES to the sales pitch. They have no other choice but to pay us since we have them caught on tape. And just to be real sure, the tape's well recorded and the conversation was just as clear as bottled water. Quality, then, makes sure that the receipt's flawless, and that the scam's a work in progress.

I studied mathematics for five years in college, and for the most part, math at my level (as a telemarketer) is basically all about counting sales. The extra mile in this instance would actually involve DIVIDING my daily sales by this much hours, or computing my cash incentives to involve MULTIPLICATION, and that's basically it. I never needed to use what I know in differential equations, operations research, or even linear algebra; it's just addition, division, and multiplication, and I'm all set.

That probably explains why undergraduates overachieve in this field.

The previous reason then gives birth to another question: I finished college for this? And for some of my friends back then: I passed the board for this? I'm beginning to wonder whatever happened to my "edge" in this industry that brags of its fair share of successful undergraduates. I'm getting as much as this telemarketer in my team, and yet I'm the one with the diploma. And then when I go on and think about it, I can always use my diploma and apply as a teacher, or a programmer, or a teller in a sperm bank. But then it's either earning the minimum wage or working as a telemarketer. And there really is no sense in pointing out that you're a telemarketer with a degree in mathematics. We all sound the same to the person we're speaking with over the phone. And we receive the same paycheck as everyone else.

It needed a wake up call to realize all this. One of my most memorable telemarketing calls was with the owner of this bakery. When I introduced myself over the phone, THE verbal handshake as they called it back then, he interrupted me and told me that he needs to close the door. Then I heard a click, and then he started with this enraged litany over harrassment. He said that he's been called by US people more than a dozen times, and he has been polite all along. For some reason, I knew that I'm speaking with a man nearing his breaking point, and that was more that validated when he started screaming: "What have we done to deserve this kind of harrassment? Not buy anything from you guys?"

I received a lot of calls very similar to this one, but for some reason, this was the ONE call I needed. This baker rattled me more than $10,000 threats, the Secretary of state, or the Better Business Bureau. He isn't even cursing, but all of the foulmouthing from a hundred previous assholes does not even begin to compare with this one guy who's had enough.

The common rebuttal to this kind of objection, when the customer's at his breaking point, would go something like, "Sir, I'm terribly sorry you feel that way, so let me just go on ahead and remove your from our calling list." Tough luck, since I knew better. At the back of my head, I was like, "Yes, I might be telling you that we'll be removing your name from our calling list. But I'm just telling you that, since we'll still be calling this number soon, and we'll be wishing like hell that someone else will answer. And then we'll throw him the sales pitch. We can tell you one hundred times that we'll remove your name from our calling list, but that's never going to happen. Your number will still end up as another prospect call. So, come to think of it, we are harrassing you, sir."

I didn't even try pushing the product forward. I just wished him a nice day, went on break, and started thinking. Maybe I've had enough myself?


  1. greater_cynic: teka, ano namang sexciting doon sa ending noon?
    greater_cynic: hah?
    Dandy Abesamis: first, yung story ng conversation ninyo nung tinawagan mo
    Dandy Abesamis: tapos yung illustration na "hes had enuff"
    Dandy Abesamis: tapos yun din ang naisip mo, na telemarketing ay enough na rin para sayo
    Dandy Abesamis: yun
    Dandy Abesamis: basta
    Dandy Abesamis: yun yon
    Dandy Abesamis: hehe
    Dandy Abesamis:
    greater_cynic: eto yung tungkol sa telemarketing noh!
    Dandy Abesamis: ano pa nga ba
    Dandy Abesamis: may bago ba
    Dandy Abesamis: ulit
    greater_cynic: ni-update ko yun kahapon, may dinagdag ako na paragraph tungkol sa harrassment
    Dandy Abesamis: oic
    greater_cynic: second to the last paragraph siya
    greater_cynic: yun yung best part doon eh, I think
    Dandy Abesamis: basa ko rin yon
    Dandy Abesamis: teka
    Dandy Abesamis: eh yun nga ending mo
    Dandy Abesamis: kasama na yon sa nagpa-sexcite sakin
    greater_cynic: the best yun!
    greater_cynic: tulis mo talaga
    Dandy Abesamis: dahil alam ko lahat yan eh
    Dandy Abesamis: sobrang daming calls dito no
    greater_cynic: naghihintay nga ako ng response from telemarketers out there eh
    Dandy Abesamis: alam mo style ko? alam kong kahit sabihin ng tanggalin sa list, ay hindi nila gagawin eh kaya i don't even bother
    greater_cynic: correct!
    greater_cynic: sapul na sapul nga eh
    Dandy Abesamis: ginagawa ko, sasabihin ko, sndali lang, balikan ko sya
    Dandy Abesamis: tapos nakababa lang ang phone
    Dandy Abesamis: habang gagawin ko ang kung anuman, minsan, patugtog ako ng malakas, o magsisigaw sa background
    Dandy Abesamis: hindi ko na sya babalikan
    Dandy Abesamis:
    Dandy Abesamis: ganon, pero merong world record, talagang naghintay sya...!!!!
    greater_cynic: buti talaga tinigilan ko yang telemarketing na yan
    Dandy Abesamis: almost 45 minutes yon, pagbalik ko, NANDON PA RIN SYA!
    greater_cynic: hala
    greater_cynic: gustong mag-quota
    Dandy Abesamis: hehe
    Dandy Abesamis: sya lang nakatagal ng ganon
    greater_cynic: tindi!
    Dandy Abesamis: pag negro ang telemarketer, sobrang mapilit!!!
    greater_cynic: ganyun ba yun
    Dandy Abesamis: sanay talagang mang-haras sila
    greater_cynic: abaaaa
    Dandy Abesamis: hehe
    greater_cynic: o sha, idol, log out na ko
    greater_cynic: salamat sa comments!
    Dandy Abesamis: o sige
    greater_cynic: o sha!
    Dandy Abesamis: paste ko to, lagay ko don sa comment
    greater_cynic: bahala ka
    Dandy Abesamis: kakaiba, o ha!
    greater_cynic: faalam!

  2. Anonymous12:10 PM

    a life changing entry. kaso i still want to be a millionaire

  3. potah, talagang dinikit mo dito ha@dandy

    anonymous, glad to hear that it was a "life changing entry."
    first, there was this girl who started quoting from my blog, and then there's you who saw it as life changing. wow.

    goodluck on your way to your first million!

  4. Anonymous1:34 PM

    This post gets 10 wonderful likes. And tha means 10 thumbs up (if you look at the icon).




Blog Widget by LinkWithin