How to have fun with a telemarketer.

It’s a Friday night, and you’re halfway through getting ready to go out and celebrate the start of the weekend. It’s 3:20pm on a Tuesday and you’re running late to pick the kids up from school. Lunchtime on a Sunday, and you’re elbow-deep in a turkey’s buttocks. That’s when you hear it. You tell yourself that you’ll pick up the phone, and tell whoever it is that you’ll call them back later on, and quickly realise that’s not going to happen.

That’s right guys, you’ve landed yourself a telemarketer.

Whatever they’re trying to sell you today – toner for your printers, a new kitchen, or a trip to Aruba – the chances are that you don’t want it. Upon hearing the all too familiar, “Hello, is this the owner of the household?” you are presented with one of two choices;

Choice One
You hang up. You don’t have time to be sold things you don’t need, and you’re pissed off with them for calling at such an inappropriate time.

Choice Two (my personal favourite)
You decide to have some fun. This can be done in a variety of ways, and will vary depending on what they’re trying to sell you, if they’re male or female, and where in the world they sound like they come from. Let’s throw in some examples.

Yes. Yes I do want that.
I believe the word ‘yes’ is underrated in the world of telemarketing. As soon as they begin to speak, answer every question with a single ‘yes’. Do not elaborate. You need patience for this one – they’ll rattle on for ages about how fantastic their self-flushing toilet is, and what a difference it will make to your home. But bear with it, because it gets better. The fun part begins when they ask for your name; “Can I take your full name please?” to which you reply, “Yes.” and leave it at that. 90% of the time, after asking this twice, they’ll try something less challenging like your e-mail address. Again, tell them ‘yes’ they can have your e-mail address, but do not tell them what it is. Say nothing but yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Depending on the sense of humour of the telemarketer, this can be very funny.

What do you mean I won?
Another personal favourite of mine comes around when a pleasant Asian women is asking me if I’d like a new set of windows. This one’s pretty versatile, as long as they’re asking you something. Simply pretend you’ve won it. I’m talking about replying with things like “you mean I won a whole new set of windows?”, “I’m so happy, I never win anything!”, “I can’t believe I’ve won this, thank you so much”, and “my grandparents won’t be able to escape anymore!”. This does not work if they’re telling you that you’ve won something, only if they’re trying to sell you something. This one is never a let down, and has hilarious results.

I now pronounce you…
Marriage isn’t a word often associated with telemarketing phone calls. Perhaps there’s a reason for that. Pushing that reason aside, next time someone calls up trying to give you a holiday to Sri Lanka, flirt with them a bit. “You have a really sexy voice,” and “what are you wearing?” are good to use. Be suggestive. Be flirty. And then ask them to marry you. I don’t think I need to elaborate anymore.

You found my dog!
When they call, thank them for finding your dog. Then thank them again. And again. Once more. Ask if they’ve seen your cat.

These are just three of my favourites, but the list goes on and on. Feel free to have some fun with them next time they call, but don’t be rude – they probably hate their job as much as you hate hearing about it and the last thing they need is someone being an asshole to them down a telephone line. More often than not, they’ll take these ideas in good humour (and once or twice I’ve even been thanked for brightening up their day a little). So there you have it – an entertaining way to deal with telemarketers instead of hanging up as soon as they say hello. Try them out – and try to keep a straight voice.

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