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My goodnes I just realized this
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Credendo
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Joined: 02 Apr 2002
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2002 8:03 am    Post subject: My goodnes I just realized this Reply with quote

I was just re-reading Meadow of the Damned whe I noticed that the woman was a telemarketer, and in the lamest of hells. Surely Scott in all the justice of the universe telemarketers should be in the 13th circle of hell. (yes I know it doesn't go that low)

Once again Sorry, I couldn't resist

I was actually a bit suprised at the ending, I kind of expected that the hell they were in would be a kind of Chineese water torture thing, where the small things kept getting worse and worse, but hey that's just me.

Credendo
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losttoy
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Joined: 02 Apr 2002
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2002 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My best friend was a telmarketer ... well, she worked for a company that did over the phone surveys. She hated her job, but she needed the money. Those surveys do need to be done. Some are quality control, some measure what the consumer wants, some are measuring the ammount of resourses that should be spent or not. As annoying as these surveys are, they do in the long run help you. (Although, companies who are trying to sell stuff could learn better ways to sell their products. I get several calls for home improvement a day while I live in an apartment.) Just remember that there are real people making those calls and they have a really sucky job. How would you like it if people yelled, cursed, and hung up on you all day? (Actualy, that sounds like my job ...)
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Jack Masters
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Joined: 04 Jun 2001
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2002 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If someone calls me up during lunch to ask me 27 questions about veal tacos, I do not consider that a valuble use of my time, whether it is intended for my own benefit or not.
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2002 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surveys aren't so bad, IMO, but true telemarketing- sales people calling with the express purpose of making a sale- I find to be rude, intrusive and wasteful. It became so bad that that I stopped answering the phone entirely in favor of using the answering machine to screen calls. I have only been asked to participate in a phone survey twice, maybe three times, in my life and the most recent one was a survey on what radio stations I listened to, which I can't imaging I was any help with, since I didn't listen to any of the list of stations they wanted to know about.

So survey-takers (surveyors?) aren't so bad in my book, but telemarketers can go straight to the Meadow of the Damned.
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Hothouse Norm
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2002 5:05 pm    Post subject: Just say click. Reply with quote

I don't understand why people get so upset at telemarketers. You don't have to talk to them, just politely say you're not interested and hang up. It seems to me that the people who complain the most are the ones who listen to someone talk for half an hour waiting for their turn to speak. It's you who's wasting your own time by not being assertive.
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2002 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, I gotta disagree with you on that one (respectfully). I purchased a telephone and pay for the monthly service strictly for my own benefit, not a telemarketing company's, so the very fact that when I answer the phone and it's not either a friend or family member seeking to communicate with me or a legitimate wrong number is an intrusion and a waste of time- my time and theirs.

As to politely saying "no thanks" and hanging up, do you mean hanging up regardless of whether or not the voice on the other end of the line is still speaking? That truly is about as much consideration as any telemarketing company deserves, but in trying to show a modicum of respect for the human on the other end of the line, it usually works out to having to decline their "offer" at least three times then hanging up in the middle of their next sentence, which is not exactly polite, but it's what one is forced to do.


Of course, by that time, it's already too late and the rude, intrusive event has already happened.

And I even found a relevant quote from Miss Manners to back me up on this one:
In response to a telemarketer, Miss Manners wrote:
What you are doing is rude. Never mind arguing that you need to earn a living, that you personally do not intend to break into people's lives and that many people must be grateful for the opportunity your employer offers for you, or they would not be profitable... Miss Manners is sorry to tell you that she hopes such techniques will not be permitted and that you are able to earn a more acceptable living in another manner.

That quote and useful anti-telemarketing techniques here: http://www.junkbusters.com/cgi-bin/gp?pg=links&pr=telemarketing
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Tialaramex
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2002 7:13 pm    Post subject: Telemarketing Reply with quote

In the UK you can "turn off" telemarketers. Over a million people have done so already.

Originally a voluntary body was put in place which telemarketers could use to "cleanse" lists, and the "industry body" of telemarketing in the UK assured the government that its members had no intention of annoying those who did not wish to be disturbed. Of course years later people on the voluntary list were still receiving calls, and the government took this as a clear signal that the telemarketers weren't capable of being self-regulating and so they gave the voluntary body legal status.

Now every private citizen and partnership (not big companies) can opt out of ever receiving marketing calls for the price of a stamp or a few minutes on the Internet. Any marketing company that doesn't "cleanse" their call lists is fined. I receive no unwanted calls, and can work at home without people trying to sell me things I don't need and don't want.

Probably a few marketing companies went out of business, and a few people lost their jobs, but it was a small price to pay to return the telephone to its original purpose.
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DeForgeo
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2002 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, as annoying as they are, telemarketers are people too, and I usually try to decline their offer as politely as possible (no matter how many times I have to say "We're not interested.")
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Scott McCloud
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2002 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use:
"I'm sorry, we don't accept telephone solicitations."

Then, if they persist, I cut them off as gently as possible.

I really have nothing against the people who work those soul-crushing jobs (or against Richard Dreyfus, for that matter), it's the system that employs them that I hate, hence the strictly fictional damnation.

Sort of along the same lines as Mojo Nixon's song "Don Henley Must Die."
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ToastyKen
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2002 4:24 pm    Post subject: Yell at the managers, not the workers Reply with quote

It bugs me when people yell and scream at telemarketers. If you hate the practice, ask for their managers and yell at them. These poor people just need some money, and, telemarketing not being as evil as genetic cleansing, I think it's reasonable for them to take up this job. Even if people do think that they're in part responsible for the behavior, don't they think that the higher-ups are far more responsible?

Of course, people don't yell at the managers because that would take actual effort. Instead, they just blow off steam at people who have no decision-making power (the managers probably expect verbal abuse to their workers by now, and they probably don't care much, because they're not the ones who have to deal with it anyway), and they thus solve absolutely nothing!

Please, for the love of common decency, do what Scott McCloud does: Just say that you're not interested and then hang up on them. Most of them these days will voluntarily hang up once you say you're not interested anyway.
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NatGertler
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2002 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I strongly disagree. Yelling at the telemarketer is a positive step. These people do have decision-making power. They decided to take the job, and they can decide to quit -- and if you drive them closer to quitting, more power to you. If there are no employees to do this job, it won't get done. The more often they have to replace employees, the higher the costs to the marketing company, and the more likely it is that the job won't get done.

There are other ways to make them less profitable (stringing the caller along for as long as possible, for example), but for now harrassing those who have chosen to interrupt your day for their own profit is one of the few tools you can use against them. Given that these people chose to call you, you should feel no guilt about returning the displeasure in this way.

Last I heard, California was considering passing a law allowing people to opt out of these calls. (It would not, alas, apply to calls from charities and political groups -- unsurprising, since the political groups support the very people who vote ont he law.) There are of course companies in the interruption-and-harrassment business who are fighting against this law. We shall see if the lawmakers choose to represent the wishes of the people.
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ChastMastr
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2002 12:19 pm    Post subject: Yuck. Reply with quote

"If you drive them closer to quitting..." when they may be struggling just to feed their kids. Yay, goodness and charity reign.

I think the system is horrible. But it might be the only job they have.

Deliberately making people miserable to get at their employers sounds pretty nasty.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2002 1:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Yuck. Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
"If you drive them closer to quitting..." when they may be struggling just to feed their kids.
Gee, that's an excuse for whatever people do for money. Burgular? Hit man? Hey, they're just trying to make a living...

These people make their livings by stealing the valuable time of others, plain and simple. If treating people uncivilly and stealing from them is part of how they make their living, then dealing with the reaction of their victims comes with the territory as well.

I can be very charitable, but not to someone who just chose to victimize me. To treat these folks nicely doesn't encourage civility, it rewards rudeness and theft.
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Craig J. Quack
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2002 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking as a former telemarketer (I only did it for one summer during college, and that was so I wouldn't have to go back to working in fast food), I can tell you that -- as with fast food -- a high employee turnover rate doesn't affect a telemarketing company's profits all that much. They don't have to spend all that much on recruiting because there are always people desperate enough to risk the ire of their fellow man to make a few bucks. (Sure, they have to run newspaper ads damn near constantly, but that cost is built right into their budgets.) And training is almost negligible. When I was hired I had a half a day of training before I was shown to my cubicle. I think I lasted two months.

Now, even though I've been in their shoes, I still occasional yell at a telemarketer, but only after they've ignored my first two or three attempts to get off the phone nicely. Also, remember that you have the right to demand to be taken off their calling list and they are legally required to remove you if you do so.
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2002 1:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Yuck. Reply with quote

ChastMastr wrote:
Deliberately making people miserable to get at their employers sounds pretty nasty.

And ineffective. The ages-old expression "Don't shoot the messenger" is good advice. If you want something from someone or something- in this case, the telemarketing company- then don't offend the person in the position to deliver that. What could you possibly want from a telemarketing company? Assuming it's not their product, you want not to be called again. In the United States (I can't speak for other countries) if you request to be put on the telemarketing company's "do not call list," then by law they have to do so and keep you on that list for ten years. If everybody did this, there's be nobody left to call. ("...and if everybody went to the same restaurant on the same evening and ordered blintzes, there would be chaos, but they don't!" -Diane Keaton, Love and Death)

And the argument that "this could be the only job the caller could find," which keeps coming up over and over, is a logical disconnect. Telemarketing is rude. Telemarketing is intrusive. Telemarketing is a waste of time. These facts have nothing to do with the employable status of the person who took the job. History has shown that there are always people willing to do others' dirty work, often to their own detriment. People always have choices and sometimes they make poor ones. I consider accepting a job as a telemarketer to be a poor one, no matter the circumstances. I have little sympathy. However- Yelling? Abusing the caller? No- Not polite and not useful. Please see the above paragraph.
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NatGertler
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2002 1:42 am    Post subject: Re: Yuck. Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
Gee, that's an excuse for whatever people do for money. Burgular? Hit man? Hey, they're just trying to make a living...
I must've forgotten to log in -- this message was from me. (I didn't want someone else to say "hey, Nat's faking other people agreeing with himself!")

I prefer not to be a friendly, complicit victim, and see no reason to be "polite" to those who are victimizing me. As for the "Do not call" list, that gets ignored frequently -- and unless you make an ongoing effort to document every call you get, there is little you can do about it. They will also tell you that they cannot actually make the change for weeks. And then they regularly hire different calling agencies so that your Do Not Call request does no good, even if they do adhere to the letter of the law.
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Rip Tanion
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2002 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, many states have enacted laws, allowing people to have their phone numbers taken off telemarketer lists. If you're number is on the "don't call" list, and a tele-marketer calls you, they can be fined everytime they do.

If you live in NY state, like I do, go to www.nynocall.com to have your number put on the "don't call" list.

Another way to deal with telemarketers, is to "give it back to them", as comedian Jim Florentine does in his "Terrorizing Telemarketers" CDs.
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Nathan P.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2002 9:27 am    Post subject: Telemarketers Reply with quote

Many telemarketers use an announcer-like voice when calling my apartment. I find it fun to use strange and unusual voices and accents when answering telemarketers. The response "We have no money." usually causes them to hang up.
I like how the demon in MotD proved that their hell was the best matched for what they had done.
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InkAddict
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Joined: 06 May 2002
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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2002 9:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Meadow of the Damned" reminds me a little of "Croq'la Vie" ("Take a bite out of Life", by Yann & Hardy).

http://www.bande-dessinee.org/bd/bd02.nsf/InterSeries/bc6738737aad0fe1412566cc0007f64c?OpenDocument

In "Take a bite out of Life", The afterlife is just an endless plain, where the dead live on until they rot away and crumble to dust. A little like "Meadow of the Damned", only nothing happens and everybody rots.

It's great fun, 'cause it constantly tackles all metaphorical questions about reincanation, Heaven, Hell, Life, and the meaning thereof,... as well as having a pitch-black sense of humor.

Anyone else know of these "imagined afterlifes" in comics?
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