by Beth Boswell Jacks
Don’t you know telemarketers get bored slap to tears? They vegetate at an endless bank of phones, dialing strangers, annoying the heck out of folks, enduring all kinds of verbal abuse.
Because I know telemarketers are expected to make a certain number of calls within an hour, and because I hesitate to say anything nasty when I suffer these intrusions into my privacy, my favorite response to their calls has been simply to set the receiver down and let them devour valuable phoning time, rattling their spiel while I go on doing whatever they so rudely interrupted.
I’ve decided, however, this “telephone receiver lay-down” is not really a nice thing for me to do. Probably makes telemarketers even more sad and more bored, although I personally DO get a big kick out of hearing them blab on, pause, then repeat, “Mrs. Jacks? Mrs. Jacks, are you there? Mrs. Jacks? Mrs. Jacks?”
A recent poll showed 92% of Americans consider telemarketing calls to be a major nuisance. Surprise, surprise. That means telemarketers must realize only a measly 8% of our citizens can tolerate their irritating calls. That’s got to be discomforting. I have, therefore, given this situation a lot of thought because we really should give these disconsolates some comic relief.
Consider: We know telemarketers work with a script, so why shouldn’t we innocent phone-answerers have a script as well--some catchy comments that might give our annoying callers a few laughs with the least amount of effort on our part. Don’t want to waste their time, you know.
I’ve composed this handy counterscript titled “Ten Ways For Deep South Folks To Entertain Bored Telemarketers Or At Least Shut Them Up.”
When the telemarketer says, “Hello, my name is Jack,” go ahead and jump right in with one of these introductory comments:
C’mon, Chuck, seriously, how’s the family n’em?”
2. “This is Jack, huh? Well, Mister Mad Britches,
have you made up your mind to be Mister Glad Britches?
3. “Oh, yeah, Jack down at the insurance place.
Listen, man, I was just about to call you.
I piled up sandbags, but the bayou’s been rising
with all this blasted rain, and the water’s almost up to . . .
4. “Yes, thanks for returning my call, Jack.
Don and I are out in the backyard frying a turkey, see,
and we’ve been discussing why chickens and turkeys vary so in fry-time, see,
and Don says a bird that’s 5 times heavier is going to be on average
about 1.7 times (the cube root of 5) larger in any linear dimension, see.
5. “Jack, buddy, I don’t know what to say.
I knew you’d call when you heard I need a few bucks.
You’re good for five grand, righto, old pal?”
6. “What’s with this Jack stuff?
John, listen to me--Shorty says your wife has pictures.”
7. “Oh, hi, Jack. We just this very minute sat down over a plate of turnip greens.
Please hold, okey doke?”
8. “Jack! I cannot believe this.
When did they let you out?”
9. “Thank goodness, you got my message, Jack.
Mama is just about fit to be tied.
She says the back pasture ain’t been cut in 2 years
and if you think Mamie Dell and I are going to get out there on that tractor
and get stuck in the mud up to our eyeballs you’ve got another think coming,
and don’t hang up because I’ve got more’n a dozen bones to pick--”
10. “It’s about time you called, Jack.
That deer carcass is still in the middle of my living room.
Get your shovel and some paper towels and get over here. Now!”
Our friend Jack most certainly will hang up before you can gab longer because he’ll be yukking it up, anxious to tell his co-horts about this unbelievable call. You can then go on about your business knowing you’ve added a bit of spice to an otherwise unpleasant day for a bunch of hardworking telemarketers.
Contact: USADEEPSOUTH Editor Beth Jacks
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