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6 Types of Telemarketers (and appropriate punishment)

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Please share your telemarketing stories and/or observations in the comments below and I’ll pick one person to which I’ll send a prize! We have embroidery machines here, so it will probably be a tee or something embroidered with the Kid-Free logo and some funny saying…  but it will be the first ever, and no doubt worth millions one day! (so you have that going for you!) Or you can pick a dog breed from our Dog Store, or I suppose even a kid thing from our kid store, if you want to be ironic…

So here we go:  6 Types of Telemarketers (and appropriate punishment)


Stop wasting my time! Can't you see I have to change this horrific shirt?!!

While universally despised, not all telemarketers are created equal. Here are the six types that routinely hassle me…

1. The Freight Train

The Freight Train starts talking the moment you answer the phone, and continues talking over you as you attempt to explain politely to him that you’re not in the market for free month of Ferrets Magazine. It’s like he’s trying to auction off his item.  He believes as long as he keeps talking, you will be unable to hang up. This type often pushes “charities” – firemen, policemen, heart disease, whatever. They figure if they can just get to the part where you’re an ass for not giving to these worthy causes, you’ll see the light.

Punishment: Lock him in a room for a full week with recordings of Fran Drescher, Dick Vitale, Chris Tucker and Gilbert Gottfried playing simultaneously, non-stop.

2. Foreign Dude

This guy butchers your last name like Jason at a Camp Crystal Lake slumber party. Not only do you get the unsolicited phone call, but you get the uncomfortable feeling of having to say “What? I’m sorry, what?”  The only thing worse would be sitting through a whole episode of “Outsourced.” Did they really leave that show on for a whole season? Not funny AND offensive. Bravo, NBC, Bravo. I can’t IMAGINE why you’re in last place.

Punishment: Leave him alone. Chances are he lives in India, and I saw Slum Dog Millionaire. Heat, floods, squalor, caste system… He has enough problems.

3. Robocaller

You have to be a special kind of schmuck to listen to a recorded telemarketing call.  These menaces are often employed by political candidates, so sometimes it is hard to tell that robotic voice isn’t just him.

Punishment: Leave it in the rain to rust.

4. Somebody Kill Me

This poor bastard had the soul sucked from his body years ago. Every word he mumbles says “Buy this product, or don’t. Honestly, I don’t care. I’m going home to my gray apartment to watch Lost on DVD again in 10 minutes anyway.”

Punishment: Clearly, his own life is punishment enough.

5. Angry Girl

When you hangup on Angry Girl, she calls you back. You don’t answer it. She calls again.  If you don’t take the phone off the hook, and instead just stare at the ringing phone with your jaw on the floor asking “Seriously??!” she’ll leave a nasty message. This girl hasn’t been telemarketing long enough for her skin to thicken to the rhino-like hide of the vacant-eyed old-timers. My favorite called back and left a message telling me that my “secretary” had hung up on her. Like I was going to fire my secretary for hanging up on a telemarketer. Hell,I’d give her a raise.

Oh, and the secretary was me, too.

Punishment:  Lock her in a room with all the crazy, angry women from reality TV. May the best anger management candidate win. Twelve angry bitches enter, one tired reformed lady leaves. Hey, I think I just came up with a new reality show: “Crazy Bitch Cage Match.” My money is on NeNe Leakes. That chick is HUGE. Andre the Giant would think twice before entering a ring with her. Of course, he isn’t as limber as he used to be.

6. Captain Douche

Hey! How are you today! How’s that weather? Got any Spring flower where you are?!!”  YOU WILL NOT SMALL TALK ME INTO SUBMISSION. SHUT UP.

Punishment:  Death. This guy is clearly going to end up in bell tower with a rifle some day, so we better just nip that in the bud now.

Amy Vansant

Amy Vansant

Author Amy Vansant enjoys long walks on the beach, anything to do with her Labradoodle Gordon and frantically getting nothing useful done.
Amy Vansant

12 Responses

  1. Abby

    This would be why I don’t answer my phone.
    At work, I simply tell them Abby has been imprisoned after going postal on her coworkers–holding them hostage with random office supplies and an assortment of paper clip chains–due to excessive telemarketing interruptions.
    Unfortunately, this only gives them pause before they ask if I think she would still be interested in a subscription to Ferrets Magazine.
    Add your Twitter:

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  2. Amy Vansant

    Me too. I rarely answer my phone now, and if your number comes up as “out of area” you’re really out of luck.

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  3. Aimee

    Ok, Here is the story of how one southern gentleman wrecked a whole room of telemarketers for the entire shift….

    There was once a point in my life where I was desperate for money, during our last recession, where I had the choice of telemarketing or stripping. I became a telemarketer. I was setting appointments for a home alarm company when I got the call that pretty much ended my telemarketing career. There was this kind gentleman with a soft voice and a southern accent that said, ” Ma’am, I don’t need a home alarm. I have a three legged pig.”

    Now my curiosity got the better of me and I just had to ask,”three-legged pig?”

    “Yes ma’am, I have this pig named Little Boy. He was rejected by his mamma for bein’ a runt, so’s we took him in our house and fed him with a bottle till he was big enough to eat regular food. We didn’t want to set him back in the pen for fear his momma might hurt ‘im, so we kept ‘im in the house and raised ‘im like a dog,” the man said.

    “Awww,” was all I had time to reply before the man continued.

    “Well, it came one winter day that I fell off the ladder in the garage and I broke my leg. I’d have laid in that garage and froze to death before my wife came home. Little Boy kicked up a fuss and cried and carried on so loud that my next door neighbor heard and came over to see what was wrong. He found me in the garage and got me to the hospital. Little Boy saved my life that day.”

    I was entranced by this wonderful story. What a brave little pig! I said, “Wow! That’s really amazing…”

    The man interrupted me, politely, “Oh my Lord, if you think that was somethin’ you should hear about the time he save the whole family from the fire.”

    “Fire?” I questioned.

    “Uh huh, fire. We had us a house fire at night after the whole family was in bed. Seems one of our kids left his toys too near the space heater and it caught fire. The fire spread to the couch and the curtains and in no time the living room was a blaze. We were asleep on the second floor and had no idear the place was on fire. Little Boy must’ve smelled the fire and woke up. He ran to the kids room and pulled off their blankets, then he came into our room and pulled off our blankets too and squealed and kicked up a ruckus when we woke up we smelled the fire and called 911. The fire department came and managed to save the house all because of Little Boy.” The man paused.

    I had just enough time to think to myself that he said the pig only had three legs. What had happened, was he hurt in the fire when he saved the family? I just had to know, so before he could go on, I asked “What happened to Little Boy? How come he only has three legs?”

    The man replied with a smile in his voice, “well young lady… if you had a pig this good, you wouldn’t eat him all at once either.”

    Then he hung up.

    It slowly dawned on me that this guy just took me on a 20 minute ride to tell me a JOKE that happened to be funny as hell. I started giggling….then laughing my ass off. Of course everyone wanted to know what was so damned funny. So I told them, with tears of laughter I managed somehow to choke out the whole story. The entire room of telemarketers were laughing like hell. We tried to calm down and get back to work but someone would have to start giggling again and the room would fall into fits of laughter. Some one else would snort and the laughter would start again. We all got sent home that day because we just couldn’t stop with the giggle fits. I can’t believe I fell for that story hook, line and sinker.

    That was the best call I’ve ever had.

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  4. Amy Vansant

    I had my fingers ready to “snopes” this when I got to the end – it was too perfect to be a true story! At least you got a laugh out of it after having people hang up on you all day!

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  5. LB

    I’m setting my TIVO to catch “Crazy Bitch Cage Match.” Jerry Springer without the stupid questions.

    Telemarketers used to be fun – we’d answer, “oh yeah s/he is right here, let me get him/her…” and set the phone down and walk away. If they’re still there after you’ve returned from folding laundry or making a mojito, take turns with, “who ya looking for? Oh yeah, hold on…”

    That Do Not Call list has finally kicked in now. Bliss.

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  6. lafemmeroar

    The Interrogator:

    This type of telemarketer tries outwit you into saying yes by asking a bunch of stupid questions that require a yes answer.

    First the sales pitch: “This (useless) thingamajig I’m selling will save you money (you don’t have) and time (from doing something you don’t need to do).” After the pitch, he questions your intelligence: “Don’t you want to save money? Don’t you want to save time? Smart people buy thingamajigs. Would you agree with me when I say that you are a very smart person? Aren’t you glad that we have a 12 month installment plan for the thingamajigs?

    This type of telemarketer that tries to use the Socratic method in sales needs to have his thingamajig whacked, grounded and served to the dogs.
    lafemmeroar recently posted..Blind Dating Tips

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  7. Stacey

    Telemarketers used to call my parents’ house all the time. My brother very rarely answers the phone, but once I saw him do it, and he happened to get a telemarketer. The telemarketer asked him, “Is this the man of the house?” To which my brother replied, “Yes, this is God,” and hung up.
    Stacey recently posted..Note to Self

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  8. Aiyana

    I just had a really good one – someone called this morning – not sure if it was a telemarketer or a bill collector. They asked for my recently deceased stepmother. I told the woman “Karen” that she was 11 months too late, or 1 month too early. “Late or early for what,” Karen asked? “Late for her funeral, or early for the one year wake my sister and I are throwing,” I replied. She doubted me. I regaled her with the last lingering months, and she hung up on me!!!!! I don’t think that she will be calling me back 🙂

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    • Amy Vansant

      Well, clearly your stepmother maliciously died just to screw that woman out of her finders fee. Of course she’s bitter.

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  9. Dawn Mitic

    I am getting ready to do a speech next week on “My Pet Peeve” Telemarketing. The following will be in my speech. I really don’t like it when the caller will not take no for an answer. I let them get through their whole speech. Trying to let them get practice. After they are completed, I ask, “Can I ask a question?” They usually are in agreement. Here is my question…”Would you like to host a Pure Romance Home party?” I continue with, my niece is a dealer, here is her number give her a call, I am sure it will be great. Maybe you would like to have a Pampered Chef Party?” “I have a friend that is a rep for Pampered Chef, here is her name and number.” They usually try to give me an excuse or hang up on me. End of call.

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