Friday, May 05, 2006

New Thing #73: BTCE (best telemarketing conversation ever)

My friend Bridget told me about this amazing website that has an anti-telemarketing script that you can use to trip up telemarketers and I just got a telemarketing call and I used the script and it was so much fun.

Here's the conversation I just had (using the script) (which, fortunately, I had just been showing to my brother Josh, and so it was already open on my computer) (and this is literally word-for-word the conversation we just had) (five minutes ago):

(NOTE: everything I say below is taken directly from the above website, which totally deserves so much credit for being so awesome) (none of these words are my own)


ME: Hello?

TELEMARKETER: May I speak to Erik Patterson, please?

ME: To whom am I speaking?

TELEMARKETER: Danielle from (and then she said the name of some company that I cannot even begin to remember because I was so fucking excited to be using this script and I just wanted to get to the next question to see if she would continue answering my questions.)

ME: Could you spell your name for me?

TELEMARKETER: Certainly, sir. It's D-a-n-i-e-l-l-e.

ME: Could you tell me how you found this phone number?

TELEMARKETER: Well, we have your number in our data base.

ME: Oh, that's interesting. And is this your full time job?


ME: Do you also live in Los Angeles?


ME: Incredible. And how long have you been in the telemarketing business?

TELEMARKETER: About thirteen months now.

ME: That's quite long. And do you like your job?

TELEMARKETER: Yes, as a matter of fact, I do.

ME: I think I would like this kind of job as well. How much do you earn?

TELEMARKETER: Um...about ten or eleven dollars an hour.

ME: That doesn't sound bad at all. Do you get time off for going to the dentist?

TELEMARKETER: (and through the above she had been very straight with me, but when she heard this question she started to laugh) (finally) No.

ME: Is it important to have good teeth for you profession.

TELEMARKETER: (laughing again) Well I would think that it's important to have good teeth for just about any profession.

ME: Which toothpaste would you recommend?


ME: Thank you for your information. Would you mind giving me your phone number in case I need more information?

TELEMARKETER: (gives me her work number)

ME: Thank you and have a pleasant day. Good-bye.

TELEMARKETER: Good-bye. (and then she hangs up!) (without going into her schpiel at all!)


And that was our conversation. If you get lots of calls from telemarketers, I totally and completely recommend making this website your homepage and using it next time a telemarketer calls. It's easy to follow the script and it's not mean at all, it just trips them up and lets you stay in charge of the conversation and it's really kinda fun. (True story.) (True story!) (I mean, I'm literally sitting here praying for another telemarketer to call so I can use the script again.) (Seriously.) (I AM PRAYING FOR A TELEMARKETER TO CALL.) (How fucked up is that?)


TheDarkerUma said...

first the worst

p.s. i like diet sunkist and i haven't read this post yet.

Erik said...

Is this the first time you've been first?

p.s. I don't like diet anything, but I love sunkist, and read the fucking post. sheesh.

TheDarkerUma said...

thats fucked up. i hate telemarketers so much so, that i will not engage in any sort of fun with them...

true story: a telemarketer called me today and i...wait for it....hung up.

am i bitch? yes i am.

i hate diet anything because i am anti-dieting. but there was nothing left in my office fridge. and it tastes good. weird huh?

not my first time being first....oh blog guru.

Erik said...

I am a fuckin' blog guru.

(I just like using the word fuck, actually.)

Erik said...

Oh, and Urp, you're not a bitch. It's okay if you hate telemarketers. You are supposed to hate telemarketers. (Remember when I actually WAS a telemarketer, for about two weeks? I hated myself for those two weeks.)

But I think, if you try this script out, instead of just hanging up, you'll find it addictively fun. (I know you and your mischievous spirit will enjoy it.) (Truly.)

(Grammar/er is whack in this comment.)

christy said...


I read the post first...I need to get my game back and rush to comment before I read.

Erik I really want you to be the first official member of my new bad date name cult (not that we've dated, duh...but that doesn't matter because hypothetically, if I ever somehow ended up on a date with you, it would be a bad date because you would be all like, "Ummm...I'm gay. Sorry." And I would be all, "Then um, why did you agree to go on a date with me?" And it would probably end with a, "Well we can still be friends, right?"

christy said...

Oh and I only have a cell and its on the "no call list" so if I ever get even one of those tricky "current customer" telemarketers (that work for your credit card company or something) I just say, "This is a cell phone."

And they're always like, "Oh, I'm very sorry ma'am." And I never hear from them again.

My life is telemarketer free!!!

joe chandler said...

2 things:

1. I was a telemarkter the summer before college. My Mom told me if I quit she wouldn't pay for college.

2. Next time you see brian fitzmorris talk to him about how he handles telemarketers. He's really good at it.

christy said...

I was a telemarketer for one day over the summer in college and I went home and cried and it was the only time in my entire life where my parents thought me quitting something was a good idea.

And the company never paid me for that day.

Anonymous said...

tenth. frig.

Anonymous said...

i bet that telemarketer totally has to call you back now. and you too, uma. you've got to say the most magical of commands: "take my name off of your list."

Anonymous said...

Dear Erik,

Do you remember when I was a telemarketer? But I was good at it. Which is even sadder than being bad. I was on the Gold Team. But I still hated it. Every minute of it. And I was getting money for good things, like protecting abortions and the environments.

But once I got called into the office for not making a second ask when a 90-year old woman told me that her husband had just died.

I wish she had played that game with me and asked me about my teeth instead of saying in a really sad, lonely, old lady voice that her husband had just died.

But I persevered. Dammit, I need to raise more money for the Protection of the Federation of Endangered Agencies Protecting State Parks.

Then, this weird guy with a stare and a crooked haircut named Mace sat next to me, and when I left for the day he handed me a note that he had made -- you should remember this note, Erik (&Uma), it was on the bulletin board behind the front door for a year reminding me that every day can only get better -- it looked like a 10 year old had made it. It was a poem about how it makes him want to kill himself every moment that he's not with me. And it had pictures of daggers in hearts that were colored in with highlighters.

So, I went home and called the 1-800 # that they had for you to quit (they told you about it on the first day).

It was the worst job ever.


p.s. Mace, if you're reading this- Eleanor is NOT my real name.

Erik said...

Christy, I'll be part of your cult. As long as it's not Scientology, I'm in.

Anonymous said...


That's kind of lucky, isn't it?

Can't believe I have succumbed to this game.


Anonymous said...

Oh fuck.

Erik, you jumped in ahead of me and now I said I was thirteenth and I wasn't, which makes it look like I can't even count.

I'm done with this game. It is a lot harder than I thought.


Erik said...

I'm trying to reply to comments but there's this Japanese movie called Battle Royale on TV right now and it's kind of horrifying and amazing and I'm transfixed.

Erik said...

oh, PAM, dear PAM, yes, the number game is very difficult.


Erik said...

Also, nice use of the word "fuck," mom.

Erik said...

J. Chandler:

1. What kind of telemarketing did you do? (Builds character!)

2. Brian Fitzmorris is a god. I will ask him how he handles telemarketers next time I see him.

Erik said...

Christy, I'm mad at that telemarketing company for not paying you for your sad, sad, one day of work telemarketing.

Erik said...

Lindsay, i know that i can tell the telemarketer to take me off their list, but I ACTUALLY WANT THEM TO CALL ME BACK so I can ask them about toothpaste again. I am a sick sicko.

Erik said...

Dear Eleanor, I remember that story really well, I loved Mace, Mace was a really good poet.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I thought so, too.

Mace said...

Ode to Pam and Erik

My heart twists and bleeds,
like a sponge that is filled with blood
and when you twist it,
blood pours out
like a river

I haven't seen you in so long,
it makes me want to die
like a person who stops living
and breathing

joe chandler said...

1. Erik, Battle Royale is a rad movie, and it's a TREMENDOUS book. 900 pages. You meet every one of the children on the island and learn details about who they are and how they've decided to approach the game. It ends better(but fairly similar). I read the entire book over three days during the holidays. Please read it. It's so very, very good. Roman loves it too. I want you to read it so I have another battle royale friend.

2. Hi, my name is Joe, I'm calling from 5 Star Builders. Do you want vinyl siding for your wood or stucco home?

One time I said this:
"Hi, my name is Joe, I'm calling from 5 Star Builders, the reason for my call today is to annoy you, because I'm a telemarketer and that's my job."

Our bosses name was Gower, and he would pace the aisles yelling stuff. One time, I was on the verge of making a sale, and Gower walked down the aisle and screamed: Money, money, money!
The person I was talking to hung up.

It was a great(and by great, I mean horrible) job. I wish I had been a blogger when I was working there, because then I'd have a book deal right now.

Erik said...

Mace is so freaking weird.

Erik said...


(1) I am SO going to read the book now. The movie was rad, but to hear that the book is 900 pages is VERY exciting. That's a book you can bite your teeth into! I remember how satisfying Stephen King's IT was, and I have a feeling that Battle Royale is gonna be that kind of satisfying.

and (2)
"Hi, my name is Joe, I'm calling from 5 Star Builders, the reason for my call today is to annoy you, because I'm a telemarketer and that's my job."

I wish all telemarketers were like you.

christy said...

Thank you (both of you) for getting this stuck in my head for the first time since age 7:

"Hi, my name is Joe. And I work, in a button-fac-to-ry. One day. My boss came up to me. He said, Joe. Are you busy? I said 'no'."

I forget what comes next.

Erik, what are you going to do starting next week when I'm not trapped in front of my computer doing nothing for 9 hours a day and I will no longer have hours and hours a day to mindlessly devote to you??