Why can’t no mean NO?


I apologize in advance to any of my readers who are, or ever have been, in telemarketing. I understand that there is a place (somewhere in hell I am sure) for phone solicitations. Cold calling. The ultimate in horrible jobs I imagine. I mean, some years ago I happen to know that the cold callers for the Jenny Craig company were housed in some sort of horrid basement office. (psst psst). What? (psst psst psst) What’s that? You say the horrid basement office packed with telemarketers is now the same basement office that I work in? Yeah? Hmmm..oh. Well… I’m still gonna rant about ’em!!!

I loathe cold calls. I am rude to the poor schlubs and I know it. I know, they are just doing a job, reading a script etc etc. Perhaps I should back it up a bit. I am rude, but not until they decided not to take NO for an answer. Before that I am..kurt. Anyhow, it’s so ridiculous the crap they will come up with when you first say no. One of my favorites before today was the cable company rep who tried to talk me out of canceling my land line service with them. “You will regret it” he said ominously. I advised him that since I was still continuing my business with the company for cable & internet service that it was perhaps best not to outright *threaten* me! Of course, upon complaining about that to another rep of the same company I was able to get HD DVR subscription free for the next year so the hassle was worth it 🙂

Today takes the grand prize though. While the canceling of my land line successfully ended all sales calls on my personal time (none have snuck into my cell number yet *knock* knock*), I still get calls at work from employment placement services since I am a hiring manager. I can tell I am on their rotation as I get these calls every 60 days or so. I always gladly give them my email address and then politely ask them not to call in the future – and they never listen. But then, I was saved! The new HR VP enacted a policy about using placement agencies. They signed some fee agreements with a handful of them and we are NOT supposed to utilize any company’s services without going through HR first. A reminder email today specifically stated that any calls we receive from agencies should be routed to them. FINE WITH ME! I quote that policy if a call sneaks through. Give them the name of the person in HR they can call along with the direct line they can dial and wipe my hands. *swish* *swish* and it is done!

Except for Brendan. Ah Brendan. Introduced himself, told me his company (I wont slay them here), told me the name of a couple of prior placements they had made (too stupid to realize that one of them had been placed with me!), and started into the standard “I’d like to talk to you about potential future needs” routine. I educated him on the new company policy enacted since the last time they had placed someone with us and gave him the proper contact info. His reaction? “Oh, I am aware of that, but that’s not what I want to talk to you about.” Huh? So I let him know that the new policy meant that it didn’t really matter who I talked to directly because HR would not approve the hiring or temporary placement of *anyone* with the company unless it was handled through them. So I pointed out that talking to me was really a waste of both our time. What did Brendan have to say? “Oh, really. I DO understand the complete company policy. Again, I don’t want to talk to you about that. I just thought we could meet so that I could get to know you better. Maybe have some coffee?”

Say WHAT???? Upon realizing that you are not possibly going to get a sales lead from me, you resort to…asking me out on a coffee date?? To get to know me better? Better? Dude, I’ve never talked to you in my LIFE!!

I know the economy is bad, but is it really THAT desperate out there? Have they all really turned into sales *weasels*?

6 thoughts on “Why can’t no mean NO?

Add yours

  1. Wow, check out that new header.

    I’m even ruder than you are. I take the reciever away from my ear so I don’t have to hear anything and tell them, “put me on your do not call list.”
    Then I hang up.

    Your beef is not with sales, it is with telemarketers.

    Believe it or not, no matter what job/career you have, it involves sales. There are no exceptions. A college prof told me that one time. I said, “yeah, well I’m a nurse, how’s that sales?”

    He asked me how I got patients to eat when they weren’t hungry, how I got them out of bed when they didn’t want to get up.

    That’s right I had to sell it to them.

    Those who are gifted at selling things are the ones who do the best in their fields.


  2. Kitty – excellent point! Yes, telemarketers!! And yes, I see the point about sales flowing through every career. Though I would also lump some hard core in person retail sales people in the telemarketing category! IMHO, when you *respect* the customer by taking their word for it when they say “no thank you” you score way more long term points than if you are pushy.


  3. My standard line when I get calls (usually from charities) is “We no longer give to any organization that solicits by telephone.” Occasionally, they try to insist that’s not what they are doing! Someday I’m going o give the caller a lecture on what a waste of time that is if they are calling people without any intention of raising money for their cause.


  4. Kitty, my mother does that same exact thing, just yells into the receiver, “no solicitor calls accepted here!”

    But, TP, that last one was a gem! Seriously, coffee? Doesn’t that qualify as workplace harassment? I think Brendan crossed (and stomped on) a line.


  5. Ah, the joys of telemarketers. Our receptionist is particularly lax at times with passing them through, grrrr…

    Today I got one, and actually remembered to say ‘Take us off your list’. We get several that ask for the person who ‘handles’ your so-and-so items, be it utilities, phone, etc. I ask what they mean by ‘handles’? Sometimes they say “makes the decisions” (not me, go away). Other times I have to say that I write the check and nothing more.

    I get a kick out of the ones that must do their business over the phone and cannot fax or mail their information. Those are definitely don’t call here agains!


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