Show Some Respect – #1LinerWeds

Let’s change this up a bit. I’m going to give you the one-liner, and then you are free to leave. Well, you’re always free to leave, but you know what I mean. If you want the longer-than-one-line story that this one-liner brought to mind, you’re equally free to continue reading. There’s another one-liner near the end.

I get a lot of marketing calls at work. Thanks to CallerID, I get to send most of them to voice mail. Occasionally, when CallerID fails to do its job and I am expecting a call from someone whose number isn’t in my contacts list, I take an unidentified incoming call. I suffer the consequences. At least this time, I got a one-liner out of the deal when the guy introduced himself and then said:

“I want you to know that I’m not trying to sell you anything.”

Then why did you call?

Full disclosure, I sympathize (a little) with cold callers. I endured a short stint as a telemarketer in 1977. I attempted to sell subscriptions to one of the (then) two Pittsburgh area daily newspapers. I realize that the people placing cold calls are not really free to respond logically and sensibly to the person who answers the phone. That’s because they are working off a script, and that script contains a response for every imaginable reason for not making the purchase.

Fuller disclosure, I didn’t survive my 3-day evaluation period.

During the evaluation period, my supervisor listened in on my calls. I was sitting in front of a three-panel poster board (like the ones kids use for school projects) that had my opening script at the top of the center section. Beneath that were all the possible reasons a customer would refuse this wonderful offer. Each of those had a line drawn to my “required” response. The one below cost me my job:

Female customer says:

“Could you call back another day/later/tomorrow/whatever, when my husband will be home?”

Your Response is:

“We live in a time when men are recognizing women as being capable of sharing minor household financial responsibilities. Subscribing to a newspaper is the kind of decision that men are now trusting women to make.”

I just couldn’t.

When “caught” by the supervisor and asked to explain, I told him I thought that response was insulting, disrespectful and flat-out stupid. The supervisor responded with:

“Perhaps, but it works. Speaking of what works, you don’t.”

This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s fun weekly series One-Liner Wednesday. If you have a one-liner, I’d encourage you to join in on the fun. You can follow this link to participate and to see the one-liners from the other participants.

82 thoughts on “Show Some Respect – #1LinerWeds

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  1. Wow, Dan, I had the exact same reaction as you did when I saw the sign “Cold Pop.” I was a little shocked when I hovered over the photo and saw what you had written. I know it is a regional thing, kind of like the differences between what submarine sandwiches are called.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks GP. I still think “bottle of pop” rolls off the tongue easier than “soda” but I guess it’s what we’re used to. The Party Liner I worked on sailed up and down the three rivers for three hours. They served dinner during the first hour (that’s when I worked) and then had dancing for two hours. On the boat I was on, the 2nd level was open in the center, with balconies looking over the dance floor. They had weddings, graduations, and all sorts of special events as well as the open cruise most every night.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I wonder…did they hire women who had to insult themselves by speaking that line? I would never make a good telemarketer, because I couldn’t say those scripted lines and because I’m not a sales type person. That job would not be fun.

    Nice photos, Dan. I didn’t know there was a memorial for Mr. Rodgers in Pittsburgh. Very cool, he deserves such an honor.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Mary. There were three people in this “call center” and one was a woman. It was awful. The regulars were also chain smokers. I could hear them work their magic on the phone, but I just couldn’t do it.

      Mr. Rodgers show originated from WQED in Pittsburgh. There are memorials all over the area. This is the newest one. I think it was completed within the last 3-4 years.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Some jobs are not worth having, and your early telemarketer job was one of those. Thank goodness you stood up to your supervisor. As always, great photos, Dan. The barge/cruise boat fascinates me, and I love the photo of the pottery (brought back memories of my attempts with clay). Have a wonderful day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Gwen. I was in graduate school at the time, and I was trying to find job I could work in the evening. This was such a scam. It paid less than minimum wage, but your pay rate went up $0.05 per hour for each sale after the first three. I had to try it, because I had been laid off from a different job and I was collecting unemployment.

      Working on that boat was so much fun. They only had three boats in the “fleet” at the time. I think they have nine today. I still enjoy sailing on them. We took the boat to the baseball game.

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    1. Thanks. I was happy to lose that job. I was in graduate school and about 40% of our glass were women – very smart, capable women – who grew up in the 60s. I could rattle off all the other responses, but not that one.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Jimmies!!! I miss that word more than all the others, I think. Although, I do like that some people up here call them “shots” – I like that, too. It’s funny you mentioned “regular” coffee. I got the strangest looks when I first moved here because I ordered “regular coffee, black.” I meant not decaf, but it took me forever to make that connection. I try to remain polite with legitimate telemarketers. The scammers that call our home phone just get hung up on.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Kudos for standing by your convictions (and common sense). It was insulting and if I’d been the person you were calling I would have told you so. Too bad your supervisor had such a low opinion of women and people in general….and too bad, most people have such a low opinion of themselves to fall for that nonsense.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks CJ. It was a different time, but it was still an insult. I listened to my coworkers make that ploy, and it did work, but I just couldn’t do it. There were so many things about that job that were awful, I was glad to lose it.

      Like

  5. Glad you stood your ground in the telemarketing stint. I appreciate people are trying to make a living…. I hope they appreciate that I don’t have to listen to their spiel!

    Your supervisor was a jerk, but he gets points for a good one-liner!

    Love the pottery and the Mr. Rodgers statue and the riverboat.
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ginger. The supervisor was a jerk, but he knew his job. I was in graduate school, trying to pay for tuition. I tried several jobs. This was the worst one. I’m so glad I didn’t get it.

      If I hadn’t had late afternoon classes, I could have gone back to work on the riverboat, but I couldn’t get there in time for the dinner cruise. That was my favorite job. My father actually arranged a different job for me because he was worried I’d stay there and not go to college. He might have been right.

      Mr. Rogers was our hometown hero. The statue is fairly new, but the sentiment has been there forever.

      Like

  6. Oh, Dan—your response to your supervisor was so spot on. ‘Course his response was great…sorry about the job. I don’t know how cold callers do it. I receive calls like that at work, too. I like to throw them off immediately with a little, “Hey, how are you doing? What can I help you with?” Dead silence until they pick up on the script……Channeling Joan Rivers, “Can we just talk?” Happy Wednesday to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a good approach, Lois. I have always been horrible at sales, but that was the absolute worst. The supervisor was a funny guy, I actually liked him. He told me when I interviewed that he didn’t think I’d make it. I think I’m lucky I didn’t the room was about half the size of a hotel room, and the three regulars were chain smokers. Happy Wednesday!

      Like

  7. I sympathize with telemarketers, too, but like you, I never answer my phone if the person’s name doesn’t show up…or I’m expecting a call. I can see why you just couldn’t make that response. I would have hung up if someone used that on me. The ones I hate are the ones where you try to respond and the spiel just keeps on going. Click!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Most of the calls we get at home go unanswered. We don’t even have an answering machine. If they call back, we might answer but not when the CallerID indicates that the number is spam/scam, like the one that comes up as “United States”

      Liked by 1 person

  8. When I was first out of college I worked for one year on phones doing cold calls for marketing surveys and it was hell. It was the only job I could get so I did it, but nothing could have been less suited to my skill set than that job. On a cheerier note, I didn’t know Mr. Rogers started in Pittsburg and that’s cool.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ally. I can’t imagine doing that for that long. Although, I’m usually a soft touch for survey takers. We went to the Pirates baseball game and it was Cardigan Sweater day, in honor of Mr. Rogers!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This one is ALL YOU, Dan. That pitch was idiotic, your supervisor even more so for not letting your argument sink in before toeing the company line. Guess we can be pretty sure there weren’t any women in the script writing meetings.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Laura. There was one woman in the room. Smoking, hacking, calling and sticking to the script. The responses were all bad, but this one was the worst. I could handle the “if you use the coupons, you’ll save more than the subscription cost…” but I couldn’t say this.

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  10. I do feel sorry for telemarketers, but not sorry enough to listen to their spiel. It would just be a waste of their time and mine. A million years ago, when we were first married, had 3 little boys and I was home during the day, I would tell door-to-door salesmen “I will be glad to listen to you, but I don’t have ANY money.” Very few of them stayed to give their pitch.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Cold calling has to be the bottom rung of telemarketing. I’ve done some in a legit B2B setting but I totally wasn’t cut out for it. I just hated bothering/interrupting people in the middle of their busy workday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I couldn’t do it when I was a consultant, Norm. I think some people are just not wired right for sales. This was horrible. Working down an index card of 100 numbers. Worse yet, my pay rate was tied to sales and started below minimum wage.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I think we’ve all had one of those jobs that required us to read from scripts. I didn’t make the grade either. I try not to be rude but being interrupted while you’re trying to concentrate is frustrating. Mr. Rogers is someone I’ve truly grown to admire over the years although I never watched him as a child.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Try not to be rude.” No wonder you didn’t make the grade. It seemed like being rude was a requirement. I remember watching Mr. Rogers when our daughter was younger. I was already a little too old for the show when it first started.

      Like

    1. Ha! This could have been your chance to step out of the cereal aisle into the world of high finance (well, reports about high finance, and sports and the weather). Yeah, I couldn’t go there. The sad thing is that the regulars gave the response, and it did work.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I grew up with my mom making most of the financial decisions. Her saying she needed to ask my dad was really a polite way of her saying NO. Love the gallery. Around these parts everything is a coke – Dr. Pepper, Big Red, Sprite, etc… all cokes.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Since we only drink juice or water, there is no confusion about soda or pop:) But wow, your supervisor at the end – I would have fired that person, because I thought it sounded insulting and stupid, like you said. I can’t imagine having to put up with that kind of attitude.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree Dan – I feel for people who need to work in these environments. That’s why I decided early on, I wanted to enjoy working and have no boss above me. My sacrifice was having to study in a 2nd language for 10 years to get that far. Guess one way or another, everyone makes a sacrifice somewhere.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi Dan – I hate that kind of work … and have had miserable failures at a few jobs of similar ilk. When they cold call me – I just say not interested and end the call. Some people let them waffle on – I couldn’t do that – time is precious! Words … crisps for me, chips for you … and like us you have different language depending where in the States you’re from! It makes life interesting … I love the vases – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Hilary. It would be boring if everything was the same everywhere you went. I worked in a machine shop where it was non-stop process, always the same. It was boring but at least I could see the progress. This was a crazy waste of time until someone agreed to start a subscription.

      Like

  16. Mist on the River – Beautiful photo

    I giggled over your response to the supervisor’s comment. I had a similar job in college for less than a week. Selling credit cards. I was physically I’ll every afternoon before work. Forcing people into a credit card I knew was a horrible idea was not for me. No thank you. I was thrilled to walk out and never look back. The only job I ever lost or chose to quit in disgust.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was happy to lose this one, Audrey. I just couldn’t make that pitch.

      I didn’t do a great job of capturing the image of the mist on the river. It was much more eerie than it appears in the photo.

      Like

  17. Ouch! Not workin, Dan, not workin! LOL I was decent with cold calls, but I didn’t have to say anything ridiculous, either.
    I live where some call it pop and some call it soda, and some say “We have all kinds of cokes.” The pop people, though, they think soda is seltzer, so that’s always interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha – If I was still making those calls, I would not want to call you and try that line. Oh the Joey-words :) I had to do some cold calls when I was in consulting. My boss made me practice on him. He would be an absolute jerk every time I tried. I finally just hung up on him. I don’t drink much soda these days. Fortunately, “I’d like a beer” works almost everywhere.

      Liked by 1 person

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