I’ve always had a habit of hollering down the phone at telemarketers. Either that, or I’ll just snap down the line with a “whatever it is, I’m not interested and please don’t call back ever again!” (So if you’re a telemarketer, you’d probably want to stay far, far away.)
But this one caught me off guard. At the wrong place and the wrong time, with a different tactic.
I happened to be rushing for a meeting. Running a bit late too, might I add. Just picture a slightly panicky me scampering down a sidewalk under the blazing hot sun, looking for the office in some god-forsaken industrial estate.
Then the phone rang.
“Oh shites, it must be the client wondering where I am!” was the first thing that ran through my mind. I picked up the phone and managed a flustered-sounding “hello?”
“Oh, hi! Is that Brenda?” a very cheerful sounding voice rang out.
I was about to apologize for being late when the voice continued on in that same annoying faux cheerfulness.
“Oh hello Brenda! Do you remember me? I am [name]! We met at an IT show a couple of years back!”
My brain began whirring. What IT show? Do I even attend IT shows to begin with? And who is this person? Why don’t I remember her? And why the heck is she suddenly calling me?
“Do I know you?” I snapped.
“You don’t remember me, don’t you?” she laughed, before continuing on. “Yeah, I met you at an IT show some years back, and you expressed an interest in savings and financial planning!”
Whatthefug? Since when was I even remotely interested in that?!
“No I didn’t. I don’t remember meeting you. And when did I say that?”
She laughed again. “Oh yes, you did! I asked you whether you were interested, and you agreed that savings and financial planning was very important!”
My guard immediately went up. What the heck does she want from me? Unfortunately by then, it was too late to shake her off. (Plus, I was too polite to put down the phone, especially she said she knows me … which could be a lie but what if she really knew me?!)
She went on to pester me about setting up a meeting with her consultant, to which I vehemently refused. She still persisted, so I tried to ask for a phone number or email address which I can contact instead (to which she said there was no such service … whut?!). Eventually, she said she will call me again in a few months time and hung up.
It was only minutes after that conversation ended did I realize it was yet another cheap telemarketing strategy.
And within that 5 minutes (yes, 5 FRIGGIN MINUTES!), I’ve …
1. Lied that I was still studying. (Because these finance folks are generally not interested in students.)
2. Lied that I was having my exams so I’m too busy to talk to her.
3. Basically wasted my breath trying to weasel my way out of any further commitment.
Damn, I should have just hung up.
Now, thinking of a clever devil strategy to deal with her when she calls again later this year.
I need ideas. Anyone?