Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Telemarketers...and the Guys Who Called Selling Drugs

Hopefully, the title got your attention.  We've all had our experience with telemarketers, right?  We all get off the phone, after the conversation has long since ended, and think about what we should have said.  Sadly, we didn't...though we try to remind ourselves that we will think more quickly the next time.  I have to hand it to them, they're a lot like kids.  As a matter of fact, if I were starting a business I would do just that - hire only kids.  Why?  Well, it was said to me long ago (and if you're a parent, you'll agree) that kids are the best salespeople in the world.  They never take "NO" for an answer.  Think about it.  Not only don't they accept that answer, but they're also smart enough to go to another parent, call Grandma, have another child's parent call...whatever it takes.  They're the best.  Same principle with telemarketers, though I've never wanted to cuss and strangle my kids the way I do a tele.....wait....I take that back....but it was a really, really bad day. 

For several months, we've been getting calls for a 'Tom Green' from numbers that, when I try to call them back, are not in service.  They have a great phone system that always shows a bogus number on the caller ID.  I should mention, too, that the person calling  is of Asian descent.  Don't ask how I know - I just do.  Broken, half-baked English with 'THE' accent.  Hey, we've all been to enough oriental food places.  You just know.  The first time he called he asked for Tom Green.  I told him he had the wrong number, to which he replied, "I can fill your prescription."  Actually, it sounded more like, "Ohh, I can hep fi' you skreep."  After I deciphered what he said, I told him we didn't need any prescriptions filled.  He kept going - "You no need puh-skreep-shun.  We send to yoo."  I actually had to hang up to get him off the phone.  This has since happened about 5 or 6 more times and, when Sharon answers the phone, he has gotten increasingly rude and belligerent.  He's even dropped the F-Bomb a few times.  To be fair, though, when she's handed me the phone (and those that know me see this coming...) I've jumped right in and sang along.  The best, though, was yesterday.  They called on Memorial Day and....they just called again NOW!  This is too good!  When he called yesterday, asking for Tom Green, I had time to think before answering because Sharon saw the number and told me they had been calling recently.  I answered and told them I was Tom.  He said to me, "Hi Tum, we want to feel yo' skreepshun."  In the interest of brevity, I'll tell you what I told him - I only used two medications, Viagra and Penicillin.  He wanted my credit card number (yeah, I was shocked, too) and I told him it had to be COD.  Finally, after several minutes of back-and-forth, he told me he could do it.  He also told me that I'd be receiving two confirmation phone calls and that no, I didn't need a prescription.  They were just going to send the pills!  I suppose some people would fall for this, but I wasn't doing anything other than having a great time.  He said I should expect the first confirmation call in about ten minutes.  I waited.  When the phone rang again, I answered as 'Michael', Tom's gay lover.  Speaking with a pronounced lisp, I asked how soon the Viagra could get here.  I assured him Tom was in dire need and they should expedite it.  Dead silence on the other end...for a few seconds.  Then, he told me that he would certainly do what he could to help Tom and I.  Seriously?  People really fall for this stuff?  The second call never came.

As I said, they called while I was writing this, too.  Ironically, it was a lady this time - she sounded young, but hey, you want to work for them, you're fair game.  I told her that Tom was out and, again, this was 'Michael'.  She was having a hard time understanding the lisp, so I told her that Tom had just come home.  I then, in my deepest voice, answered with confirmation that I was, in fact, Tom Green.  I let her speak about three sentences when I proceeded to tell her how hot she sounded and that she ought to date customers.  I confessed that the Viagra was really for Michael and I, looking exactly like Tom Selleck, would never need such a drug.  She informed me she would really like that (actually she would "Ree-ree rike dat.")...as long as I bought a large quantity of drugs and finished the business first.  Uh, yeah, lady.  Whatever.  I'm bored now and I'm hanging up.  You want to call back, feel free.  Just know you are subjecting yourself and all your little classmates (that I heard eating oriental food in the background) to my 'Cast of Characters'.  Have at it, I'm ready!

Now that I have firsthand experience with these 'rip-off artists', I implore ALL of you to think before giving out your credit card info.  I know we all think, "Who'd be that dumb?"  Read a newspaper and tell me it isn't happening.  Wrong!  Just try to do one thing the next time a telemarketer calls - think of this advice...and play along.  It's great fun for you and annoying as hell to them.  It might even get them to stop calling!

Until next time.............


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