Monday, November 03, 2008

Do Not Call List

Where I live, we have early voting. I was able to go out and vote early last week. I had to wait in line about 90 minutes. Fortunately, the people that were around me were quite friendly. I very much enjoyed the conversation with them.

But, of course, politicians don't know that I've voted. And as a result, continue to call me to tell me about their candidate. Tomorrow this will end and I'm disappointed by it. No, really. I am. I decided a few weeks back to make a game out of this. Here's how a recent conversation went:
mjh: Hello

politico: Hi, I'm calling for the campaign of XXX and I'd like to encourage you to vote for XXX.

mjh: Oh. Ok. Tell me about XXX.

politico: [blathering on about garbage]

mjh: Wow. That's really interesting. Hey, how are you doing? You know I've read that the job that you have can be really stressful, calling people and trying to get them to listen to you about a candidate that you believe in.

politico: uh... yeah it can be, but [not even skipping a beat] I will feel a lot better when XXX is elected. He believes in a lot of things that I think will make life better for all of us. [blather blather]

mjh: Yeah. Ok. So anyway, considering how stressful your job is, how are you doing life insurance wise? I'm a life insurance salesman, and I'll bet you really don't have enough.

politico: I'm doing quite fine life insurance wise
[blather blather]

mjh: [interrupting for the first time] Do you have whole or term life?

politico: I want to focus on XXX [blather blather]

mjh: [interrupting again] I understand but really, would your family be covered in unfortunate event that stress of this job got to you?
Eventually, he hung up on me.

Another caller was persistent enough to talk to me for 30 minutes. At which point, I told her that I had voted earlier in the week, but that I was so lonely and it was really nice to talk to someone, especially a woman who seemed interested in me. I asked for her number. She hung up.

Is this mean? Yes. Do I care? Not so much. My wife, who is by far, the nicer of the two of us is even getting in on the game. Basically whenever someone calls and I'm home, she just stops them and says, "Actually I think my husband would like to talk to you." She then hands me the phone knowing full well that I intend to play with them. So if it's got her endorsement, there's really a limit on how evil it can be. My goal is twofold:
  1. First and foremost: have fun at the expense of a pest.
  2. Keep the pest on the line as long as possible so that they won't pester someone else.
Unfortunately, most of the political calls are recordings. But a precious few are people. I like to think that I made some "do not call" lists. Or maybe a "only call with recording" lists. Still with the recordings I answer the phone, and then lay it down until they hang up on me. I don't want to signal the auto-dialer on the other end, that it's ok to call pester someone else. Maybe they'll get a few less calls in that way.


Niffer said...

I love this concept. I keep telling myself that I'm going to do that as well, but I get so frustrated by the calls that I tend to forget my plan! It's great that there are people out there who really do follow through. I bet it's fun.

John said...

this is one of my favorite post of yours.

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