Free-Floating Hostility

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

In Which I Evaluate my Performance in the Rudeness Olympics

If you have my home number, throw it away. I can't get rid of the line without axing the internet into the bargain, but I can turn off the ringer, or permanently unplug the phone and stomp on it. Probably that first thing.

The last straw was a conversation I had with a telemarketer. I really hate telemarketing, more than the usual amount. But, I make a point of being polite to telemarketers because I feel sorry for them. Also, because it's rewarding; if I just say "No, thank you," and "please put us on your Do Not Call list" they generally comply as per federal law and sometimes even thank me for not swearing at them. Whenever possible, I try to use their names so they'll know I really was listening. That's why I felt so hurt when things went to shit on the phone with Nadia tonight.

She called me. She called me! I did not ask for this conversation. I didn't even want to pick up the phone but I thought it was my mom. If I hadn't been worried about good manners I could just have hung up in the middle of her pack of lies. I would in fact have been within my rights to yell at her that my husband had already asked to be removed from her company's list, but I refrained (I had overheard said request, and as Mike was being simultaneously hounded through the earpiece to participate in a Ponzi scheme, and and encouraged via poking in the ribs to defend our consumer rights, his request was perhaps unclear).

Nadia was calling to say she was sending me free coupons. It is obvious to me that there is no need to call someone to tell them you're sending free coupons. I get free coupons from strangers all the time without prearrangement. I said I wasn't comfortable giving out my address, and she proved that she already had it. I asked where she got our number and she said it must have been from one of the shopping malls or grocery stores where we frequently shop. When I explained that we haven't been to a mall since Scott's wedding and we get our groceries at a food co-op, Nadia got short with me. When I asked her what the purpose of the call was she insisted on going through her script from the beginning, and then complained that I was interrupting her when I pointed out that she had called me and asked her what it was she wanted from me. Then I, to my discredit, got a bit short with her. A bit short. Nothing close to the kind of shortness I display when Scott farts while I have company. What I said was, "Look, I don't want to waste your time, so why don't we get to the point, and by the way I would appreciate it if you would put me on your do not call list."

"I'm not your servant!" Nadia snapped. I spluttered that I was being insulted and was ending the phone call, at which she insisted that she was being insulted and she was ending the phone call.

Why oh why oh why didn't she hang up first? She obviously wasn't going to sell me anything today. Was she still on some level hoping we could be friends if she could just get me to shut up long enough to hear about her Ponzi scheme? Did she lose her temper out of disappointment that I couldn't perceive she was trying to help me? If so, I identify completely.

1 Comment(s):

  •   Posted by Blogger Laura at January 19, 2006 7:43 AM | Permanent Link to this Comment
  • Whoa! "I'm not your servant" is a bit harsh, considering she's in a customer-facing position for which she's getting paid. Granted, it's a crappy position and low pay, but still. If you go to a restaurant and piss off your server, she may get mad at you, she may spit in your food--but she is, technically, serving you. This is involuntary and thus she should be way nicer to you.

    I find it's easier to cut to the chase with the adorable college students who try to get me to save the children when I walk down the street. They can't really deny it when I look them in the eye and say, "Look, you're trying to get me to sign up for something, and I'm not going to do it. Let's just both move on."

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