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Telemarketing Poems
Posted by: Talia (216.117.99.---)
Date: September 26, 2003 11:55AM


Whenever I answer my telephone
I am prepared to lie
to tell the caller "I'm not home"
So I don't have to buy
I've told them I'm the butler
Said that I'm my Uncle Ted
I've said I "no speeek Hinglish"
I've told them I was dead
I've started breathing heavily
and asked if they were naked
I've told them I joined the Army
and that this place was vacant.

So go ahead and call me
You can take a chance
I'm only going to tell you

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Replaced the receiver with a dumb click
Realized I had nothing to say
Thursday and she returned Tuesday
Apparently also with nothing to say.
Tranced in my hand-me-down apartment
Choked with colors and patterns not meant for the same grave
Much less to torture the living, if you can call this
Sitting stupid, staring like a soap opera victim
Wondering what number I am, what page
With the anxiousness I've always despised in my mother
That same look in my eye
Lifted the phone and dialed again
Determined not to have nothing to say
Voice, startling and exciting at once
Like ice water across sunburn
"I am not interested, nor will I ever be
In receiving the Philadelphia Inquirer.
If you are not the Philadelphia Inquirer
Please leave a message."
Started to laugh for a moment, then hung up.
Three weeks before I had watched her as she slept
Face round and white, luminous as a winter moon
Returned to the book I cannot read
Sentence I cannot finish
So many semicolons stopping me
Not interested, nor will I ever be
Chanting in child's chorus
Dialed once again
Wanted the silence to end
Never reread this sentence again
Not interested, nor will I ever be
Echoing endlessly.

Re: Telemarketing Poems
Posted by: Talia (216.117.98.---)
Date: September 29, 2003 06:25PM

OK, I know very cheesy and unworthy of poetry...I was only trying to stir you all up, things get slow around here sometimes.

Re: Telemarketing Poems
Posted by: Linda (
Date: September 29, 2003 06:29PM

One advantage of not being on broadband, they just get the engaged tone and give up in the evening 'cos my daughter's on line. During the day I'm at work and they won't speak to the answering machine.

Re: Telemarketing Poems
Posted by: -Les- (
Date: September 29, 2003 07:20PM

Linda, you're lucky. I get 15 minute soliloquies in 2 languages on my answering machine.


p.s. I always ask telemarketers if I may call them back at 4 a. m. at their homes when it is convenient "for me".

Re: Telemarketing Poems
Posted by: Marian-NYC (
Date: September 29, 2003 07:43PM

This was the caption of a New Yorker cartoon (woman answering phone while husband and kids wait for her at the dinner table) - I think it might do as a poem:

I'm sorry, mother,
we are no longer accepting
telephone solicitations.

Re: Telemarketing Poems
Posted by: Talia (216.117.99.---)
Date: September 30, 2003 03:52PM

I am lucky. Here in IN we have had a Do Not Call List for a year and I have not had a telemarketer call since, however, here at the job, that's a whole 'nother issue. Can't say my job isn't "creative" when I can retend to be all the "important" people here that make all the decisions about purchasing everything from postal meters to credit cards and ink cartridges.

Re: Telemarketing Poems
Posted by: Hugh Clary (
Date: September 30, 2003 05:53PM

I had some folks trying to sell me gold for a long while. Finally got rid of them by saying I had lost my job, my house, my car, everything. Worked great! I got rid of some bozos trying to sell me stock by pretending to be someone else who answered the phone and told them Mr. Clary had died.

Re: Telemarketing Poems
Posted by: Linda (
Date: September 30, 2003 06:15PM

I only seem to get double glazing sales people, we've already got it, and they were the ones who installed it. "Are you implying you supplied a defective product?"

Re: Telemarketing Poems
Posted by: glenda (
Date: September 30, 2003 10:46PM

The Do-Not-Call List works very well here. We seldom get calls anymore. We still get them from charitable organizations, which I don't mind. I wish the political parties had to adhere to the request!

Re: Telemarketing Poems
Posted by: Jack? (
Date: October 01, 2003 09:19AM

I used to listen to what they had to say.
You never know. They might be offering something I need.
Eventually I got tired of all of the offers for aluminum siding.
I live in a brick house. It just wouldn't go.
Then I started saying no politely before they finished their schpeil.
I hated being rude, but I just didn't need what they were selling.
Sometimes they are very persistent, and I don't really mind being rude.

It's different now.
Now I have caller ID.
If I don't recognize the number, I don't even answer.
When my son answers, and they ask for me, as soon as they ask if I am Mr. Deeevins (rhymes with Stevens) I hang up. My name rhymes with sevens.
I don't say no.
I don't say no thank you.
I don't say 'Sorry, but I'm really not interested'.
They say 'Hello, Christopher?'
I say nothing. Just hang up without remorse. Click.
Hey, they knew the job was dangerous when they took it.

The other day I got one from someone with a very thick foreign accent.
Click. It's all she heard.
Then I felt a little guilty.
She might think that I had hung up on her for the wrong reason.
I felt like I should call her back and apologise.
'I hang up on EVERYBODY, even Americans'.

Re: Telemarketing Poems
Posted by: Talia (216.117.99.---)
Date: October 01, 2003 11:15AM

My husband told me that I should not be rude to a telemarketer no matter what, even though they were first being rude by wasting my time, so the last time I tried very very hard to be terribly polite, and had to end the conversation with a quick "no thank, but we are not interested." I hung up and the phone rang back. Upon my saying hello I got several loud dial tones in my ear. I vowed I would not hesitate to be rude the next time.

Re: Telemarketing Poems
Posted by: Linda (
Date: October 01, 2003 04:15PM

You have trouble with callers mangling your surname, you should hear what they do to mine.

Linda Death (it rhymes with heath)

Re: Telemarketing Poems
Posted by: -Les- (
Date: October 01, 2003 04:19PM

My question is how do people do this? It's got to be the height of frustration
calling people like myself who have no intention of buying anything they're selling.


Re: Telemarketing Poems
Posted by: Marian-NYC (
Date: October 01, 2003 06:16PM

I did a TINY bit of telemarketing -- not even cold calling! I was actually calling people who had signed something asking for a call! -- and it was totally awful.

I try to take a sort of love-the-sinner-hate-the-sin approach, being firm and hanging up, but trying not to be mean to the poor (as in POOR) kid who is trying to make rent by calling strangers at dinner time. Usually I say in so many words, "I'm going to hang up now." Otherwise they keep talking.


The Prophet on Telemarketing

Love the sinner, hate the sin.
Hang up on the telemarketer
but do it gently.

Gertrude Stein & the Telemarketer

No, thank you. No.
No. No, thank you. No.
No. No. No, thank you.
No, thank you. No. No.
No, thank you.


I would never have had to answer
the second telemarketing call of the evening,
or the third,
or the fourth,
or the fifth,
if only I had not hung up
on the first.

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