Sat at home after a long day at work, just ate your dinner, feet are up and the television is on some mindless soap opera which you can just zone out to, then (cue dramatic music) the phone rings. First thought is ‘who could that be’, because everyone you know would also have just gone through the winding down from the day routine, next thought: should I answer it? Now, after this your evening can go one of two ways, a lovely call or everyone’s worst nightmare – the cold caller. Now, I was once like you. Caller ID is my saviour and as soon as I saw the dreaded ‘0800’ number I immediately pressed cancel…until two weeks ago.
Like many a student in the current climate, my overdraft is maxed out to its limit but I still want to go out drinking with my friends. Solution – get a job. The only problem with the job I got is that I fall into the dreaded category of the cold caller – that is right, I’ve gone over to the dark side and it is a lot darker and colder than the receiving end, believe me.
We are told to start all our calls with talking to people, finding out what they have gone on to do after university, have a nice chat before reaching the ‘asking’ part of the call. These friendly questions are a part of the call which I actually enjoy, this could well be due to the fact I am very nosy but it also means that I can delay the part of the call that will probably inevitably lead to the phone being slammed down or a rude comment before me being forced to apologise for DOING MY JOB and hanging up.
I know, we’re annoying but here are some helpful hints to remember when you do decide to take our calls:
1. We are human beings too – you would consider it extremely rude if we swore and shouted at you. In fact you would probably make a formal complaint. Manners cost nothing, so I’m told. Tell me – if I paid you some money before you took the call would you be rude then, cause blackmailing is a route I am contemplating taking…(Just joking – I’m not paid enough for that to be financially viable)
2. If we ask about your job then odds are we are genuinely interested, so tell us. We are more interesting than who is plotting who’s death on Coronation Street so give us some credit. Or let me put it this way – the longer you are selfish and talk about your life, the quicker my shift goes.
3. You do not have to give us money. We are not allowed, I mean going, to come to your house, tie you down and make sure you give us money or sign up to whatever deal we are offering. All you have to say is ‘No, thank you’ (that whole manners things again, annoying isn’t it).
I think my parents brought me up too well. The morals that were drummed into me, for example ‘be polite’, ‘respect your elders’, ‘don’t retaliate’, are so engraved into my brain that when I sit there for hours in the evening listening to people telling me that it is rude to call them at home, that they are ‘not f***ing interested and would I f*** off’ my brain’s automatic response is ‘I’m so sorry sir/madam, have a lovely evening’.