One of my jobs here at work is to answer the phones. And yes, it sucks just about as much as you would imagine that it does.
But the thing that sucks the worst about answering the phones is the telemarketers. They call, and call, and call and call and call, and nothing I say or do seems to deter them. Oops, wait a minute, the phone's ringing ........
Okay, I'm back. And that was an ACTUAL CLIENT. Thank God.
Here's the thing: There are ways to tell when it is a telemarketer calling. The "000-000-0000" on the Caller ID is a dead giveaway. For those, I just pick up the handset and hang it back up again. "Unavailable" is usually a pretty sure bet, but not always; some of our clients have programmed "Unavailable" as their Caller ID. (Which makes me wonder if they're in the Witness Protection Program or something, but whatever ........)
A "state", such as "Massachusetts" or "California", on the Caller ID is a pretty sure tipoff, but again, not always, as we do business with some state agencies, and you don't want to piss off the guy reviewing your project by picking up the phone and hanging it right back up on him.
Dead silence on the line when you first pick up is a pretty sure Telemarketer indicator. However, we have some ..... erm ........ older clients who take a minute to get their shit together when they dial a number and somebody actually answers their call, so I can't rely on the dead silence thing.
So, inevitably, sometimes my screening fails, and I end up actually talking to a telemarketer. For as long as it takes to discern that they ARE a telemarketer, anyway, and then I tell them we are not interested, and hang up the phone.
And then they call back. Again. And again. I once evidently pissed off this telemarketer in New Jersey, because she told all her co-workers in their little dungeon to CALL MY NUMBER, and the phone rang off the hook for two days. Seriously, like every twenty seconds, FOR TWO DAYS, the phone rang and rang and rang and rang. And you can't just, you know, switch off the phone, in case an actual client calls.
Oh, and you know what kills me? When you politely (through clenched teeth) tell them you are not interested, and as you are hanging up the phone, you can hear them yelling, "Well, F*ck you, bitch". Charming. Often it is ME who would like to be swearing at THEM, but I'm not sure how well that would go down in an office environment. Although judging by the amount of profanity my co-workers and MY BOSS use, I'm pretty sure they'd be okay with it.
And what totally slays me is when they claim to be legit. Telemarketers call ALL THE TIME claiming to be an account rep from the phone company we use. When I ask them which account number they are calling regarding, they stutter and stammer and say, "Oh, well, I'm not actually FROM the phone company ............" Grrrrrr. I want to KILLLLLLLL them.
So! What I really want to do is get a whistle, and blow their little eardrums out. But I know that some of them are just trying to make a buck the best way they can, as opposed to the telemarketers who are truly evil (i.e., F*ck you, bitch). I need to figure out how to differentiate between the two .....