For approximately one month, I was unfortunate enough to have been a telemarketer.
Now my self-inflicted scars might be healing, but my heart never will. It was probably the most frightening and depressing experience of my life and I hope never to live through anything like that ever again.
The first thing I would like you to notice is that I call it a stint. I do that because calling it anything else (like a job) might give it some sense of dignity and credibility, and that is something I would never dare to do. That place was like a prison and has made me realize that I must succeed at anything and everything else, because if that must be my fallback my life will officially lose all meaning.
I went in there, sat down in my quasi-cubicle and strapped into my headset. Everybody there came in as robotically as I did and we all plugged into the system. What I did was sell magazines, and let me tell you, NOBODY wants to buy a magazine over the phone. I would have to make the same phone call hours and hours on end and say the same script over and over (and over) again. I wasn't allowed to deviate from it (so there went all the jokes I could have potentially inserted) and was made to conform to everything they demanded. What made it worse is that the calls generally last 40 seconds and they had a timer going on all the time. I would feel like I had made a lot of progress but then my eye would glance upon the ticking clock and only 7 minutes would have gone by.
The only thing I could change was how to introduce myself, so I often called people up as various celebrities. Imagine the surprise on Angela's face when she was called by Jimmy Page to buy parenting magazines. That was all that I could do and experiment with during this torturous endeavor.
I also had ghastly hours and could not get involved with anything in school, but I finally left that death environment to make myself safe, sane, and free. And, to top it off, I had to walk two miles back after work through the shadiest, most dangerous part of the town. I am still very surprised I haven't been successfully mugged.
Gripes of the job aside, let the gripes about the people begin. The manager was really nice and helpful, but that's just like saying the Butcher is nice to the chicken. He may love it, but only because it makes him money. It's merely an object, absolutely dispensable and with no other value.
However, calling people across the United States I was able to talk to a variety of people who made me sorely irritated at times.
Every parent who has had a child seems to think that he or she is the leading authority on the subject. When I brought up Parents Magazine the guy or girl on the other end would become confused and dumbfoundedly state, "but...I already had a kid before this one."
Well, Congratulations!!! I'm sure that makes you the most qualified person in the world to raise kids then. We should have you write the parenting magazines instead.
That's like saying I'm an excellent guitar player because I have three of them lying around my house. If it was that easy, I'd have taken a loan and bought out Guitar Center and now I'd be rolling in money with my insane skills acquired by simply having more of that instrument.
I also learned that many people are very rude and think that my job should be centered around their lives. How dare the computer dial them up when it's not 100% convenient for them to pick up.
Though this "job" was absolutely horrendous, lonely, and stupid, I did learn something useful: Don't be rude to telemarketers. They are also people who are suffering from extreme circumstances and cruel twists of fate. They are all actively working to get out of that place and not be a bother to anybody, so please, give them some respect.