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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Wed, 27 Nov 96 11:16:41 -0800
Subject: Telemarketer Silliness
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Our biggest disappointment with Caller ID was that many phone calls
were tagged "OUT OF AREA" rather than giving a phone number. In particular,
banks of phones behind switchboards or in a Centrex are marked that way,
which covers most of those pesky telemarketers that make our lives so
We've found a way to work around that which others with Caller ID may
also wish to use.
When we get calls marked OUT OF AREA, especially at the prime
telemarketer time (6-8 pm), we now answer the phone "KDNA, you're on the
air!" Usually the telemarketer will be a bit befuddled, and ask for one of
us by name. We will repeat that we are a radio station, that the caller is
on the air, and is, in fact, the twenty-fifth caller.
Here's a dialog with one telemarketer who bit real hard:
Me: (seeing OUT OF AREA on Caller ID, using bouncy DJ voice) KDNA, you're
on the air!
Telemarketer: May I speak to Mad-uh-LEEN So...So...So-johr-NOHR?
M: This is KDNA, and you are ON THE AIR! You've just won your choice of
a new Ford Explorer or $25,000 in cash!!!
T: I have?
M: You certainly have.
T: Oh my god!
M: Happy? Which will it be, the Explorer or the money?
T: I don't know! Let me get my supervisor!
M: You don't need your supervisor, it's your prize. Are you calling us from
T: Yes I am. (background voices) My boss says to take the money.
M: The money! So you listen to KDNA while you're working?
T: I didn't even know we were calling you!
M: Well, where are you calling us from?
T: (some place thousands of miles from us)
M: My, my! I guess you can't pick us up all the way out there! So what's
M: Sherry, tell us here on KDNA what kind of music you like.
T: I'm so nervous I can't even think! Nothing like this has ever happened
M: Sherry, if you like the kind of music that we play here on KDNA, we'll
play one just for you!
T: But I wouldn't be able to hear it. Where's your radio station, anyway?
M: We're broadcasting out of Silicon Valley, California, at 106.6 FM.
[obviously telemarketer isn't smart enough to know FM stations don't end
in even decimals.]
T: This is just so great!
M: Sherry, how old are you?
T: I'm 20.
M: And what do you do?
T: I'm a business student at (some college).
M: What will you do with the money, Sherry? Start a business?
T: Oh, I just don't know!
M: I thought you said you were at work, Sherry.
T: I am. This is to help pay for college.
M: What's your job?
T: I'm a telemarketer.
M: You're a WHAT?
T: I'm a telemarketer... I call people up and ask them if they want to buy
M: Oh, that's too bad.
M: Because we here at KDNA think telemarketers are the lowest scum on earth,
and I don't think we can give this prize to a telemarketer. You folks
are always interrupting people during dinner and I think that's rotten.
So I don't think you should win.
T: But that's not fair!
M: Of course not! But hey, it's my radio show, I get to make the rules.
T: But you can't do that!
M: I sure can, I'm giving this prize to the next caller. Meanwhile, I
suggest you quit your job. Today.
© 1996 Peter Langston