You know, there are many things I don’t like about solicitors, but one of the really big ones is that they’re trained not to listen to you when you deviate from your script. For example, the jackhole who just solicited me on the phone from some veterans’ organization or another. Charitable organizations have finally figured out to ask for Krissy first instead of me, but when this guy got me and I told him to call back when Krissy is home, he ignored me and tried to solicit me anyway.
So, of course, I hung up on the fellow while he was still barfing up his talking points. Clearly this solicitor was counting on the bit of psychology that says it’s rude to hang up on someone while they’re still talking, but you know what? I’m just sociopathic that way. Also, if you’ve already proven that you’re not going to listen to me, I don’t especially feel obliged to listen either. I really have no problem being rude with people who are rude to me first, and not actually listening to what I’m saying to you sure counts as rude. Especially when you’re calling to ask me to give you some of my money.
What makes it worse is that I’m reasonably sure the fellow talking to me is a reasonably socialized human being — like most people, if you caught him out in the wild I suspect he would actually listen to what I was saying and respond accordingly. But telemarketers don’t have that sort of latitude; they’re required to do pretty much anything to keep you from hanging up before they say whatever the hell it is that they’re supposed to say. Basically, these telemarketers have be rude or they get fired. I’m not entirely sure how this developed as a winning strategy, other than to note that it does piggyback on the idea that most people are more civil than the telemarketers and will avoid being rude even if it means waiting another 30 seconds while the telemarketer talks, just to say “no.”
Thing is, in addition to hanging up on the fellow, I’ve made a note of his particular charitable organization. Guess what? They’re not getting any of our money, ever. It’s a shame, too, because we contribute to a number of veterans’ organizations, because it’s a good way to say thanks to the folks who have served our country. But the simple fact of the matter is that I’m not going to contribute money to people who are under the impression that the best way to get that money is not to listen to me when, for example, I say they really need to call back later and talk to my wife, who is the one who handles our charitable contributions. She’s the one who decides who gets our donations in a given year, but I certainly can say who doesn’t, and this fellow’s organization doesn’t. So much for sticking to the telemarketing script.