I get a lot of the Internet kind too. I was amused this morning, because they were late–8:00 A.M. or so. They must have slept in, it being Saturday.
The phone kind I only get at work. Yes you can put your phone number on the government’s Do Not Call list, but there are exceptions. Any company you ever bought anything from in the past. (Hello? Do you suppose there’s a reason I stopped buying things from your company?) Fundraisers for non-profits. Political surveys. I could drive a truck through the loopholes in this Do Not Call regulation.
But I’ll talk about my least favorite one. The Muscular Dystrophy Association. Every year they have what’s called a Jail and Bail fundraiser event. They put a person in pretend “jail” (which is usually at a local hotel or other nice venue where they feed you lunch). Then that person has to make phone calls to solicit money from people for their “bail”, which actually of course is a donation to MDA.
I always thought this was a creepy idea to start with. But one year, I made the mistake of donating money for the “bail” of a person who called me, and forever after, I’ve been on MDA’s “List”. Every year they call me, and every year, for about ten years now, the pitch starts the same way: “I hear you have a big heart”. So you always know it’s them. When I hear that, my heart does not grow any bigger, it sinks.
And every year I say, Why are you still calling me? I have never done this, and never will. Eventually I get them off the phone (sometimes sooner rather than later). Then I have to go through a few minutes of feeling bad, for two reasons.
First, this is really a good cause. But there are too many good causes in the world for me to support them all. If I gave money to every one, I would be starving to support a starving child in Rwanda. I fail to see how that would be useful–if I starve, the donations stop. So you have to pick your battles, so to speak. At present, I am giving $10 a month to the ASPCA. That’s all I think I can do at the moment.
Second, I feel sorry for the telemarketing people. That has to be the worst job in the world. So I try to be nice. They are just trying to make a living, and they must be pretty desperate if they are telemarketing for a living. I even feel sorry for the rude ones. Although they are easier to hang up on. But hanging up is my very last choice. My motto is, don”t do anything that will make you feel personally like a scumbag. If anyone is going to feel like a scumbag, it needs to be them. But this is not, after all, a life and death situation. If it were, then I would shoot you (that is, if I had a gun), and not even feel bad. Because if anyone needs to be dead, it’s you.
Part of this may also be due to the Southern lady syndrome, which is to some extent inescapable. You can escape it, and be rude with the best of them, but you will at least feel bad about it later.