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Tuesday, January 21, 2014


What is this: National Call For Donations day??  Yes, we have Caller ID but they are getting so tricky, you don't always know.

8:30 in the f------ morning, the phone rings. (I had a crummy night's sleep so I'm really in no mood). Local area code, so I'm not sure.  It might be someone I know. And early in the morning, I'm on alert. Good news is rarely early in the morning or late at night.  In the dead of night, I've taken to answering the phone with: "What hospital or who's dead?"  A little disconcerting to an upset friend/relative who needs to talk.

Ha! that 216 area code was deceiving.  It's University Hospitals.

A guy, with a (granted) beautifully trained voice reads the spiel about the hospitals and ends with, "Shall we start with a $75 donation or would $50 work better for you."

I've worked in telemarketing ages past so my ordinary response to a live person is (depending on my mood):

1) I've done what you do, and it sucks.  No. Thanks. Have a good day.
2) No, not interested. Thanks.
3) And in the case of Bath Fitters, the most persistent of them all.

"I can get my bathroom entirely redone by a reputable contractor AND get a bathtub I actually LIKE for what you guys charge to recover the bathtub I hate. Why would i recover the tub I hate?"

BF: Dead silence for a moment of recovery.  "Well, we have a special going on...and we will be in your area giving estimates...."

"Are you going to replace the bathtub I hate?"

BF: Pause.  "No, we don't do that.  But we'd love to give you an estimate again."

"Look, honey, we eventually will get a new bathtub.  Not a recovered one. So you really need to take me off your list because you guys are too expensive and won't do what I want. OK?"

Call ends. For about 4 months, I don't hear from them but they crop up like orange barrels in Ohio.

But today, as the University Hospitals telemarketer set me up smoothly for the pitch and the swing, I start to chuckle, then I started to laugh. Softly at first then a good, sarcastic roll.

"Really?  REALLY?" I chortle. "Dude, you need to look at my last name AND our address because we've been at UH for some mighty big stuff (I give him the brief, one-sentence version). so if you think I'm DONATING, I'll let someone else's insurance company do the 'donating,' OK?"

Telemarketer (audible gulp): "Oh, my god I am so sorry.  I'm so sorry!"

And so every half hour after that, it's been another g----damn telemarketing call. The last one was Red Cross.  Will I donate blood?  Just tell me when and where and no I'm not going anywhere I have to get into a vehicle for. We haven't had an area disaster that I'm aware of and you always seem to have plenty of my blood type. My blood type is apparently quite common and
uninteresting.  One of the nurses admitted this to me.  And no, I'm not making an appointment.

ARC: "Blah, blah, blah..."

"I SAID I'll donate blood in my area and I will not make an appointment. Not unless you want to pay me for my plasma."

ARC: "Blah, blah, blah...."

"Yes I said I'll donate but no I won't make an appointment and no I won't go anywhere I can't walk to.  How hard is this for you all to get?"

I hate to imagine if I were a universal donor or a rare blood type.

It's now 20 some years since I did telemarketing and with each passing year, I get less sympathetic and kind.

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