I have Caller ID, Anonymous Call Rejection, and I’m on the National Do Not Call Registry. Nevertheless, occasionally, telemarketers get through. Contrary to what you may have heard, I am by nature a polite person. Unfortunately, telemarketers are trained to take advantage of good manners. They use scripted run-on sentences so you cannot get a word in edgewise until they get out their spiel. They employ emotionally manipulative language. They use decision tree software that provides them with responses to every customer objection ever documented, to keep you on the line until they make the sale.
Clearly these tactics are impolite, and this playing field is not level. Today a thought popped into my head as to how I could even things up a little, and in an amusing way.
Telemarketer: So how many ElastaGyms can I sign you up for?
Me: Magnetic banjo monkey nozzle.
Me: Steering wheel mandible banana meter.
Telemarketer: Uh…yes, sir. I was just asking –
Me: Veal shank kaleidoscope phenomenon.
Telemarketer: Thank you for your time. Goodbye.
What I like about this idea is that it doesn’t involve being rude. By speaking nonsense to the telemarketer you’re opting out of the call, not meaningfully participating in their data acquisition of objections, and having a little fun in the process.
Keep a list of fun phrases by the phone. If speaking nonsense is too strange for you, try reading from a children’s book. I recommend Goodnight Moon.