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“Not a real reg”

Since: Jan 13

Location hidden

#1 Aug 7, 2013
DEAR ABBY: I'm hoping you will pass this on to your readers. Many of us these days have to work two jobs to make ends meet. In addition to a full-time job, I work a second one in a call center. Yes, I'm one of those dreaded people who call and ask you to do a phone survey.

What I would like to remind everyone is that we are just people on the other end of the line. I have been cursed at and called names you can't print in your column. I have had the phone slammed in my ear. A little courtesy would go a long way.

If you don't want to participate in the survey, that's fine. We understand that. But have the guts to say, "Not interested" or "No, thank you," and show a little respect. We're simply trying to do a job, earn a living and pay our bills like everybody else.-- HAPPY TO BE EMPLOYED

DEAR HAPPY TO BE EMPLOYED: I am not excusing poor manners, and I do sympathize with your position. But when companies make these incessant calls, they are entering people's homes without being invited, and it can make some of them very angry, particularly if they have been interrupted while eating, working, napping or caregiving.

The people you call might be less hostile if they hadn't been called repeatedly and asked to participate in these surveys after they had refused four, five or six times and had asked not to be called again. They might be more polite if they hadn't registered on a "Do Not Call" list that was ignored.

DEAR ABBY: I am recently retired. I enjoy it, and my daily routine is filled with activities that keep me busy.
My problem is relatives who retired a few years ago who are bored out of their minds. They show up at my home unannounced at all hours of the day and disrupt my routine. They assume I have nothing to do like them. I am not interested in baby-sitting these people so their wives won't have to put up with them. What should I do?-- RETIRED IN BOSTON

DEAR RETIRED: Tell your relatives -- nicely -- that you have a definite routine and things scheduled that you must attend to. If you feel they would be receptive, suggest that they drop by a senior center and ask about what activities it offers or look for volunteer opportunities in the community. Then suggest that instead of dropping by, they call first to see if you are available.

DEAR ABBY: My best friend's mother has dementia. It is usually worse in the evenings, but she can function during the day -- somewhat. My friend and her husband both work, leaving the mother alone at home during the day with the door locked from the outside so she can't wander off.

I have told my friend many times how dangerous this is, but she continues to do it. It makes me sick worrying about her mother, but I don't know what to do about it.-- FRIEND IN FLORIDA

DEAR FRIEND: Your friend and her husband may have the best of intentions, but locking a demented person inside the house is not the answer to their problem. If a fire were to start, she might not be "with it" enough to know how to put it out or summon help. She could also fall and injure herself.

A better solution would be to find a day-care program where the mother would have company, be entertained and safely looked after. Please suggest it to them. However, if they are not receptive, Adult Protective Services should be notified because the woman's life could depend on it.

“Not a real reg”

Since: Jan 13

Location hidden

#2 Aug 7, 2013
L1: From someone who did this back in the 70's from my home, you just have to deal with these reactions and continue on. Once, I was assigned a certain west suburban area which at that time was mostly Italian. I always seemed to get the older ladies who didn't speak much English. Finally I slammed the phone down and said "these people shouldn't have phones", and proceeded to make up the rest of my quota. Fortunately I went on to run focus groups.
I am so surprised Abby got her facts wrong. Legitimate market research calls are not covered in the Do Not Call act. Once I determine that it's a real research call I usually agree to participate.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#3 Aug 7, 2013
L1: I just say "no thanks" in the middle of their spiel and hang up.

L2: "They show up at my home unannounced at all hours of the day and disrupt my routine." You allow them to do this. Don't let them in. "Sorry, I was just about to head to the gym." or "I wish I could talk, but I'm in the middle of a project right now and the timer is running, I have to be back in the basement in 10 minutres when the glue dries." Whatever.

L3: WEll, the funeral should be any day now. She'll set fire to the house and burn to death.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#4 Aug 7, 2013
1 OUCH! Abby has her snark on today! I do know some things are exempt from the do not call list, like if you purchased their product, and I believe some surveys that dont promote a product (political surveys etc). When I learn the caller is for a survey, I more politely decline, not so much to the guy trying to sell me a case of ShamWow's.

2 Or you could include these peeps in your activities. If they dont want to participate, just say "ok, well gotta go!"

3 Since you have the luxury of worrying ALL DAY, go over there and babysit her.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#5 Aug 7, 2013
Race, yeah, I was thinking LW2 should make some plans with thos epeople so maybe they'll stop just popping over at his house, but I get the feeling he doesn't want to spend any time with them at all.

Since: Dec 07

DuPage County

#6 Aug 7, 2013
1: this LW needs to STFU, those calls are annoying as hell.

2: use your words cupcake, "Hey I was just leaving." Not hard is it?

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#7 Aug 7, 2013
Probably, but that is their right. But the LW says these peeps dont have anything else to do but hang out and grow old.
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
Race, yeah, I was thinking LW2 should make some plans with thos epeople so maybe they'll stop just popping over at his house, but I get the feeling he doesn't want to spend any time with them at all.

Since: Aug 08

Location hidden

#8 Aug 7, 2013
LW1: I canít say I disagree. They are annoying, but Iíve never been rude to a telemarketer Ö even when they are pushy, I just keep saying, Iím not interested. I have had them be rude to me, however, when I say I am not interested and ask them to take my number off their list.

Also, even if you are on the do not call list, it's likely the company's fault and not the fault of the individual who is calling you that you are still being called. The individual just gets a list of numbers to call, probably.

LW2: When you answer the door, say, I'm really sorry and then tell them you are about to go somewhere or are busy, and canít visit. Ask them to call you first, next time, too. Repeat as necessary.

LW3: I agree with Abby.
cheluzal

Plant City, FL

#9 Aug 7, 2013
1: Good job, Abby! She's right. It is obnoxious and intrusive. I've no sympathy for someone who chooses this line of work. Get a job that doesn't require you harrassing people, or grow thicker skin when you do.

2: Grow.a.pair. You're-what-at least 65 and you still can't manage boundaries around people?

3: This is tough. Facilities are psycho expensive and they are doing the best they can. If she's abused after Adult Services takes her away, you'll feel badly.
Touch situation.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#10 Aug 7, 2013
I'm nice to telemarketers -- I don't listen to their whole speech, I figure, save 'em the time -- because I picture them as single parents just taking a crappy job to put food on the table for their kids.

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

#11 Aug 7, 2013
Ha!
We had a telemarketing company in our building...They were not as you pictured.
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
I'm nice to telemarketers -- I don't listen to their whole speech, I figure, save 'em the time -- because I picture them as single parents just taking a crappy job to put food on the table for their kids.

“Not a real reg”

Since: Jan 13

Location hidden

#12 Aug 7, 2013
RACE wrote:
Ha!
We had a telemarketing company in our building...They were not as you pictured.
<quoted text>
I think there's confusion here re these calls. Telemarketing is a sales pitch, and I can be just as rude as the next person, especially since they ignore the do not call lists.

Phone survey is just that, they're not selling anything. I've gotten calls asking for opinions about a grocery store in the area. One in particular I was glad to answer, it's a lousy store. Those can be interesting if you have the time to participate. And we all know how we like to give our opinions.

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#13 Aug 7, 2013
LW1: You seem to have failed to consider that the people you're calling might have two jobs too and you've caught them just as they were getting home to finally have a beer and a shower. Compassion is a two-way street, buddy.

LW2: Ask them to call first and then find an activity that you guys can do together. They may meet some new friends and consequently leave you alone more.

LW3: I can understand this, especailly if they're not making much money, but there *has* to be something in their community that could help here. I would really hesitate to call Adult Protective Services and since it seems you have a lot of time on your hands, why don't you do some research for these folks and then talk to them again.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#14 Aug 7, 2013
1. I have fun with the telemarketers. The guy who wants to sell me window washing is told very kindly that I live in a windowless cell or that Apple has already signed me up. The political ones are told in a kindly voice, Oh, dear, didn't they tell you? He converted to (the other party). That one always gets an apology from the person. My goal is to be one of the crazies they talk about on break.
Works for me.

2. And who is going to pay for this day care for grandma. They have the programs around me, but they cost. Tangent: when my girls were little they were in day care which was run by part of a hospital. They also had an older person day care program in the same building and ran intergenerational programs alot. It worked very well, bu it cost.

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

#15 Aug 7, 2013
L1: I've never been overtly rude to a telemarketer, besides just hanging up, but...YOU are calling THEM. Don't like rudeness? Find another part time job. I can't stand telemarketers and I got rid of my land line as soon as I could to cut down on them.

L2: Use your words. Otherwise you end up like that insufferable family on Everybody Loves Raymond.

L3: WTF is wrong with these people? They should at least get her an invisible fence and a shock collar so she can go outside.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

#16 Aug 7, 2013
PEllen wrote:
1. I have fun with the telemarketers. The guy who wants to sell me window washing is told very kindly that I live in a windowless cell or that Apple has already signed me up. The political ones are told in a kindly voice, Oh, dear, didn't they tell you? He converted to (the other party). That one always gets an apology from the person. My goal is to be one of the crazies they talk about on break.
Works for me.
.
I ask them if they know the best way to get blood stains out of carpet. Or how to get rid of a body. Or I tell them I'm writing a song and want to know what they think, then I start singing, making up lyrics as I go. My goal is to get THEM to hang up on ME.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#17 Aug 7, 2013
AFter cuts were made to some senior programs here, including a meals on wheels type program, there was a story in the paper about what families are doing to fill the gap left by those programs. One guy they interviewed spends his lunch hours visiting his mom to bring her lunch each day (apparently she lives close enough to his job that he can do this).

And he was complaining about the programs being cut. I was thinking, but if you were able to do this -- take lunch to your mom and check in on her -- why should the program do it? I'd rather the programs be there for people who can't afford the senior day care programs, or who can't leave work to bring lunch to mom, or other similar situations. I don't think the program should be there simply because you don't want to be inconvenienced by your mom.

Since: Jan 10

Location hidden

#18 Aug 7, 2013
Did you know that in some states, you can be held liable for your parents' bills, especially medical bills? VIrginia is one such state that goes after the adult offspring to get them to pay the parent's hospital bill. And they win.

One guy they mentioned was raised by his maternal grandparents, never knew his mother, had zero relationship with her (she abandoned him with her parents and never returned to the family), and after the mother was hospitalized, she somehow had indicated he was "Next of kin," and the hospital sued him for her hospital bill and WON.
Riot

Mcleansboro, IL

#19 Aug 7, 2013
Stina

Saint Petersburg, FL

#20 Aug 7, 2013
I only like the surveys where I go to the marketing company for an hour or 2 and get paid to participate. I got a call for one the other day and it was like $150 for an hour an a half, but they were looking for parents of small children to survey about kids' products. I've made some nice extra spending cash over the years doing this and it's interesting and fun. It's basically participating in a focus group. ANd they usually give you sandwiches and snacks beforehand. Except when I did the one on instant mashed potatoes. They just gave us cookies then. I guess they wanted us to eb hungry enought to sample all those potatoes!!!

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