Author Topic: When polite subtlety just doesn't work...  (Read 6372 times)

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chicajojobe

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When polite subtlety just doesn't work...
« on: September 18, 2010, 04:45:36 PM »
This happened to me a few weeks ago. I'm a volunteer for a rape crisis center, and one of the duties of the volunteers is to answer the phone during afterhours times such as nights and weekends.

I got a call that forced me to be rude when really it could have been resolved much more easily if common sense wasn't, apparently, a lost skill.

Me: "*Name of organization*" (Clue #1)
Caller: "Hello, my name is *name* with *name of ministry* I wanted to see if you had some time to talk about *name of deity*"
Me: "Oh, well, this is actually *name of organization*, we're a non-profit organization." (Clue #2)
Caller: "Okay, but are you a *name of religion*?"
Me: "Sir, this is a crisis center for people who have experienced sexual abuse or assault." (BIG Clue #3)
Caller: "Let me speak to your director."
Me: <Internally>Is he freaking kidding me?</internally> "She isn't here right now, and I can't give out her number. I need to keep this line open so I'm hanging up now."

I realize I lost my patience at the end, but it was partially because I've worked in telemarketing before and if we came across the number of a business or organization, we'd just apologize and move onto the next number right away so it struck me that he handled it very badly.
Not to mention, this was about 7:30 on a Friday night and he actually expected to get to speak to the director? Plus all of this after I tried to convey to him that the conversation wasn't an appropriate one? What the frenchtoast?!

Black Delphinium

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Re: When polite subtlety just doesn't work...
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2010, 04:48:18 PM »
I don't think you were rude.
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Nibsey

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Re: When polite subtlety just doesn't work...
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2010, 06:38:45 AM »
Me neither, this sort of happened to me before. I got the same type of call but I was only working in a call centre. In my case I just told the person I was in work so unless they wanted to discuss our product I'd have to terminate the call.
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Jocelyn

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Re: When polite subtlety just doesn't work...
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2010, 01:00:13 PM »
I bet he asked for the director not because he wanted to speak to her, but trying to get you to admit that no, you weren't a rape crisis center, you were just making that up to avoid talking to him.

chicajojobe

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Re: When polite subtlety just doesn't work...
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2010, 02:04:37 PM »
LOL! I never thought of that before.

If that's true he's lucky it really WAS a rape crisis center. Because if it had been my personal phone, I'd have said something sarcastic like "I worship the Dark Lord" then hung up and let him decide if I meant Satan or Voldemort.

NutMeg

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Re: When polite subtlety just doesn't work...
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2010, 01:08:51 AM »
I got a telemarketing call on a provincial suicide hotline. The telemarketer was very apologetic, and assured me it wouldn't happen again.
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MyFamily

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Re: When polite subtlety just doesn't work...
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2010, 08:32:55 PM »
or he wanted the rape crisis center to give out his religious materials


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GoldenGemini

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Re: When polite subtlety just doesn't work...
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2010, 10:19:26 PM »
or he wanted the rape crisis center to give out his religious materials

That was my thought.


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lady_disdain

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Re: When polite subtlety just doesn't work...
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2010, 10:16:05 AM »
Me: "*Name of organization*" (Clue #1)
Caller: "Hello, my name is *name* with *name of ministry* I wanted to see if you had some time to talk about *name of deity*"
You: No. Have a nice day. hangup

There you go - cut it off as soon as possible and don't count on their common sense while still being polite.

Twik

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Re: When polite subtlety just doesn't work...
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2010, 06:19:19 PM »
I think you're making the common mistake about telemarketing firms - that they encourage their staff to use common courtesy. Now, I've dealt with many telemarketers who are decent, and polite, people. But their employers are in the business of selling their product (and for this person, unfortunately, his Deity has become his product). Just as there are unscrupulous brick-and-mortar sellers, certain telemarketing firms push "don't take no for an answer" and will even punish staff for giving up too easily.

It sounds like this person wasn't really clueless, he had a strategy of badgering people who said no until they either did what he wanted or hung up. The only way you can win here is hang up, even though it feels rude.
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