Thursday, November 10, 2005

Not Available Right Now…

I don’t know of anyone who looks forward to a soliciting call from a telemarketer. I know I don’t. If you’re ever in the company of a group of people and conversation gets a little dry, try proposing the following question: How do you respond when a telemarketer calls? What do you say? What do you do? I’m sure the responses will be varied, interesting and insightfully telling about each person.

Personally, I have a hard time hanging up on these people. They’re just honest folks trying to make a buck to pay the bills and put food on the table. Okay, I’ll admit, ‘honest’ in some cases may be debatable. Nevertheless, I often feel sorry for them. How would I feel if I were them? But, what’s one to do with these household intruders? Hang up? Listen to the whole sales spill? Fake an emergency? Begin speaking in some unknown tongue? Yell at the them? Do a reverse-lockup on them costing them up to $500? (If you want more information on the last option, I can educate you for a small fee).

All of the above have been done.
When my compassion gift kicks in and I can’t bring myself to do any of the above, I simply respond, “I’m sorry, they’re not available right now.” (Note: I only say this if one of my kids or spouse is in the room. Therefore, I’m legitimately not lyingJ. After all, if you really don’t like them calling your house, simply go online to and register your number on the do not call list.)

Regardless of responses, I rarely, if ever listen to their whole sales pitch. And, even if I get sucked in early, I exit out of the one-way-conversation at the first available pause. I wonder what would happen if we responded to tale-a-marketers a.k.a. gossipers the same way that we respond to telemarketers?

q How do you typically respond to telemarketers?

q If you knew the telemarketer had access to your personal information, including your religious affiliation, as well as the name and address of the place of worship you attended, would you respond differently?

q What would happen if we responded to those sharing gossip the way we do to telemarketers when they call our house?

q What are some possible things we could say to the potential tale-a-marketer to get them to stop soliciting their gossip?

“If a ruler listens to lies,
all his officials become wicked.”

(Proverbs 29:12)

“Without wood a fire goes out;
without gossip a quarrel dies down.”
(Proverbs 26:20 NIV)

"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool
than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."
Abraham Lincoln

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