How Is Telemarketing Still A Thing?

When I was young, it made sense. We didn’t have call display. Nobody had call display. Whenever the phone rang, we had to answer it. There was as good a chance that your grandma or your dad’s work would be on the other end as there was that you’d end up talking to some fucking vacuum salesman in the middle of dinner. And most of us didn’t have answering machines either, so even if we were in the middle of something we would have to drop it whenever possible or risk missing an important thing.

But nowadays, how are all of these companies not out of business? Forget about the do not call lists. I’m glad we have them, but you can drive a convoy of transport trucks through the loopholes in those things. What boggles my mind is the behaviour of people in general. Yes, there are still folks without caller ID. I even know a handful of them. But that handful gets smaller and smaller all the time. Those people are off the hook here (See what I did there?) because they still largely have to play by the old rules. But what’s going on with the rest of us? Why are so many of us still answering calls from numbers we don’t recognize? I stopped doing it ages ago. Unless there’s a reason to take a flyer on one (family on vacation, Carin out and about for long enough that her phone could be dead), it’s off to voicemail with you. This has served me well. I can’t remember the last time I spoke to a salesperson or a scam artist (a pretty fine line sometimes), and the number of mysterious callers I end up having to get back to is less than 1 percent. I’ll cut you some slack if you have call display but not voicemail, but who the heck has one without the other anymore?

And while I’m questioning people’s telephone skills, have you ever gotten a call from some dude you’ve never met and never phoned even by accident asking if you just called him? How is that even possible? I ask because whenever this happens to me, it’s always somebody who is very obviously on a cell phone. Do they still make cell phones that don’t let you simply tap the number to call it? Can an automatic dial like that get a wrong number? If it can, I have yet to experience it. I don’t understand this at all. The world is strange.

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