ROOM 101 #8 – Cold Calls

We all know the feeling. Those things you just cannot stand. They keep you awake at night. They make your skin crawl. They awake a hatred within you that you haven’t known since the checkout machine said there was an unexpected item in the baggage area. Go on, put it in Room 101.

Cold calls. Everyone dreads them. Some of us even make futile attempts to contact companies who claim to take our numbers off the so-called ‘list’. Of course, this is to no avail. Those cold callers find a way. They keep coming back.

The reason I hate cold calls? Well, where do I start? Inconvenience, invasion of privacy and frustration. This is what cold calls represent for me, and, I fear, for all of us.

“Those cold callers find a way. They keep coming back”

To add fuel to the fire, cold calls seem to me to be absolutely worthless and devoid of purpose. Who is actually going to agree to give money to someone who has found their number and called to plead them to buy toner or opt into a PPI insurance claim? I certainly wouldn’t.

They also make monsters of all of us. The sweetest, most polite person can be stirred into a frenzy of rage when faced with the chirpy voice at the end of the line: “is that Miss Webb-Strong?” If you ever need to ascertain someone’s character, catch them on a cold call. You’ll see a side of them you may never have imagined.

I try not to let these calls get to me too much, for my own sanity, but when I see that unknown number flash up on my screen, I feel my blood begin to boil. And even when I don’t pick up, they leave a voicemail. You can never escape the automated messages insisting you need a new deal on your energy bill.

“I think they track our movements and wait to call at the most bothersome times”

“No, I haven’t had a recent accident which wasn’t my fault. No, I don’t want to claim insurance for PPI. No, I don’t need any loft insulation. Please just leave me alone, and DON’T CALL THIS NUMBER AGAIN.”

They always seem to call at the most inconvenient times too. If I get a cold call, I am guaranteed to be in the middle of a lecture and have forgotten to put my phone on silent. And if I’m not, I’m probably on the toilet. I think they track our movements and wait to call at the most bothersome times. You can hear it in their gleeful tone: “is this a good time to talk?”

Although, having had my rant, I can’t help but feel sorry for the people who are forced to sit in cold call centres and experience rejection after rejection. Those are the ones affected most by this inefficient, gluttonous, cataclysmic scheme.

Do baked beans make you cringe? Are slow walkers your living hell? Send your own Room 101 to 

Beth Webb-Strong

Image by Bart on Flickr

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