So the question is... do you really have to be nice to them?
The other day, after I had yet another Telemarketer hang up on me, Sue-Anne said "You probably made her cry." She reminded me of the film 'Slumdog Millionaire' and how most of the Telemarketing people in India are lucky to have a job at all.
Now, I have nothing against these people personally. I don't even know them. But I do know they are trained to lie to us.
They call us at the most inconvenient times. They lie about their location. They lie about the fact they are not selling anything. They lie about the products they sell us.
This latest one told me she was calling on behalf of the Federal Government's such-and-such scheme. (I corrected her and told her that she was calling on behalf of a company wanting to cash in on the Federal Government's such-and-such scheme and she shouldn't lie to people like that... that's when she hang up).
My parents are generally much more polite, like many people of their generation, and they will listen to the spiel and try to wait for a gap in the monologue before saying "No thankyou, I'm not interested." Then the Telemarketer's training kicks in and they launch into another spiel about how they should be interested.
Yes, these people are only human, and should be treated with respect, but the very job they are doing strips them of respect.
I know so many people who have been polite, and ended up scammed by these Telemarketers - or to be more precise, their employers.
So what do you think?
Be polite and say "No" knowing full well they will just continue talking over the top of you?
Listen to their spiel and, in the process, risk being sucked into it?
Chat with them until they hang up on you? (My preference).
Slam the phone down in mid conversation? (As they have to me quite frequently).