I am on the no call list which means these days if I get a telemarketing call it is either from a charity or a scam. I love telling some criminal phone call worker that I have an Apple when he tells me he got a distress call from my windows computer. But the fact that most telemarketers these days are criminals is not why I hate them, I hate them for what they were before that, and how they made me, and I am sure countless others, ruder.
First, they invade the sanctity of your home. I am sitting down to dinner or relaxing in front of the TV, I then have to get up to answer a phone call, not from a friend, but from someone trying to sell me something. I have nothing against marketers, TV ads give me something – TV shows – and newspaper or internet ads are there when I want them, but phone salesmen are forcing themselves into my private time.
Then they take advantage of our politeness, and people stopping us on the street are the same, our reluctance to be rude to someone. If someone tries to talk to you, it is generally considered polite to engage in pleasantries until you can disengage. These people often do their best to bring you back into the conversation or re-engage you, even after you are clear that you are not interested. I know this is their job but it wastes my time and, quite frankly, sometimes I have had to be rude to people to get them to get the message. Sometimes I have just had to hang up or walk away mid-sentence. And this is something I would not do in a normal situation. I know people who take great joy in tormenting people who do this job, asking for lots of details, or putting them on hold. I rather enjoy these stories because of the rudeness of some telemarketers. When I told a Solar company I did not have solar power, after ringing me at home and wasting my time, they didn’t even say goodbye, they just hung up.
So apart from making everyone’s day a little more miserable, what does this added rudeness do to our society? I think as a society we are becoming ruder and more selfish. And while I don’t blame sales people, telemarketers, door knockers or charity muggers for this alone, I think it is part of the problem. By making us have to be rude to survive an encounter, we are more likely to be rude later on. Yes, this is a long bow to draw, and I have no real evidence or even think you could get more than a casual link if you graphed it, but I doubt I am alone. After all, how many other situations can you think of where you will boast to your friends after of being rude to someone and getting nods of approval?
Do you think telemarketers or door knockers are making us ruder? Does it bother you when people approach you for sales or charity?