Updated: 3/13/02; 10:47:20 AM.
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Thursday, February 14, 2002

Police find severed penis by car wash vacuum

Is it just me, or do I only blink the severed penis stories from Jim's fabulous page? BTW, that Kottke fella designed the recent digs over there. Check it out.

4:58:24 PM  [] blah blah blah'd on this    [blinked via Romenesko's Obscure Store]  

Dane blinks a columnist from the SF Chronicle dispensing bad advice about phone solicitors.

The *ahem* expert ("...and here's my own story about working as a solicitor...") says to leave the solicitor chillin' after you say "hold on, please" and then ignore them while leaving the phone on the counter.

Bad advice. Very bad advice. You're messing with the individual who has made the call to you as a part of their crappy job, not the moron who decided that this would be a viable business practice to pursue.

You have no idea how much of your personal information that solicitor may have available at their fingertips. You don't wanna piss them off. Not when identity theft can be so trivial these days. What data of yours could they decide to share with those wacky Nigerian financial wizards who send everyone email?

Did they get your phone number through a legitimate transaction you conducted? If so, they may have access to your credit card info -- if they can't grab the info itself, they may be able to rack up a sale on your tab, anyway.

I know, it happened to my wife. We managed to track down what happened -- it was from a purchase she had made nearly three years previously. The joker who did it was working with a subsidiary of the company my wife had made the purchase from. So the sharing of such data between parts of a larger corporation is considered OK, under current US laws.

A key thing to keep in mind here is that being a phone solicitor is a crappy, low-paying job that, for many people, has replaced that of performing repetitive tasks on a factory floor. Welcome to our new service economy, post-NAFTA and all trickled-down.

Always remember that phone-solicitor is a human being trying to earn a living. Yes, it sucks that they may have so few skills that this is all they can land right now. I'm pretty certain they are aware of this. I'm also pretty certain they really don't like annoying people as part of their job. At least that's been the consistant story I've heard from folks who've done that crappy job.

I always try to get their name, and once their pitch gives me a chance to talk ;-) I compliment them on their sales pitch (regardless of how it really was), ask to have my number removed from their will-call list, and wish them luck with the rest of their shift. I have had amazing results doing this, too.

I have shown them respect as a human being, and have dealt with the issue in a mature and longer-term manner, instead of acting like a petty shitheel.

So my phone is less busy with bogus calls, my credit report is still in good order, and I have managed to keep my karma in good shape, too... How's that for a win-win, baby?

2:22:10 PM  [] blah blah blah'd on this    

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Last update: 3/13/02; 10:47:20 AM.