He’s a Mean One, Mr. Grinch

Maybe it’s because I have whatever this hideous flu thing is that’s spreading around here (sore throat + headache + exhaustion in the worst part of the academic calendar = not happy camper) but I just pretty much read the riot act to a DNC caller who rang up here looking for money.

The thing is, this is about the sixth time in about a week, looking for either me or my wife. When I politely (really) noted the frequency of calls, he said, “Oh, that’s probably not the national organization”. Dude, I don’t #*%^@!& care which branch of the party it is. We donate when we’re ready to donate. We make very deliberate decisions about donations. We do not want canvassers, callers or anyone else trying to persuade us on a regular basis with canned speeches that is our duty to donate right here and right now. If donating to Joe Sestak or anyone else puts me on a list that is more aggressive than guys trying to sell me a better mortgage (who totally ignore the Do-Not-Call-List), then I seriously will reconsider my donations.

Ah, that feels better. Especially since the guy hung up on me in mid-rant, and really, I promise you, I was much politer than I am to the sleazier telemarketers. Look, I really do think I’m a fairly typical independent. That means, yes, I’m prissy as hell about my political choices. I sell my virtue dearly, but I promise, I’m a tiger when it’s sold. Just don’t be a bounder while I’m being courted, and I promise not to slap your face.

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9 Responses to He’s a Mean One, Mr. Grinch

  1. withywindle says:

    I doubt you’re going to have any luck. Not only am I on the Republicans’ list, but, since I gave to a left-leaning NGO in lieu of a wedding gift at a friend’s request, I’m in that world’s mailing lists and phone calls as well–and no amount of yelling, pleading, etc., seems to get me off of any list. Also, I get political junk mail for deceased relatives. And my wife gets harrassed by the Policemen’s Beneficiary Society, or whatever it is, and I have to deal with Swattie fundraisers every year. I would suggest changing your name and moving to Antarctica for a short period of time as a partial solution. But doubtless you would only add the OPUS* folks to your list of woes.

    * Organization for Penguins Under Stress.

  2. emschwar says:

    My favourite political fundraising gaffe so far is that I keep getting invitations to join the National Republican Jewish Coalition, apparently based on my last name (Schwartz). The only problem is that my family’s been Catholic for as far back as anybody’s been able to trace (which, admittedly, is only 150 years or so).

  3. David Chudzicki says:

    So your Jewish forefathers helped found the Republican Party and these people keep really good records?

  4. Joey Headset says:

    There’s no point in chewing out these people. They’re sitting in a cubicle somewhere making some shitty hourly wage. When I get a call like this, I responed with the following phrase before they are done introducing themselves:

    “Please remove me from your call list”.

    Maybe they do remove me, maybe they don’t. But it always ends the call.

  5. Western Dave says:

    My favorite technique, put the phone down pick up a few minutes later and say, “I’m sorry, I had to help my child in the bathroom, can you start over.” Also speaking in foreign languages is fun too! Or giving the phone to the 4 year old and letting her talk to the telemarketer. She almost has the phrase, “my daddy says that you and I could have a good conversation” down. She already says, “whom may I ask is calling?”

  6. Neel Krishnaswami says:

    If you can figure out which company the mortgage people are from, you can file a lawsuit against them in small claims court. Political parties are exempted from the Telephone Communications Protection Act, though.

  7. Sam says:

    The California Democratic Party has the worst, most irrational policies on this issue.

    As an election approaches, we get as many as–and this is not an exaggeration, but based on an actual count–eleven pre-recorded messages per day, and never less than five, starting at least three weeks before the election. And this being California, the recordings come not only from the candidates but from every celebrity and pseudo-celebrity imaginable. (“Hi, This is Martin Sheen,” “This is Ed Begley Jr. with an important message,” “You may know me as Nina Van Horn from ‘Just Shoot Me.'”) And while I know that the poor schmuck who is occasionally responsible for making the personal plea is not responsible for this badgering, it’s impossible not to give him or her a pretty butal verbal lashing.

    I’ve made it clear that I’ll never under any circumstances give money to the party again. At this point, if the Republicans were putting up a ticket of Jeffrey Dahmer and Beelzebub I doubt I’d offer any more assistance to the Dem party beyond pulling the lever, as long as the Beelzebub ticket promised not to call me at home.

    Western Dave, I like your strategy. But curiously, your four year old is hyper-correcting; the verb in her question requires a nominative (“who…is calling”); “may I ask” is parenthetical. /pedantry.

  8. Western Dave says:

    It’s the way my mother the English major, MA grammar hound taught me to answer the phone: (Actually, it was much longer -Hello, ——- residence, David speaking. …… Whom may I ask is calling? …… One moment, I’ll see if s/he is available. – I was raised for geekdom.

  9. Sam says:

    t’s the way my mother the English major, MA grammar hound taught me to answer the phone: (Actually, it was much longer -Hello, ——- residence, David speaking. …… Whom may I ask is calling? …… One moment, I’ll see if s/he is available. – I was raised for geekdom.

    I honestly don’t mean to sound rude, but it’s a sort of Geekdom that Alan Ross would have called “Non-U” Geekdom. The formula is incorrect, as you can see by re-wording: “May I ask, whom is calling?” It’s more pronounced with an accusative pronoun in place of the accusative interogative: “Is him calling, may I ask?”

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