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Daddy, when I grow up, you know what I want to be? A telemarketer!

Style & Culture

July 22, 2003|Jim Shea | Hartford Courant

Brrrrrrrrring.

"Hello, Mr. She-a."

"Shea."

"I'm sorry, Mr. She-a."

"No, Shea, like the stadium."

"There's a She-a stadium?"

I'm telling you, I miss these conversations already. I know everyone thinks the new national "do not call list" is the best thing to come along since heated leather seats, but I'm not so sure.

Granted, telemarketers can get on your nerves. But you have to weigh that against their positive contributions:

Telemarketers are a reliable release for misdirected anger and pent-up frustration.

Telemarketers are a steady connection to the outside world.

Telemarketers are always friendly. In fact, telemarketers are the friendliest people I know.

Telemarketers contribute to the health of the country. Think about how much food is not consumed because they care enough about our arteries to call during dinner, night after night.

Telemarketers make you feel special. How many people do you know who will call you up to let you in on a land deal in Florida, or a great new mortgage rate, or leaf guards for your rain gutters?

Telemarketers are also intriguing. Admit it, when talking to telemarketers, don't you sometimes wonder what they look like, and where they're calling from, and how they got into their line of work? I mean, is telemarketing a career choice? Are there kids out there right now dreaming of being telemarketers when they grow up?

I've thought about telemarketing from time to time. I've considered answering one of those ads that guarantees you $1,500 a week for working part-time from home. You know what I've always wondered about people who do this? What percentage do you think work naked?

I don't know about anyone else, but I can usually tell if a person I'm talking to on the phone is naked.

Rrrrrrrrrrring.

Sorry, gotta go.

"Hello? Yes, this is Mr. She-a."

*

Jim Shea is a columnist at the Hartford Courant, a Tribune newspaper.

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