There was a fiercely contested Democratic primary in Edison with no less than three different slates of candidates squaring off against each other. Lots of brochures in the mail, door-to-door canvassing and of course phone banks to boost voter turnout for preferred candidates. A young friend of mine was on the phone and had barely begun her pitch when the woman she was calling let loose with a tirade ” You #!@*&! whore! Just shut up , shut up, SHUT UP! ” and slammed down the phone. Such a vicious outburst can only be the result of inner turmoil, a pent -up rage which chose that moment to flare up. My friend was momentarily shaken up but soon recovered ;such is the resilience of the young.
I must admit there are times when all these telephone calls get to be too much. Over the past three days alone, I’ve had at least a dozen such calls on behalf of the various candidates as well as five people knocking on my door to make sure that I’d cast my vote.
Then there are those soliciting charitable contributions. Make one contribution and your name goes on half a dozen lists for other charities. AND you get follow-up calls barely two months later for further contributions. As annoying as these calls can be , I can truthfully say that I’ve never snapped at callers.Generally I tell them that I cannot contribute and hang up. Rarely, very rarely , when the calls are bunched together I just hang up without saying anything. My forbearance comes from having some sympathy for the callers ( theirs must be one of the worst jobs in the world). It’s a tough way to make a living and the least I can do is not make their day any worse.
After my son graduated high school and before he went to college, he worked briefly selling newspaper subscriptions. He didn’t do it for very long, just a couple of weeks but they were l-o-n-g weeks. One story he told me however was funny.
He had just begun his spiel to a prospect with the standard query ” And how are you today ?”
The man replied ” I was fine ….. until you called.”
P.S I asked my son whether that was the end of the conversation. He said that they had been trained not to give up easily so he just said ” Sorry to hear that” and continued on from there. No, he did not make a sale ; that would have been a miracle.