Unemployment Nine: What part of ‘unemployed’ don’t you understand?

I just ended an exceptionally annoying phone call, which says a lot because the list of annoying phone calls has been pretty long this week.



I never answer the phone if I don’t recognize the number on caller ID, especially if it just says “out of area.” But since being laid off, I’ve missed a couple of job-related phone calls because of that screening, so I decided to temporarily answer every call. What a mistake.

It was a fund-raising call. I won’t name the organization because I have quite a lot of respect for it and, under normal (employed) circumstances, would have gladly donated something. I sympathize with phone solicitors because I know they’re just doing their jobs and they’re likely under significant pressure.

But despite being told on several occasions that I’m unemployed and don’t have any money to spare right now, this person simply refused to let up. As I said, I respect the organization, so I really, really tried to curb my temper, and I asked them to mail or e-mail information, promising to follow up once I’m hired somewhere.

Patience only lasts so long, though. After about the seventh time of hearing the exact same pitch, I finally said, “Look, I’m unemployed. I have no extra money right now. Which part of unemployed don’t you understand? I have to go now.”

I don’t like hanging up on people, but this was necessary. Again, I realize that being persistent is part of this person’s job, but unemployed means unemployed and no means no. I’m seriously considering screening my calls again, which is a shame.

4 comments on “Unemployment Nine: What part of ‘unemployed’ don’t you understand?

  1. I totally understand where you are coming from here. You are unemployed and simply don’t have the money right now, which is a situation so many people are finding themselves in these days. I think that charities have been hit hard by this recession as well, because people feel that they have nothing extra to spare so they are not donating as much as before, and this is probably causing some of these charities to push more and make a harder sell, which is what you recieved on that phone call. It doesn’t justify their behavior, but it is something to consider.

  2. Aims says:

    Screw that. Seriously. I would call the “home office” and complain and alert them that they need to revise their call script and trainings to include the fact that if a person says, “I’m unemployed”, that the caller should say, “I’m sorry to hear that. Perhaps I can send you some information so that when you are in a position to donate, you might consider it?” RUDE.

  3. Michael says:

    Nah. Its just extra aggravating to receive a request for money when you are not in a position to give, which cycles you back emotionally to not being in a position to give. As you said, the telemarketer was just doing their job. I’m unemployed and I continue to donate as much as I can. This too shall pass!

  4. […] room temperature and at least minimal social skills, I despise telemarketers. I blogged about a particularly irritating run-in with one of them in December. And while the National Do-Not-Call Registry has been somewhat […]

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