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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dear Santa: All I Want For Christmas Is a Telemarketer on a Stick

For Christmas, some people want a Wii, or a diamond, or maybe even a Major Award Leg Lamp (no really, they sell them). Me, after the past few weeks, I think I would like a telemarketer to come over with a big red ribbon on her head so I can tell her to @#%! (insert Clark Griswald rant here).

Okay, I’m not really that violent. Actually I’m pretty much a wuss. I think the last person I told off was probably in middle school. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have fantasies about telling these “market research” people who incessantly call my house while I’m working exactly how to shove their headsets up that holiday turkey’s behind. (Nice image, right?)

For starters, I’m on the National Do Not Call List, which I’m sure in 2008 looks a little something like this:


So to avoid being snagged when I ask who’s interrupting my workday, these tricky telemarketers say, “Jessica” or “Bob.” As if they think I can’t hear the other telemarketers in the background, and they can pretend to be some long lost friend calling to chat about Robert Pattinson in Twilight.

So, I ask, “Jessica from where?” And every day, without fail, the response is “MPI.” Well, I did my research. And since I have a blog, I thought I’d spread the word about this wonderful organization who’s so dedicated to repeatedly calling my house. I mean really, I’m doing them a favor, right? I’m giving them exposure.

So here it is: MPI stands for Marketing Plus Inc. They call on behalf of various companies so they can do the annoying solicitations for them. And despite how many times I’ve asked to be removed from their list, it seems to translate into “call me when I’m writing.” And apparently when I tell them that I’m on the “Do Not Call List” that means “Call me tomorrow.”

So I made an official complaint with the FCC. I also sent MPI a direct complaint via email. Because, you know, my mom taught me right. I try to follow the chain of command and complain in the proper manner. But you know what I’d really like to do?

I’d like to get “Jessica’s” home phone number. And I’d like to call Jessica during the Dancing with the Stars finale and tell her all about my day. I’ll chat with her about the troubles of writing dialogue in a British accent. I’ll go on and on about the many different ways to write “walk” (stroll, saunter, strut, swagger, meander, race, speed, wander…).

I’m sure she’d love to hear about internal monologue and colloquialism. And if she doesn’t? That’s okay. I’ll call her back tomorrow. And the next night. And then maybe at around 3am, just for kicks. It’s the beauty of not having to get up any particular hour (dontcha love working from home?).

In all seriousness, I know it’s not Jessica’s fault. Jessica probably hates her job. She’s probably counting the minutes until she gets to go home. But my problem with Jessica is not her lot in life, it’s her inability to follow through with a request. When I was in college, I used to call alumni and ask them for donations (yay, BU’s Telefund!). But at least those alumni went to my school; they had a reason to be on the list. And if, for whatever reason, they asked to be removed. I did it. And that’s all I’m asking from Jessica in return.

Because if this poor girl doesn’t remove me soon, I’ll find a way to include an evil corporation in my next book with the name MPI. I might even add a horrible incident with a lightening bolt and a telephone cord. Because, thankfully, that is my job.

POP CULTURE RANT: Oprah

I love how Brad and Jen were on Oprah within weeks of each other, and how Oprah acted like this were not the case. “So you seem really happy, Jen!” “Oh, Oprah, I am!” “Brad, I’ve never seen your happier.” “Absolutely, Oprah!” Wouldn’t it have made for better TV if she asked Brad about the interview Jen gave Vogue where she complains about Angelina’s remarks being “uncool”? And wouldn’t we have loved to have heard Jen’s reasons for making such comments? I mean, if Oprah’s going to claim she’s giving interviews, I think she should at least ask celebs a few real questions rather than just gushing about how every film they make is the best movie ever.

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