LOS ANGELES —If you ever worked as a telemarketer, and if you are not an assertive individual, you are the bravest employee at your company.
This calls for a lot of admiration on the part of your fellow work mates”¦along with a lot of expectations.
“Go for it, ask him!” they say, pushing you towards the boss as he heads for his office.
“But —ask him what?” you ask, as your peers push you towards Mr. Rogers, nearly knocking both you and him over.
“What? What do you want?” Mr. Rogers asks, scowling at you.
“I…just wanted to ask you if you’d like a cup of coffee. And, to tell you that you have a very lovely tie”¦and,” you add, as somebody camel-kicks you, “to tell you that I have a proposition to offer, which I will be happy to put in writing.”
“Hmmmm”¦.” he says, “I always hated this tie”¦but leave it in my memo box and I’ll look over it later.”
He goes into his office, not before giving you a quizzical look, because he already has a cup of coffee, which he had spilled onto the front of his shirt after your enthusiastic colleagues pushed you towards him. Your co-workers now mutter of Mr. Rogers, “If he hates that tie, why does he insist on wearing it?” You all surmise that it must have been a wedding anniversary gift from his wife, so he probably feels obligated to make a fool of himself. You all have a good giggle at this. Mr. Rogers then pokes his head out the door of his office, and you all race back to your cubicles.
So later you work on the memorandum, which proposes better services that you think will benefit your work mates, and, ultimately, the entire company.
“What I am getting myself into?” you think. “Oh well, live dangerously”¦”
“Dear Mr. Rogers:
Isn’t it a beautiful day in the neighborhood? All frivolities aside, this memorandum presents a request for transportation services that we employees at “Annoyin’ Telemarketin’ Services” may avail ourselves of should you grant our request for funding and assistance.
How Will Annoyin’ Telemarketin’ Benefit?
I understand what you may be thinking. My proposition may appear overwhelming, and dare I say —annoying —at best. However, I assure you that the investment will be well worth it, once you observe the benefits it will create for your employees, thereby the entire firm. Although there may be out-of-pocket costs to you that may seem burdensome at this time, you will see how the new service will benefit everyone in the long run as you begin to note the rise in productivity among ‘Annoyin’ Telemarketin’ staff, less sick days, better rapport between “A.T.” and other firms, and —ultimately —higher paychecks for you.
Our committee is dedicated to providing seniors, the disabled, the disadvantaged, as well as former felons with better transportation services to enhance work performance here at ‘Annoyin.’ Having limited funding can place an immense hardship on such individuals who want to work and yet find their abilities hampered by the lack of advantages that employees without their difficulties may tend to take for granted. In this respect, funding would provide a shuttle for ‘A.T.’s’ employees, along with transportation vouchers for taxis and buses.
What Will Be Our Program Criteria?
My teammates and I have agreed to set up a contract between a representative of the city’s transportation system and our program manager, (yourself), to pay a portion of transportation costs for senior, disabled, disadvantaged, and former felons employed at ‘Traumatizin’ ‘
‘Annoyin’ Telemarketin’. You will agree to pay 50 percent of the employee’s traveling expenses; the transportation firm will pay the other 50 percent.
In the case that the often already unreliable public transportation company decides without warning to go on strike, we have already spoken to the Purple Polka Dots Taxi Cab, Inc. with a representative who has also set up a tentative, (and very reluctant), contract with our firm to pay 50 percent of traveling expenses for our transportation funding while agreeing to collect the remaining 50 percent from you.
So Are You Excited?
Well…maybe not. But we hope you will agree that our new cause will improve our work productivity here at ‘A.T.’, and we thank you for allowing us to discuss our purposes with you.”
The next day, after you sign this proposition and send it off, you send an e-mail to one of your work colleagues:
“I am speaking with my traveling agent to request an itinerary that will require me to work outside of the ‘Annoyin’ T’ for the next three weeks. While the rest of the committee is rallying together to strike up a deal with the boss to get him to pay for part of our bus and train fare, I feel it will be necessary for me to continue in my telemarketing position elsewhere until the heat dies down. After all, I am the instigator of the whole thing, and whereas I should have kept my big fat mouth shut, I approached our manager with this idiotic deal, and now I will need your assistance in conducting business outside of the firm temporarily.
I am planning to spend two weeks in Tahiti under the guise of going on paid leave to establish some rapport with a correlating telemarketing firm. There, I plan to alternate between proceeding with my telephonic sales duties, while taking advantage of the luxuries offered at the Excelsior Hotel, where I will indulge in deep tissue massage, mud spa baths and dives in the hotel’s trademark swimming pool.
Please don’t tell the boss about my cowardly getaway. I’ve had to shake several of my colleagues off my legs in order to get here, and I am sure that he agrees that my attempt to advocate for senior, disadvantaged, disabled, and former felon employees is a pipe dream.”
The next week, you send the following memo to your secretary.
“Thank you for sending the request to the boss to have this proposition fulfilled. I can understand why Mr. Rogers would be perplexed at my request to provide this new service to disadvantaged, disabled, seniors, and felons at this job, especially when this telemarketing service consists ONLY of disadvantaged, disabled, seniors, and felons, (such jobs are starting points for those who have been dealt rough breaks such as we). I also would understand why when I mentioned the Purple Polka Pots Taxi he would wonder if I was drinking, or what I was on at the moment, for such a company does not exist.
I also empathize fully with why the boss would request that I take a few weeks off, because I quite apparently have not been getting enough sleep. He also understandably wonders why a sniveling, passive little wimp such as myself didn’t speak up a long time ago, and can’t understand why I would be so hesitant as to request better transportation services for individuals who obviously need it.
I am very much embarrassed and will be returning from Tahiti by the following week.
I also suspect it would be too late to tell the boss what I have been up to, for he already knows.”
Maybe you dreamed all this, who knows, but remember, if you can survive a telemarketing job, you can survive anything”¦now make your dream a reality!