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Cold Calls

2010 May 7
by Bill

Have you had the delightful experience of being called by one of those “boiler rooms” in New York City? They call and ask for you, or someone in your office, by first name. When you ask who is calling they give their first name as if it were an old friend. When pressed they say they had recently talked to (whomever) and just want to get some information, or follow up, on a great investment. When pressed again they just get even more pushy and talk even faster. Who does that?

Perhaps its their arrogant attitude, perhaps their hard NY accent, but I find them rude and intrusive. Perhaps that’s just me. I spent 20 years living amongst them. I learned to eat their foods, speak their language and court their women. I consider it my time spent behind enemy lines. I couldn’t wait to get back below the Mason-Dixon Line and happily did so over thirty years ago.

Even through we are on the “do not call list” one of them called again today. He was over the top. Now I know that jobs are hard to come by, especially in that market and in that industry. After all, who would want to deal with a city that elected Michael Bloomberg and Chuck Shumer, an industry that spawned Bernie Madhoff, or caused the market to drop over 1,000 points on the 6th of May because someone’s sausage-like fingers hit a B instead of an M…I’m just sayin’.

He started out with the “Hey, is Bill there?” When pressed for which one (we have two presently) he gave the last name, mispronounced of course, (again, we have two) and acted as though he was an old acquaintance. If this was the first time I would have just played with him, but This week I had two large hunks of me removed from my left leg and my wife has me on a diet which I find extremely extreme. These issues have ruined my usual good sense of humor and congeniality, so I gave him a verbal spanking suggesting that he remember that he was not calling NY but rather a more gentile SC, and that we introduce ourselves down here before asking, politely, for the call-ee. I also encouraged him to call his mother and get some instruction on phone manners. Then I hung up.

A moment later the phone rang again. It was his boss challenging me for being rude to one of his employees! I laughed and was still laughing when I hung up on him as well. I think they call that chutzpah in his neighborhood. We have another name for it down here.

Undaunted, they called yet again. The other Bill took the call. He is much more clever than I. He simply planted seeds of doubt in the callers mind about his future in that domed industry which he currently calls home…then he hung up.

Ah, the leaf falls not far from the tree.

2 Responses leave one →
  1. May 7, 2010

    OK….way too clever, Bill….one day I hope to have your huts pah! 🙂

  2. May 7, 2010

    I still say you should’ve let me take that call…

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