How to be liked when you’re a telemarketer

how to be liked

This one’s supposed to be a phone

Today’s a rainy day. And like all rainy days, it’s the perfect day to quit that job you hate. At least, that’s what I did.

I started earlier this week. Went through two days of decent training and then, they brought us to the “grown-ups room” to have a little talk. The boss presented us, “the newbies” and went on a 45 minute rant on how to sell more of whatever it is we were selling. And then, he said : “Of course, you’re going to sound like a fag when you’re on the phone…”. Someone went “A what?” . From that moment on , I knew two things :

 

1. I had to stay for a few days, just because this was an opportunity to work at a place that would feel like a hardcore version of  “The Office”

2. I had to quit as soon as I could, just because I already hated it.

This being said, I’d like to share with you some of the impressions that this job gave me. Keep in mind that I met some really cool people there and that being a telemarketer isn’t as bad as it sound. It’s really not as boring as it might seem, it actually keeps you pretty occupied and hours go by really fast. There are some perks here and there to keep you motivated and so on. Still, there are some reasons why I couldn’t do it for more than a week.In a very serious and unbiased fashion, I’d like to share with you my experience as a telemarketer. I’d like to give you some insight, just so you know what you’re dealing with if you ever get a call from someone trying to sell you anything.

First of all, and this is a very obvious thing : telemarketers know what they’re doing. They’re people. They know they’re doing that job that no one likes, but for the most part, this is just an easy and transitional job. They do not want to do this the rest of their life. Also, most of the time they’re actually looking to give you a good deal, but, when they can’t, they are still obligated to insist  and try to sell you something. They hate it, but that’s how it is.

For instance, on my first day I sold a 60$ cellphone plan to a 62 year old man. This plan included data, so he could browse the Internet and all that good stuff. Of course, the poor man barely knew what the Internet was, but he got it because it seemed like a pretty sweet deal. I also tried to sell (I did not succeed) a very affordable plan to a person that had some very bad financial problems : this time I was actually trying to make her save some money. As you can see, I found myself in two different situations : in one I ripped someone off and on the other I didn’t manage to help them out. And this is how working there felt most of the time : when you can, you try to help people, but when you can’t, you have to rip the off, because that’s your job. The boss even said “Guys, stop being emotional. And, who the hell are you to care about these people? The government rips us off all the time!” (This is really what he said, I’m not making this up).  At the moment, I thought : “That’s not an argument. Why would I want to participate in that movement? I’d like to do good, not bad just because someone else does that“. But if you want your commission and the money, I guess you gotta do what you’re asked to. That’s your job.

Still, the telemarketers themselves are pretty good people, believe it or not. They’re just stuck into this bigger machine that tells them : this is what I pay you for and this is what I want you to do. Read the script. Do your lines. Sell the promotion. Close the deal and get your money. Again : if they can help you, they will. If they can’t, they have to try and sell you something. I’m sure I had more to say about this, but that’s all I could think of for now. If something comes up, I’ll make a new blogpost.

I won’t do the usual ” life lesson, actual advice and protip” thing. Instead, I’ll give you a list of things that will help you next time a telemarketer calls you.

  • If you’re not interested, say “Please, do not call me again” or “Do not solicit” . They will take you off the list.
  • If they’re offering you a more expensive plan while yours seems better, no matter what they say, always refuse.
  • They do have some interesting promotions that will make you save money. You just have to take your time and make sure you’re getting what you want. Make sure you understand the conditions.
  • Telemarketers are told not to care about emotion and ripping-off their clients. Keep that in mind.
  • When you try to troll a telemarketer, you’re not wasting his time. You’re wasting yours. The guy is being paid either way. You’re actually making him work less, which he might like (I know I did!)
  • They’re humans. Really. It might seem otherwise, but they really are and they’re just there to gain some money and get out. If you’re not interested, tell them as soon as you can.

 

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How to be liked when you’re creative

paper.

I was looking for a subject. I had a draft about Arizona Iced tea, but I just couldn’t go on. I had a few jokes here and there, but it just wasn’t good enough. Then I thought about writing a post about writing a post. But that’s what I’ve always done. In a way, it’s always about that.

I’m on Gmail, my friend starts sending me videos that he likes on the subject of creativity. Coincidence.  I do the same. And I realize : everything I’ve read about creativity has touched me in a very profound way, but it has never changed anything about me. It has never made me more creative. I never learned any methods or ways to be creative. The only advice I’ve heard that really had an effect on me was “Just do. Make stuff”. That might be partly why I started this blog : to just do. To be creative. To write my thoughts and let them flow.

But today I can’t do that. I’m not inspired.

Actual advice : Just do. Make stuff.

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1-800-BE-LIKED

image

Note : I’m writing this on an almost-destroyed computer. The .gif will come later.

Snuggie, Slap-Chop, Shamwow, BowFlex, Extenze, Shake Weight, you name it.  There is no doubt in my mind : informercials have become a landmark of the Internet culture. No, actually, scratch that. Culture itself.  Some advertising salesman have even reached cult status (Billy Mays, the Shamwow guy, etc).  People love them, there’s memes of them, Youtube Poops and Remixes and so on. But this is not about them : these guys KNOW how to be liked. How to be liked and how to SELL.

To be honest, the kind of informercials I like the most are those in which people (actors) talk (act) about something (a product), casually (while trying to sell it). I love the writing, the delivery, the aesthetics, everything. When it comes to culture and media, I consider myself as someone who has high standards, but I just have this deep love for this type of informercial. They’re not even under my “guilty pleasure” category. I legitimately love them.

Take the Magic Bullet one, for example. A family and some friends gather around the kitchen. They’re preparing dinner or something and someone takes out the Magic Bullet. “What is that”, they ask. What ensues is an hour long argument about the product. The old-fashioned grandma is against it. This Magic Bullet isn’t a proper tool for cooking. She is proved wrong. This funny fat guy, food expert is also in disbelief.  “Is this Magic Bullet thingy going to reach my high standards? I mean, I’m a fat guy, I know everything there is to know about food!”. He is delighted by some filthy looking Nacho toppings.

An hour long epic, with twists, deep character development and an end where everyone is sure about one thing : The magic that emanates from the Magic Bullet.

I found myself watching the whole informercial when they were showing it on TV. And then, again, on Youtube. It’s an hour long. Even more, I don’t remember. But this was genius. It was funny, engaging and borderline ridiculous, but just enough to keep you watching.

Who makes these informercials? I don’t know any informercial director or writer that has come out of the closet. I even requested an AMA on reddit (/r/wheredidthesodago and /r/IAmA) and a lot of people seemed interested. Sadly, no informercial director ever responded. People want to know how they’re made. Who makes them and how conscious are they about what they’re doing. How do they come up with all the ridiculous dialogue. How do they go about making them. There are literally a thousand questions that need to be answered. Maybe some day we’ll know. Maybe some day.

Life Lesson :  Even in 2013, some mysteries haven’t been solved. That’s why I’m here.

Actual advice : If someone knows an informercial director, please, please get him to do an AMA on Reddit. Pleaaaaaase. We need it.

Protip : Go to Youtube, right know. Type in “Magic Bullet”. Watch the whole thing. Thank me later.

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How to be liked when you’re a .gif

howtobeliked

Life Lesson :  Read the .gif.

Actual advice : I was lazy.  I thought : “Instead of making some long post, I’ll just make a text .gif.” Bad idea. It took longer. It was harder. I should’ve made this post on April 1st. That would’ve been clever. Right?

Protip : It’s pronounced like “jif”. Also, click on the animation to learn about what inspired this post.

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How to be liked when you laugh alone

moustache

Another post in which I get all snobby

I like funny things and I like to laugh. I think, and this is just a hypothesis, that everyone likes to laugh. I know, I’m being risqué – hey, that’s what I’m all about!. Also, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like to laugh.

I could end the post there and call it a day, but the truth is I’ve given this a lot of though and I had to share it :

  • Things can be funny, even though I may not find them funny (it’s often the case).
  •  Things can be funny, and I might think they’re funny, but I might not laugh (it’s often the case).
  •  Things can be unfunny, and I might think they’re funny, and I might laugh out loud (it’s often the case).
  • This can be funny and I might laugh (happens rarely).
  •  Things can be unfunny, I might think they’re unfunny. Everybody is happy!

For example, stand-up. I laugh very rarely at stand-up. George Carlin or Louis C.K., two of the best american comedians of all time are genius to me, really funny, but they don’t make me laugh. We tend to put comedy and the act of laughing together, but they’re two different things. Of course they’re related but still they’re not required. You can laugh in drama just like you can cry during a comedy.

Not everyone agrees with this. For instance, even some dictionaries put comedy and laugh together:

First definition :

Noun
Professional entertainment consisting of jokes and satirical sketches, intended to make an audience laugh.
A movie, play, or broadcast program intended to make an audience laugh.

This kind of definition puts me in very awkward situations every single day. People show me things that are funny and they expect me to laugh. I don’t. They think I’m doing it on purpose. I get mad. I write about it on my blog.

Here’s a second definition. I like it a lot more. Not only because it says exactly what I’m trying to say, but also because… Nah, that’s the only reason, really :

a. A dramatic work that is light and often humorous or satirical in tone and that usually contains a happy resolution of the thematic conflict.
b. The genre made up of such works.
2. A literary or cinematic work of a comic nature or that uses the themes or methods of comedy.
3. Popular entertainment composed of jokes, satire, or humorous performance.
4. The art of composing or performing comedy.
5. A humorous element of life or literature: the human comedy of political campaigns.
6. A humorous occurrence.
As you see, to me, comedy is all about tone.  And it has to say something. If it’s cheap laughs, just for the mere act of laughing, I tend to dislike it. Comedy has to mean something. Then again, I have this need to find meaning in everything.
To end this post in a good note, let me share with you some things I think are funny and that you might enjoy.
Andy Erikson :
Jon Dore :
Podcasts :
Stop podcasting yourself (Vancouver based podcast. Many interesting guests).
My Brother, my brother and me (An advice show for the modern era. It’s like this blog, but with actual advice and actual comedy)

Life Lesson : Talking comedy in a serious way is a very easy way to get tagged as a boring person. 

ACTUAL ADVICE : Laughing is good. Thinking is not so bad either.

PROTIP :  Visit Andy Erikson’s Youtube channel. She is worth it. I am not affiliated with her, I just enjoy her videos.

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How to be liked and then, found.

google

Some company’s logo

Enough with the meta-posts, already! I’ll go back to my usual ranting as babbling after this one, don’t worry. Before I do so, let me share some thoughts I had after seeing how people get to this blog.

keywords

Actual top keywords for How to be liked by everyone.

As I mentioned on my last post, I am obsessed with this blog’s stats, followers, likes, comments and all those

things. What I didn’t mention are the keywords by which people find this blog. Keywords or requests that visitors type on various search engines (Google and Bing are those that work the better for this blog). Most of them are actual blog titles in question form (how to be liked by kids?), or some variation on a post title (how to be liked at your workplace instead of how to be liked by your co-workers). Others are just part of the posts content (dropped out of space camp, house.gif, proof the world is ending, etc.). Some of them are non-sense (but I also expected that). All in all, just normal keywords and requests. The most popular one, however, is one I didn’t quite expect.

How to be liked is the most popular request by which people find this blog.  How – to – be – liked. Let me get serious for a moment here.

I shouldn’t be surprised, since it’s pretty close to the blog’s title, but I am. I am, not because of the keywords themselves, but because of the meaning of it. I imagine some guy – or girl – on his computer, typing these four words on Google.  He is asking the Internet, the biggest source of information mankind has known “How can I get people to like me?”, “How can I be liked?”.  There is actual people out there finding this blog while they’re desperately looking for a solution that is haunting them. I would expect people to ask themselves “Why don’t people like me?”. I would not expect them to Google it. This is not something I thought would happen when I came up with this blog title. I also never thought people who would need actual advice would find this personal, silly and not very useful blog. But I already talked about this on some other blog post, right?

Life Lesson : secret codes headphones? how to be liked my every one? What?

ACTUAL ADVICE :If you found this blog because you want to know how to be liked, let me give you an answer : There is no actual way, no solution, no guaranteed method. None at all. The good thing is you’re looking for a solution. You want to be liked.

PROTIP : Some existential questions cannot be answered by Google. Try Yahoo.

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How to be liked when you’re a snob

moustache

fig.1 : «Le snob»

« Le snobisme consiste à pouvoir se placer toujours dans les endroits où les autres n’ont pas accès. »
- Salvador Dali, Journal d’un génie.

Pardon my French, but I had no choice. Truth be told, one cannot simply introduce the subject of snobbery without using an obscure quote in French – or Latin. I didn’t go too far to find this one, though. I mean, everyone knows Salvador Dali. What? You don’t know Dali? What an unsophisticated little being you are. Quite amusing!  Ugh… for realz though, if you don’t know who Dali is, Google image the guy. He has some sick paintings with melting clocks. Pretty cool stuff. Kinda trippy though. (I can’t do the snob or the hip youngster, let me go back to my normal self from now on).

I think snob is a pretty common word. You might have an idea of what it means, but you might not use it that much. We usually relate it to being pretentious or pompous.  Just in case, here’s a definition :

snob : 

1.  A person with an exaggerated respect for high social position who dislikes people or activities regarded as lower-class.

2. A person who believes that their tastes in a particular area are superior to those of other people: “a wine snob”.

I am not writing these lines to defend snobs. I am writing them to defend those who are mislabeled as so, just because they have an appreciation of culture that goes beyond mass-media or the mainstream. People who like classical music, jazz, foreign cinema or contemporary art. They’re posers, right?

I remember growing up, liking some filmmakers that aren’t very well known by everyone. For example, I was obsessed by François Truffaut when I was 16. Les 400 coups (The 400 blows)  blew my mind at the time when I first saw it and I couldn’t wait to share it with my friends, and so I did. They thought this french “thing” - they didn’t think it deserved to be called a movie – was the most boring film they’ve ever seen. Not only that, they accused me of making up my appreciation of this movie just to make myself seem “distinguished”. What they did not understand, is that the film touched me profoundly, and while I didn’t quite understand the aesthetically value of it back in the day, I was interested by the story, the subject and I felt like the main character was just like me. Obviously, this wasn’t true, because I, for one, wasn’t a rebel, and I never had any problems with my parents. Maybe, there was something more profound, common in all teenagers, that Truffaut managed to make me feel in his telling of Antoine’s Doinel adventures.

What I’m trying to get at is that, it is quite easy to disregard a cultural object – a work of art of any kind – just because we do not appreciate it. This does not make it bad and, in most cases, we do not appreciate what we see simply because we do not understand it. And this lack of understanding comes from the fact that we’re always being exposed to the same stories and the same approaches.

I am glad I stumbled upon this movie while I was still a teenager. It opened me to a world of not only movies, but culture and art that has made my life better. Each work of art is just like an encounter with a new friend. With it comes joy, questions, answers and even more abstract experiences that I cannot quite describe. Re-watching Les 400 coups, almost 10 years later, is just like revisiting an old friend.  There was no snobbery in any of our encounters, just pure curiosity.

Life Lesson :  French New Wave films can make you a snob to the point where you won’t even realize it anymore. BEWARE.

Actual Advice : Honestly, I would rather be a snob than fall into mediocrity and ignorance. Taking a static, inactive stand while showing a complete lack of curiosity is simply a behavior that I cannot quite grasp. Liking exclusively what we’re constantly exposed to mass-media narrows our appreciation of culture just because we don’t know better.

PROTIP : Go out of your comfort zone, just once. Go somewhere you don’t know, rent some movie with a weird title, listen to some music genre you’ve never heard of before. You might not like what you get at first, try again, until you make that special encounter.

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How to be liked by everyone when you’re in a room you are an experiment.

voice

This is what sound looks like.

This is an experiment.*

I am NOT typing. I am speaking into my cell phone and the voice recognition software transforms what I say into text. That explains why the title is so strange. Maybe I miss pronounce the word. maybe I miss pronounce a word and that’s why the title doesn’t make any sense.  Also that’s why you just read I miss pronounce the word twice. What I meant to say was “I miss pronounced the word”… or whatever. I will leave everything as is. I will only add punctuation and  paragraphs so it’s easier to read.

As you can see the voice recognition software is pretty accurate. It makes some mistakes but nothing that I can’t edit or correct later on. This is the perfect feature for someone as lazy as me. The advice I could give you this time is to try it. You’ll see how fast you’ll write your blog posts.

Now, let me tell you about something that doesn’t have anything to do with  the voice recognition software, to see how it goes.

I just woke up after a very bad nightmare. I was in the bathroom and I looked in the mirror I saw a ghost that looked just like me. I started running towards my room when I heard a voice just like in a trailer for a movie saying “this is Al in movie title ( which I don’t remember anymore). Then I woke up in my nightmare yelling, and then, I woke up in real life. I’ve been having nightmares lately but that’s another story. 

This was an experiment.

Life Lesson : Technology makes everything easier. Use it, as long as you can live with strange post titles.

Actual Advice : For an experiment, it didn’t go so bad. I had to edit here and there, capitalize words and everything, but it makes it easier to follow a train of thought. Might use it again.

PROTIP : When speaking, make sure you sound like a robot. That’s the only way to get your cellphone to understand what you’re saying.

* Everything I said from “This is an experiment” to “This was an experiment” was not directly typed. I used my new cellphone, a Galaxy S II X and its voice recognition software.

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How to be liked by oddballs

pizzacrust

Pizza, right before someone eats it.

If you haven’t figured by now, I’m obsessed by odd people. I like ‘em quirky, strange, awkward… you name it. There’s proof of it here, and here. I might go as far as to say some of this might hint that I’m one of them, but… who knows, right? I’m just text to you. Normal, normal text.

Anyhow, there is something about odd people that I find endearing. You look at them from afar, because you know, it’s almost criminal to get close to them. They’re so weird, you don’t want to be seen with them.

At work – yes, work, again – before I started my shift, I saw one of these oddballs hanging out in the cafeteria. While I was waiting for my shift to start, I was hanging around the water cooler when I heard him say:

- “Is this anyone’s pizza crust?”

No one answered. We just ignored him, because, you know, he’s so weird. We might get sick or something if we speak to him, right?

I thought he asked that question just to make sure he could throw it away and sit at the place, but no, that’s not why he asked. He proceeded to eat it. I remember containing my laughter, leaving the cafeteria and just exploding. I couldn’t stop. I was literally crying. At the moment, it seemed so funny. In a way, it still is. Odd and kind of strange, but I just didn’t know back then why he did that. The guy has Aspergers. He just doesn’t get some of the social rules we abide by. I don’t feel bad for laughing. I do feel bad for judging him. No lesson here, odd people can be funny and you can laugh. Just be respectful, maybe?

I’m not here to give a lesson about bullying or anything like that. I might be one of the worst people for that. I mean, #bullying is not even trending anymore, right? That’s not the subject here. It’s just a personal piece on this experience, which is odd and funny, but also I think is serious subject matter.

While I was writing this, I remembered this guy from high school. Everyone would call him Zombie and that nickname is the only thing I’ve ever heard anyone say to him. I don’t remember how I became friends with him, but I eventually did. He liked good movies and great music. We liked some of the same artists and we ended up going to concerts and films  from artists that no one knew or wanted to know while we were in high school. I don’t know why, but after high school we never spoke again. Not because he was weird, or because I was. Not because we got in a fight or anything. No particular reason, actually. We just went our own way and we haven’t talked since then. Actually, we spoke once when Radiohead released King of Limbs. We talked about how shitty the album was( and is… sorry). That was about it. Huh, pretty cool guy actually.

Life Lesson :  Unlike movies, there isn’t an Act III, where the tension or conflict usually gets resolved magically without the characters actually taking genuine risks. In real life, people don’t miraculously learn and become friends. There is no magic. Just be nice. It might be awkward, but you won’t die from it.

Actual Advice : That’s actual advice, no? Uhm… okay. You might have more in common than you think with someone that you consider weird. How’s that?

PROTIP :  Don’t eat pizza crusts that belong to someone you don’t know.

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