Saturday, October 1, 2011

Undercover as a "Telemarketer" & How Adults Acting Like Children Ruin Things For Everyone Else

Just finished a 5 month gig doing follow up marketing calls for law firms that I thought was going to last about 1 month. Guess that tells you someone liked me or my work, huh? I think I was the last person working on the list & still shocked I lasted as long as I did. If those private student loan pricks could be bothered to get with modern times or negotiate with folk instead of wasting money, we'd all be better off.

But aside from that, I vowed after finishing that job that I was going to take a hiatus since it seems jobs like that aren't coming up so much. Very little also fits into my personal situation or background + I've got that list of tasks to perform. I've gotten maybe 1 or 2 done right now but had to add more like getting something that will allow me to create vlogs, which will be linked here (don't worry, it's just more in-person ranting by moi).

The interesting thing about the job I was doing is that it called for someone with an acting background. Since I had both acting and telephone interviewing experience, I made my case to be considered. Guess I was that good & my being an attorney actually helped for once since I started on it pretty quickly. I also got paid promptly & had my travel covered. Even having a laptop helped even though I learned that it's heavy to lug one around.

So, some highlights from my calling law firms:

1. Be selective in your hold music. The best ones are classical or jazz in my book. They seem to be less intrusive, disturbing and annoying (especially if you're on hold for a while). Though one place was cool considering they left me on hold so long I got caught up in listening to "Brick House" by The Commodores. Using The Commodores' greatest hits as hold music? Interesting concept, you have to admit.

The problem in that place though, is the person I was talking to was utterly incompetent. I asked to speak to an individual (who received the company's letter) and it seemed that was far too much to ask.

2. Google Voice is a good product, as long as the reception holds. I like the not having to use my own telephone # aspect of it all. The only downside was when people had fuzz on the line or said they couldn't hear me. That got frustrating at times.

3. I'm shocked to say this but some of the big firm lawyers behaved like human beings. More than I've personally encountered as an attorney, in fact. Interesting that some of these people were more congenial and nicer to me when they thought I was simply a solicitor than they'd probably be if they knew I was an attorney. Reading comments on ABA stories will also give you a very low opinion of attorneys as a group.

I really didn't have to tell many people I was an attorney. I usually did it if someone told me they were busy to establish commonality or with one person, when the attorney actually researched me & found out on his own. I was astounded, though not completely shocked. I wrote the guy explaining my situation and that I can't exactly have my company & go work in some law firm while maintaining that status quo.

If you wish to debate me on that one, then offer me a job paying a suitable wage to cover loan repayment with no restrictions on my company ownership, online persona or any creative work. Otherwise, keep your mouth shut since if you can't get me such a job it's obvious that I'm right.

4. Just like in the entertainment field, you never know just who you're speaking to. For those of you who were rude to me during this job, I've got your profiles bookmarked as people & law firms I'll be avoiding + telling others to avoid. One of these assholes was an entertainment attorney dealing with theater matters. She was a total bitch to me & accused me of being a robot. Believe me, I will mention it if I ever meet her or she deigns to speak to me. I'll also make sure any creative person I know doesn't work with her.

It's my opinion that if you're a bitch/bastard to me (especially if you think I'm some "telemarketer"), then you're a bitch/bastard to everyone. It's the exact same thing in my book as going on a date with someone & being rude to the server: it's a warning sign to stay away from that person. Plus, if you're paying that type of attorney you are implicitly co-opting the behavior. I'll also promise you that such an attorney will never give you prompt follow up, be as prepared in court as (s)he should be & generally further the negative stereotypes of attorneys. In other words, if you want someone who's going to be a good advocate, that person needs to be respectful of you: your desires, viewpoints, what you want to accomplish. If you don't have that, it doesn't matter where the person went to law school. A prick is a prick is a prick.

One person who got in my face during this job & apparently ascribed me to some other person who'd called her even had her LinkedIn profile come up in my "People You May Know" list. It made me wish LinkedIn had a rejection button that listed the following as a reason not to show the profile: This person was an asshole to me & it will be a cold day in Hell before I do anything to benefit him/her. Or even something like: I wouldn't pee on this person if (s)he was on fire.

There's a polite way to decline something & there's being a prick. Generally, there weren't as many pricks as you might think but hanging up on me, getting attitude with me, etc. is going to get you on my shit list pretty quickly.

5. Most law firm secretaries/paralegals are helpful, decent folk. Let them help you. I'm generally nice to these people since I did that job before. The ones who are assholes may want to consider how people are viewing their boss (Guess what? It's not a good impression at all).

6. Great inspiration & material comes from this shroud of mystery in your affairs. Not to mention the fun in deceiving jerkwads only to make them look stupid at some future date. At least, I like this shroud of mystery since it keeps me grounded.

The people who hired me on this knew how to handle a freelancer with a lot of education & experiences properly. Chiefly, by:

1. Paying on time and with a set schedule
2. Not engaging in micromanagement
3. Treating me as an equal, not a slave
4. Not putting pressure on me to get a "yes"

These kinds of things make working a joy & the immaturity you see in the average corporate workplace is a huge reason I have no motivation to bother with it. Sadly, I don't say this at 50 or 60. I'm not even near 40 & I'm that jaded.

These are not hard things to do or unreasonable demands. Why is it that most workplaces don't get that? Oh, yeah because they are filled with douchebags like the guy who wouldn't refill the milk in the fridge despite the fact that the CEO was paying for it. I'm with the CEO on this one: how can people expect to be treated like adults when they want to act like little kids at work? I'd fire you as well or come up with some of the creative punishments other people suggested. How about you?

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