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» Professions I Hate

Telemarketers Beware
I hate telemarketers with a passion, and in our industry we get a lot of calls from outsourced indian companies trying to make meetings, or dodgy aussie companies trying to sell us seminars which lumaries of the business world have remarkably "asked us to attend", and for the low low some of $20,000.

Rather than get upset, there are several strategies that we've used to great effect:

1. How long can we keep you on hold?
This game involves telling the telemarketer they've called at the perfect time to get us to change our contract on the phone system, or whatever it is they're trying to sell. They just need to talk to the guy in accounts. He's very busy. I'm sure he will answer soon. Still there? I'll let him know you're on hold. We are very keen to save thousands. Our phone bill is huge. If you can save us 40% that would be like $50,000 a month for us.

2. The special telemarketer extension
Pick the most horrific song, set it as on hold music for a specific extension. Repeat it forever. I love open source phone systems :)

(1) and (2) have caused us to be the target of real, real rage and we've had people on hold for over an hour.

3. Can we make you swear at someone?
A bit more cunty - but basically this involves passing them off to a different phone number as they called the wrong office.

We then give them the number of a foreign embassy, and the name of "insert very rude phrase in said foreign language" as the contact they need to speak to.

We never had a call back after the last one, unfortunately, I'd love to know how well it goes with an aggressive Indian woman calling the Russian embassy, demanding to speak with "Go f**k yourself"

(Sun 30th May 2010, 10:44, More)

» Cars

800ks of terror
A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to visit Mrs Hound's folks in the heart of Russia - about 800k from Moscow.

Flying from Manchester to Moscow via Zurich, and somehow arrived to manage on schedule at 2:30am local time with the most ferocious hangover known to man. Is it just me who goes on monster piss-ups the night before flights?

Now all we had to do was an 800k drive.

In Moscow central the roads are "fine" but the rest of the roads further out are constructed from a combination of potholes and evil.

In Russia there are three types of people who wear seatbelts: Pussies, Foreign Tourists and seatbelt salesmen. When you buy a car with seatbelt alerts, friends will gift you little metal tags to insert instead of the actual seatbelt to stop the annoying 'ping ping' noise.

There are a mixture of very old cars (which putter along at 60ks or so on the correct side of the road) and the very new and powerful cars (which are *constantly* in an overtaking manouevre at 160+). The net effect is brown-trouser terror for 800ks as you realise that you're hurtling towards oncoming traffic which is hurtling towards you as fast as it can go.

When something gets in your way - unlike anywhere else I've ever driven - people do actually let you back in, which is basically done by jamming on the brakes at the last possible moment, and swerving in front of whatever is there.

Imagine racing towards a truck at 180ks, and swerving in just before you slam into it. Now imagine doing that for 7 hours or so. Terror is not the word. Actually - Terror describes it quite satisfactorily.

After a few hours I mentioned to the driver that this wasn't quite how we drove in Sydney. A gruff "well if you think you can do better" and I'm behind the wheel, on the wrong side of the road, after bugger all sleep and nursing both a throbbing head and an asshole that was twitching like a rabbit's nose.

Highlights - driving over a bridge while it was being repaired (no railings). Driving over a 16km road that hasn't been repaired - driving towards trucks at a speed of 160kph and swerving at the last moment to get out of their way.... and my favourite - driving on a road as it was being built. Literally, behind the earthmover scraping the way - removing the rubble of the old road - the driver just waved me to carry on, and I did like it was perfectly normal.

Two weeks later - it all seemed completely natural. Russia would be a great place to live if you have a very, very fast car or wanted to go out in an enormous fireball.

The words don't quite catch the terror, sorry for length, etc..

(Tue 27th Apr 2010, 14:19, More)

» Anonymous

September 12
I may have inadvertently notified someone that their webcam on the WTC was currently offline.
(Fri 15th Jan 2010, 12:54, More)