I’ve written before about this subject, outlining my participation in the anti-telemarketing game. This morning, while reading an old book, my tranquil pond was disturbed by a telemarketer using a tactic I hadn’t been confronted with before. A new tactic deserves a new response; and I thought I would relate this information to my other teammates in this wonderful game we play ….
When I answered my phone, a young man promptly asked for my consent to record the conversation, “for the usual reasons.” I did not give my consent. Instead, after a few moments of pause, I asked, “What is this call about?” The man responded, with a slight note of agitation (or was it urgency? It’s so hard to know for certain with a stranger on the phone sometimes), “Mr. Stormwise, before I can tell you anything, I must have your consent to record our conversation.” This time, mildly perturbed, I paused a few moments longer before asking, “Let me understand: you want my consent to record my voice in a conversation with someone I do not know, over a topic that I have not been informed about, and for reasons that have not been explained to me?” Young Mr. Imprudent must have believed he had an advantage here for some reason, as with noticeably less patience in his voice than before, he informed me that he needed a yes or no response. So I simply remained silent, set my phone down, and went back to my book, determined to finish the page I was reading before I was interrupted by the phone ringing. After a few seconds, I heard his voice on the phone – since I had set the phone off to the side, I couldn’t really make out what he was saying. I’m sure it was important to him, though, as he kept at it until shortly before I was finished with the page I was reading; then he hung up. The timing was fortuitous, as I was able to turn the page and continue reading, the ripples in my tranquil pond having disappeared.