Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Life At LiveBridge - Part III

So the last time I wrote, I admitted that my posting left at least a little to be desired. So today, in my final posting in the main LiveBridge series (which is not to say I won't mention some people more as individuals later) I will talk more about the calls themselves and other information that I hope will be a little more interesting.

As many years have passed (in August it will be 10 years(!) since I started working there), the stories that are really sticky in my mind are probably few so this will be a much shorter post than the last two (then again maybe not! LOL).

In mentioning the UFO story (CFO vs. UFO) in the last post I have pretty much said it all about Experian as far as my call related "humor" goes. There are 2 "celebrity" stories that came out of my rather short time in Experian though.

The first is probably the best, such as it is. It was on my birthday, in fact, in the year 2000 of course since I was in that area only a few months. I called a business that seemed to be located out of a home. I can't prove it but I think I called Clint Eastwood's wife Dina's company. It used the same last name as her maiden name and seemed to be in the media industry.

I think it was a home based business because the person who picked up the phone sounded like CE himself! Now I definitely can't prove it, but the length of the call (or absence of it being more to the point - lol) kind of bears me out. I did my usual introductory spiel and got that far but no farther. LOL. I was met with a brusque (Eastwoodesque?) not interested.

The second brush with celebrity was by "proxy". I was talking to a guy in California somewhere and we got talking a fair bit (a definite no-no as I stated in the previous post) when he pointed out that he was the "next-door" neighbor (as much as you can be on a ranch) of the 70's and 80's TV star (and one of the actresses I most wanted to look like growing up) Cheryl Ladd. Again nothing I can prove in a court-of-law. LOL.

Next we move on to my next assignment - newspapers. The scene of my biggest crime. It was when I was in newspapers that I probably got the most creative about selling stuff. Was even threatened with being fired! The incident in question was when I told one person (I think it was a man), and not for the first time I might add, that he could use the paper for papier mache with his wife/girlfriend to "spice things up a bit". LOL. Seriously. Didn't sell the paper unfortunately and I think I got a Calgary Herald representative that was seeded into the calls. I did get a laugh though. And isn't that all that really counts.

That is also were I believe I started calling the male management "management boy" when requesting their "services" (LOL) to verify my sales, etc. It is testimony to my charming personality, I'd like to think anyway, that I did not get hit with a sexual harrassment complaint or ten. My favorite "management boy", the "Roy of Sunshine" even took to calling me "papier mache girl" until I asked him not to in a rare show of ninnyism on my part when thinking about what my 2nd favorite newspaper "management boy" (the one who threatened to fire me - I don't hold grudges! LOL) would think.

Now comes credit cards, the scene of most of my crimes and mis-demeanors. I'll go in order as memory serves me. First, there was the guy who said he wasn't interested initially (most all sales even say that so you can't let a little thing like that stop you - lol) and then after chatting him up a bit got him to go through the rather lengthy questioning process for the application. After each and every question however, he reitterated that he really didn't want a(nother) credit card.

Not one to let a little thing like that dissuade me I continued the "process". Each and every question. A (mere) objection from him. A (spirited) rebuttal from me. Until finally near the end of either the application questions or disclosure statement (likely the questions as the disclosure was recorded) he told me he was taking the call on the toilet. LOL. What did I do then? Continue of course, reminding him that saying that on the recording coming up would probably not be a good idea. This card was a sale.

Then there was the one where I told another guy that a card with an APR much higher than he was (willing to admit anyway) already carrying on his current card(s) was the equivalent of the girlfriend in the shocking pink bra and panties with all the extra features that necessitated the high APR and his "more sensible" cards with the lower APR were like the faithful, loyal wife at home. This got a laugh but he was playing hardball and no sale for me as I remember. It was calls like this that had the "Roy of Sunshine" telling me I was supposed to be selling the cards not myself! LOL.

There was also a time in System 1 (I can still see it in my minds eye) when I actually fell asleep making my pitch and sort of woke up when I realized that I was actually babbling something (more than likely off-script) and found out just how good I am at reestablishing control to the situation (or more than likely just how much some people are willing to put up with when they really want or need something). Sale!

Saving the best for last, there was the time I actually managed to sell a credit card to a man (I swear many of my sales were to women too. Really. I swear) who originally told me to put me on the Do Not Call List. Yup. Even that does not deter a true "teleharrassment specialist" (I should trademark that title - after all I coined it way back when).

Since he asked me to put him on the dreaded list almost immediately after I said hello, inspiration struck me that day and I asked a question I never asked before or since. I asked him if he knew why he wanted to be put on the list. Being a good sport he let me tell him what I was actually selling when I told him he didn't even know that yet.

His next gambit (you learn that it's all a cat and mouse game - lol) was to give me the worst (from my point of view as the seller) objection he could foist on me. He didn't believe in credit cards. This was the worst objection possible as it is the hardest, in my opinion anyway, to rebut. But after assuring him that credit cards did in fact exist (a little joke that got a fair sized laugh) I pointed out that it could be a just-in-case card. Bingo. I'm sure the joke smoothed the way for him to be so easily sold with just one rebuttal instead of the usual three we were allowed or the thirty or so I was used to giving (seriously - I actually got in trouble once for giving 27 rebuttals - as if they'd started counting from the beginning - but that was not the norm - maybe 10 tops. LOL). Another sale.

This one got me a mixed review with management. There was a manager who I won't name (for reasons you'll come to understand shortly) who once regailed a sales meeting with a story of how he used to use a bait-and-switch technique when he used to sell electronic equipment. After the sale, I immediately signed myself off of my terminal (again not the norm) to rush to his office to tell him that I (with a huge grin on my face and maybe even laughing) told him that I sold a credit card to someone who originally told me to DNC him. This went over less well than I thought. I was shocked. I thought if anyone would appreciate my accomplishment, he would. We left it at a stalemate where I was still happy with my self and not concealing it and he offered a weak warning that I might find myself in trouble after/if the tape got reviewed.

Not to be put off from my crowing about my amazing feat of salesmanship I then went to the newspaper guy who was also upper management and gave him a chance to redeem management in my eyes by congratulating me on the accomplishment. He came through a little better with no warnings (in fairness, it really wasn't his department so that's probably why he was less of a fuddy-duddy about it) and making the point that since the guy agreed it probably wasn't a problem. Vindication. Sweet vindication. This from the guy who was threatening (basically an empty one too, I think, that was more to scare me in line) to fire me for the papier mache comment.

That brings me to my last story. One call that came through the center that I did not mention before because of it's brevity was NARAL - Pro-Choice Voices. This was a survey - a very short one - where the rep was supposed to mine e-mail addresses. It was harder than it sounds because many people back then apparently only had work and not personal e-mails and it was a divisive and obviously political issue. This was I believe being done just before or after a U.S Election at one level or another.

I have two things to say about this. One is another unconfirmed brush with celebrity. The other is how well I did on this call. First the celebrity angle.

The celebrity/personage of sorts I allege to have called up was one of Robert Kennedy's sons. I can't remember which one. What makes me believe this is possible is because of the name on the screen and the accent of the man who answered combined with the fact that the list we were using was probably politically generated in some sort of way. That's all I'm saying. LOL.

The second and last thing is that I totally owned this call. Sad to say that probably since it was very short-term and only involved e-mail address collection there were no bonuses at all with the call. A pity as it was reasonably hard for the reason I mentioned and for whatever reason I did really well at it. I remember this because I used thumb-tacks in the cubicle walls to keep score. Pounding them in a little row as I got another hard-to-get address. Pounding them in so hard that I got one in the finger once. LOL. Which is one of the reasons I remember it so well

Anyway, that concludes the series of Life At LiveBridge, a chronicle in three parts. I'm not ruling out a command performance though if a old co-worker who might have read any of this has any good memories to add. Oh, one other thing, now that I think of it. I almost forgot Erik K and the toe-nail painting episode in my personal stories in Part II. Oh and also the Darek (Erich C's twin) ode to her majesty's toes. Well, perhaps another time...



  1. Sounds like you had tons of fun there and met lots of interesting people.

  2. My favorite part was when you told that guy he could use the newspaper to make papier mache to spice things up in the bedroom. LOL The other best part was when you compared credit cards to the average house wife or the hot bombshell! LOL

  3. He was on the toilet, and could not poop with all those distractions.

  4. Or maybe Pushy's distractions made him poop faster. LOL.

  5. Thanks fishguts, I thought they were kind of funny too. Nice to see someone else thinks so too.

    Also thanks Anthony and FJ for the comments. I would like to think I was/am a nice distraction. So that is what I'm going to read into your comments. LOL.

    One thing I want to add about blogger/blogspot. It keeps screwing with the spacing (ie. around the term "management boy") and leaving a big space.

    I keep correcting it and it seems fixed then I come back and it's screwed up again. So it's not me being a bad typing or editor. Really it isn't.

  6. That should be "So it's not me being a bad typist or editor. Really it isn't." LOL. What a place to screw up. When I'm saying it wasn't me who screwed up. Priceless.

  7. I got a laugh out of your ridiculously awesome sales skills! I forgot about how good and creative you are!

  8. Thanks attention whore (Randy) and cutiepie (Ricki-Lynne). I love you both. By the way RL, will you be my publicist. LOL.

  9. I spent some time in the field, and have never encountered quite such skill. If you are still at a call centre, don't call me from work. Please. Ever. Pretty please. Fine, just take my money, okay?

  10. Legacy... LOL. Thanks alot. Also, thanks for stopping by. Leaving the comment was super-nice. BTW, do you know who d.noble is?

    They just joined my blog but my dumb friend connect button doesn't work so I can't send them a message to say thank-you.

    Anyway, if you haven't joined (yet! - lol) then keep coming back to visit and comment. Take care.


Please leave me a nice comment. I l-o-v-e comments. Thank you. The Management!