Don't Bother to Knock (or Call) / by Deborah Clague

Telemarketing. Spam. Is there anything more annoying? Well, possibly (most children, self-righteous bloggers, etc., etc.)...but for this post I would like to exclusively rant about vexatious marketing tactics.

First up, the dreaded telemarketer. I signed up for Canada's Do-Not-Call list the moment it became possible, applauding the government's efforts to ensure that my dinner/nap time went by uninterrupted. While I still receive the odd-call here and there, I have noticed a difference (however slight). Today, however, brought me to my wit's end. I received a call on behalf of a charity. I am not a coldhearted person (my heart is slate, not black), but I was not interested and politely requested my name be taken off their list. The telemarketer told me they wouldn't do that. I asked again and was once again shot down. I reminded this psychohosebeast telemarketer of my rights as a phone owner (or something) and requested to speak to upper management. At this point, the line disconnected. In my efforts to trace the origin of this particular call, I learned that I could take legal action against the offending company...but blasting Megadeath into the receiver at volume 11 the next time they call would probably be more fulfilling. 

My secret shame is that I once worked for a telemarketing firm. My excuse (né apology) is that I was 18 - young, dumb and full of rum - without the post-secondary education that would lead to my higher calling of, er, a more respectable form of advertising. I witnessed firsthand how devolved and deceitful the world of phone solicitation can be. I lasted less than three months in that soul-sucking atmosphere but was scarred for life. 

Now onto spam. The number of supposedly reputable companies that have been spamming me over the past while has increased ten-fold. Rexall/Pharmaplus, a pharmaceutical chain I haven't even entered in about a decade, sends me weekly newsletters. Apple added me to their espanol mailing list without consent. I purchased a couple Minnesota Twins tickets two years ago, and Ticketmaster has taken it upon themselves to sell my address to every sport team in the state. The annoying thing is, no matter how many times I unsubscribe, my inbox remains burdened by their waste. Jeez, even the President of Ghana/Zambia/Djibouti isn't this persistent in his efforts to locate a trustworthy foreigner to transfer his wealth.