A few years ago when I began to conceive of the idea for world domination, I decided that the first thing I needed was a business license. Because you want to be “official” and orderly as your takeover progresses, not like those slapdash, haphazard rulers who just throw things together at the last minute and make it all up as they go along.
Of course this meant I had to come up with a name for my business, which completely stressed me out. I mean, I was years away from achieving the title of Her Highness, Supreme Empress Of The Universe-so how could I possibly know what name I would need for my supporting infrastructure this far in advance? It’s like when you go to college, and just at the moment you realize how much there is in the world that you don’t know, they want you to pick a major and decide what you are going to do with the rest of your life.
So I did what any focused, competent leader would do: I picked the first name I thought of, and figured that I could work out all of the pesky details later.
So I received my business license, and then I went back to my day job of subverting brainwashing tutoring the up-and-coming generation of soon-to-be adults. And I never gave my business license another thought, until I started receiving lots of phone calls from people who wanted to discuss my business with me. Which normally would be a good thing, but not here.
Because these people didn’t want to talk to me about Spanish tutoring (i.e., the actual service provided by my business).
No, they wanted to sell me leads for my business that would enable me to sell more life insurance. In my life insurance business. Which offered life insurance. For you to insure your life.
And it wasn’t just one person calling me about this, which could’ve been chalked up to making an honest mistake; no, it’s been a steady stream of people calling me with this same kind of offer.
Apparently, by including the word “life” in the name of my business, I accidentally triggered some sort of secret business alarm that connects to every single human being who has anything at all to do with the selling of life insurance.
I don’t know why this offends me so much, but it does. I mean, it’s not like I lack for things that actually do call for a healthy dose of righteous indignation. Like the fact that, although his name does not appear anywhere, on any official documentation for my business, all my business-related mail for some reason now comes addressed to my husband. Even though, could he handle an emergency involving the need to construct a sentence using the imperfect Spanish subjunctive, making sure to apply the correct sequence of tenses? I THINK NOT!
So of course, the only option that now remains is for me to mock these callers in my own special way. Sure, I could be polite to them, but then I would have nothing entertaining to write about here, so, pshaw, whatever, politeness.
I attended a college that prided itself on turning out great masses of white-collar professionals, so as soon as I receive one of these calls I can immediately picture the caller, clad in their crisp shirts and ties (or blouses and skirts, as the case may be), sitting up straight on the edge of their chair, earnest and driven in their quest to, um, do whatever it is that these kind of people do. (I was an artsy-fartsy language major, remember.) And then we have a conversation that goes something like this:
Perky, professional insurance industry worker: “Hello, is this [name of my “company”]
Me: (Ugh-here we go again.)
Me: (In my perky, professional voice, just to string them along for a few moments) “Yes it is.”
PPIIW: “Great. May I plese speak with the president of such and such/the director of so-and-so/Jennifer Ryan?”
Me: (Switching over to my exhausted, world-weary voice) “This is she.”
PPIIW: “And so, your company sells life insurance, correct? ”
Me: (perkily, knowing that this will totally throw them off their game) “Nope!”
PPIIW: (pauses, trying to regroup and figure out what to do next, not quite resigned yet to losing this sale) “So this is not an insurance company?”
Me: (enjoying the sound of their hopes deflating, because I’m kind of bitchy like that) “Nope. I’m a Spanish tutor. And the company is just me-I’m the owner and sole employee.” (Or sometimes, if I’m wanting to sound more “official”, I refer to myself as an Educational Consultant, or an Academic Coach.)
Now I can actually hear the sound of their crisp business attire wilting, which makes me feel even more smug, as I am most often clad in my frumpy, shapeless, but oh-so-comfy pajamas, neiner, neiner, my life is so much better than you-ours.
PPIIW: (mentally releasing the amount of money they’d hoped to make from this phone call) “Well, I’m sorry to bother you.”
Me: (growing increasingly perky, the more they become depressed) “Oh, no problem. Thanks so much for calling.” (Which, as everyone knows, in The South is a polite way of saying, “Ha, ha, @#$! you.”Among other things.)
Of course, when I finally achieve the position of Supreme Empress, I will hire people to be sarcastic for me, thereby freeing me to focus on more pressing issues, such as ridding the world of such abominations as “diet, caffeine-free soda”. Because then you’re just basically drinking brown water. And seriously, what is the point of that?
So if you’re interested in filling one of the positions of Official Snarker Of The Universe, start polishing up your resume. I’ll let you know when we here at World Domination Headquarters are accepting applications.
Christine Martell says
Oooo, how about creating a snarky audio program we can play to those callers?
Michelle Russell says
Oooooh, a shot at Official Snarker, working for the Supreme Empress? I may have to give that some thought.
Reminds me (kind of) of a job many years ago where me and the other secretary (back when we hadn’t all turned PC and still *called* people who did what I did secretaries) used to fantasize about transferring our least favorite clients back and forth to each other on the phone, using different voices and personas. Each pretending that the *next* department we would transfer them to would have the answer they needed.
See, our bosses went out to make all calls, and hardly anyone knew that the entire company consisted of only five people. If we’d only been gutsy enough to DO it rather than just fantasize about it, it would’ve been sweet!
Lynne Morrell says
I am not interested in the position that you have advertised for….but, are you interested in penial implants? Would You like to earn ten gazillion dollars a week? From your own home??? Our company is the fastest growing company of penial implants in the country…and we would love you to join our team!
Uh….what????? How am I getting these types of people? How do they find me? Do I seem like someone who would want to do that type of work? Really????
One of these days, I might tell them “Yes, I am so interested!!!” and see what happens next!
Have a groovy Saturday!
Square Peg Guy says
It’s great that they actually deflate and give up after finding out that you don’t sell insurance. Because a really persistent individual could actually counter “Nope, my business has nothing to do with insurance,” with “Ahh then, I can get you started offering your clients unique experience of qualifying for a guaranteed renewable term life policies *while* they learn Spanish! And did you know that bilingual individuals typically are easier to underwrite than the average American? If I may, Ms. Ryan — may I call you Jennifer — Jennifer, if you’re willing, I’d like to send you a no cost, no obligation insurance sales kit that will enable to you grow your business by several quantum leaps….” CLICK. 🙂
Jenny Ryan says
@Christine-I like that idea-I’ll have to see what I can come up with.
@Michelle-That would have been awesome!
@Lynne-It’s so weird that you brought that up, because when I was at my fibro dr.’s office I looked down and saw a health magazine featuring an article on this *very* subject.
@SPG-Yes, I have gotten very good at figuring out responses that leave NO cracks open into which they can wiggle.