Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fun With Telemarketers

Instead of being annoyed with telemarketers I try to have some fun with them.

After all, they are real people doing a job. There's no point treating them with disrespect.

Example - I just got off the phone with a telemarketer.  Here's how it went.

TELEMARKETER: Hello, may I speak with Mr. Lefjlkaliufdkjlalkflj [indeterminable gibberish as he tries, desperately, to pronounce my last name. The poor guy. There should be a sympathy greeting card for having to go through all that in front of a complete stranger]

ME:  Yes, this is Mr Whatever-You-Just-Tried-To-Say. How can I help you?

TELEMARKETER: [laughs] You have a good sense of humour.

ME:  You need to have one with a last name like mine. I used to run out of pencil whenever I wrote my name on the top of a homework assignment in school.  But do you know what might make me feel better?

TELEMARKETER: What is that?

ME:  If someone would just call me, right out of the blue and let me know that they're having a promotion of special prices, in this area, offering full service duct cleaning for my entire home.

TELEMARKETER:  Well, sir that's precisely why I'm calling.

ME:  I know. I'm just playing with you. Remember what I said about needing to have a good sense of humour. I find it helps to do that instead of getting frustrated with unsolicited calls like this despite me asking repeatedly, to be taken off your list.  I understand, you're just doing your job and the machine automatically dials. So I'll ask politely if you can please take me off your list, or put me on your do not call list -- however it best works. I don't need any duct cleaning services. I just had some done and I feel like a new man. [I take a deep breath to illustrate how healthy my lungs sound with the clean ducts of my home, desperately hoping that I don't sound too much like Darth Vader]

TELEMARKETER:  I will do that, sir.  Thanks for your patience.

ME:  Excellent. Thank you. And have a wonderful evening. Will talk to you again tomorrow night, I'm sure.

TELEMARKETER:  [laughs as he hangs up and says good night]

Okay, I've might have changed the script a tiny bit to make myself sound more intelligent and witty than the way it really went down.  I am a fiction writer, after all; and besides, we always remember our own roles as being more intelligent/classy/witty than they actually were. Don't we?

But that's about the gist of the call.  We've gotten an average of 2 "duct cleaning" calls per week on and off for the past few months, so it was a good guess on my part as to why he was calling.

And what I'm really just trying to do is make a simple point.

I'm human. The guy on the other end of the phone is human. I don't need duct cleaning, and I'm not happy to be repeatedly called from whatever sucker list I thought I was taken off of. But yelling at him or being rude to him isn't going to make my evening or his evening any better. The deed is done, the moment is now, here we are, too unwilling participant strangers meeting during the dinner hour.

So I tossed in a bit of humour, joked with him, we both laughed, and life went on.

I need to remind myself to take advantage of these types of moments whenever possible. After all, life's too short not to look for little ways to bring a smile into the equation.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Rocky Raccoon Checked In To His Room . . .

Rocky Raccoon checked in to his room only to find . . . Seen Reading!

Seen Reading making friends with Gideon's Bible at St. Albert Inn, Alberta

When I was in Edmonton a few weeks ago, I couldn't resist snapping this picture in my hotel room at the St. Albert Inn.  I tweeted it, but the photo came out with the wrong orientation. So I'm trying to fix that here, and then properly Pin it to my Seen Holding Seen Reading board on Pinterest.

While I'm at it, a few more cute shots to pin . . .

Lambchop seen reading. She looks happy, doesn't she?

Julie Wilson's editor's Mom #seenreading

The picture of Julie's editor's Mom reading Seen Reading is cute - but I much prefer the cool meta picture that Robyn posted on Twitter . . . Robyn Read's Mom reading the Toronto Star featuring Julie holding the book while watching someone on the subway reading.  How beautifully meta and layered.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Book Flyer - Haunted Hamilton

Haven't blogged much lately because almost every free moment is being spent on one of three books I have coming out later this year.

But every once in a while it's good to pause.  Like right now.

The good folks at Dundurn Press sent me this flyer for Haunted Hamilton: The Ghosts of Dundurn Castle and Other Steeltown Shivers which comes out in August.


So if you have a favourite bookseller, go ahead, call them, get on their website, walk into their store and ask for it.  It can be ordered through UTP Distribution.

Here are some handy weblinks:

Dundurn Press listing for Haunted Hamilton

Amazon.com listing

Chapters.Indigo.ca listing

McNally Robinson listing

Bryan Prince (Hamilton Bookseller - Westdale)

Epic Books (Hamilton Bookseller - Locke Street)

Titles Bookstore (McMaster University)

Haunted Hamilton (Link to Shop Indie Bookstores)

Monday, April 09, 2012

Seen Again

I've quite enjoyed pinning pictures of people with Julie Wilson's new book Seen Reading, and thought I'd share a few more pictures I have gathered.

First, a few more peeps, then the book in some interesting locations . . .

Scott Marinaro, Senior Manager US Vendor Relations, Kobo, regularly comes to Toronto for a dose of buttertarts, Rush and Julie Wilson's Seen Reading.

Cameron Drew, Director of Vendor Relations at Kobo is serious about being seen holding this book

Pieter Swinkels, Director Publisher & Industry Relations EU Kobo travels far and wide, but is right at home with Julie's book.

Toronto poet Paul Vermeersch and author of The Reinvention of the Human Hand gives his own hand a special treat.
Samantha Haywood (Julie's awesome literary agent) seen enjoying Julie's book with her beautiful family

And then, of course, we have some fun novelty shots (taken at the Enjoy Centre in St. Albert, Alberta)

An amusing lawn ornament at the Enjoy Centre seen eating Seen Reading
Even mannequins like to be Seen Reading (Enjoy Centre display)

This is just one of several posts featuring Julie Wilson's great book, Seen Reading.  For the other ones, check out Seen Some More, Seen Holding Seen Reading and Seen Wanting.

The Pinterest board these pictures are all destined for is called Seen Holding Seen Reading.