Journal of a Telemarketer

The following are excerpts from my own private journals. This collection comprises just about everything I've written in my journals over the years about my job at DialAmerica and telemarketing in general. A few editorial notes have been added for the sake of clarity, but the integrity of the texts has been preserved.

However, all the names have been changed to protect the privacy of those involved.

If you're feeling particularly curious, you can read some of my other journal entries, most of which have nothing to do with telemarketing.


...In other news, I turned 24 yesterday, and the US is now officially at war with Iraq. It's gotten us sent home early from DialAmerica for the last two days. On Wednesday it was because the war "broke out." That information sent a shiver through me, and I almost cried. But within a few hours, I found that my mental state had more or less returned to normal. On Thursday we were sent home because Iraq was bombing Israel. I found this out over the phone, when a customer said to me: "This is a really bad time -- I have relatives in Israel, they're under attack." *click*...


...I got eight sales at DialAmerica tonite: definitely under par. Daniel told me that I might be moved back to Marketing, depending on my performance. Marketing might be good for me at this point. I'd probably earn more than I have been and I'd get a break from this Books program I'm so sick of.

I wouldn't be sick of Books, though, if my sales were higher. Daniel reminded me that DialAmerica has been "carrying me" for a few weeks...


...I actually did quite well at work (16 sales), but I asked Daniel to move me to the Marketing program for a while anyway. He and Marla were quite happy to oblige, and it made me wonder if I should have asked sooner. Perhaps they were hesitant to switch me to Marketing, which has a $7.50/hour ceiling, without clear signals that I was burnt out on Books. It's hard to imagine Marla worrying about my feelings on the matter, but she did ask me if I was burnt out a week or two ago, and I told her that I wont. I did my best to act as if that were true...


...Work was a breeze. I trained in the Marketing program for 2 hours, called for 1 1/2 hours, and went home. A 3 1/2 hour shift!

The training was interesting. There were eight other trainees, seven of them female, all of them rookies. Most of them had just graduated from high school. None of them were beautiful -- in fact, they were rather homely -- but there were a lot of low-cut blouses and extraordinarily short skirts.

Stephen C---- led the session, and he was entertaining, as usual. He has a remarkable talent for putting people at ease. (His comments during the shift announcement are always short, humorous and upbeat; Marla tends to be loooong and bitchy.) At one point Stephen let us listen in via the speakerphone to one of the reps on the floor, Christopher B----, a veteran. We heard a customer tell Christopher that his wife was going to have a baby, that all his money was going to that. Christopher laughed and went right into a second effort. Afterward Stephen imitated Christopher in order to demonstrate the "phony telemarketing chuckle" which we would all soon master: "Hahaha that's great, I understand how you feel, keep in mind blah blah blah..."

It was a relief to call this program. The calls tend to be much shorter than on the Books program, and since you are only expected to or three sales per night, the pressure is much less...


...Work was, once again, a breeze. A little boring at times, but mostly fun. Got my first sale on the program. Stephen told me that he was going to have some of the trainees listen in on my calls. (Even at a job like this, it feels good to know that your peers and superiors respect you and recognize your competence.) While they were listening in on me, I hummed tunes between calls -- the bass line from "Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)" for example...

6/17 - 6/21/91

...Marla's hired so many reps there's hardly room for them all, yet I saw a bunch more people filling out applications yesterday. I think she wants an even higher turnover, like they have at the Indiana University Telefund. When productivity is low there, they just fire the bottom 10% of the sales crew. Or the bottom 1/3. Whatever it takes to make the numbers right. You need a lot of heads to be able to do that. I think that's what Marla wants. "You're hired, you're fired, you're hired, you're fired."

Marla also said they'll be phasing out the Marketing program entirely soon. It'll be a Books-only office. Yuk.

All this has made me feel as if I won't be working there too much longer. So I've made a few feeble gestures toward getting a new job. The Deja Vu Bakery seemed promising, because it's right next door to the place we'll be living come August 31st. Plus, think of the job meaning, baking bread: staff of life and all that. But they weren't hiring. In fact they were laying people off.

I went to the Monroe County Public Library, where I'd heard there was a position available. But you had to have a SLIS degree or be on the university's Work-Study program. So I was out of luck again.

Right now I figure I'll wait... The whole situation seems rather hopeless...

6/24/91 (Monday)

Rough time getting up -- couldn't get out of bed 'til about 10 AM. In almost no time I had to go to work. That's the worst part about an evening job: you can sleep in, but you'll wish you hadn't...

...When I was in Greenwood Sunday, Dad gave me an article called "What People Earn." I suppose it's part of his campaign to make me into a player. But when he pointed out some business exec who earned $93 K, I told him the article would be hard for me to read. This perplexed him, and I had to explain that when you're living poor and there's no good jobs around, one doesn't enjoy reading about some idiot who's going to be a millionaire before he's 40. Dad's world must look pretty different from mine after 20+ years working at Eli Lilly...

6/25/91 (Tuesday)

...I was fascinated at work tonite by my co-worker Pamela's breasts. They're so large she actually flops them down on the desk in front of her like a couple of beachballs...

6/27/91 (Thursday)

...worried about the node in my throat, it's swollen and painful. Talking on the phone at work was unpleasant, and I thought seriously about going home early. But I stuck it out...

6/28/91 (Friday)

...I left work early, about 6:30 PM. The pain in my throat was worse. What really scared me was when I felt back in my mouth and found a huge swollen thing there where nothing had been before. So I told Marla, and Kim took me to the emergency room.

The doctor there, unusually young, told me that my swollen node in my throat and the swollen "thing" in my mouth were unrelated. The "thing" was actually a flap of my gum, which he said had been pushed aside by my incoming wisdom tooth....

As for my node, he said I had a pharyngeal infection. "I don't do cultures," he said. "I just go ahead and treat it." In other words, I was to take an antibiotic and just hope that it was indeed a bacterial infection and not a viral one. Thanks a lot, doc...

7/10/91 (Wednesday)

...hacked away a little at an essay I started yesterday about a fictional drug-cult. Last night at DialAmerica I scribbled some cryptic notes about it on a piece of paper.

Stephen saw it, and he was so intrigued he actually took it to another part of the office and spent some minutes puzzling over it. He even showed it to Daniel, but it remained opaque. I told him I'd show him the whole thing when I got it finished. "Oh," he said knowingly, "it's not finished. Yeah, you know, that's what I just said to Daniel; I said, that's not finished yet." We laughed...

7/11/91 (Thursday)

...I felt tired as I went off to work. Hadn't gotten much sleep, should have taken a nap. I was seated next to Shane S------- in the office. He's a character, alternately amusing and annoying. He had a box on his desk, some kit his girlfriend had purchased, for putting fiberglass on your fingernails or some such nonsense. He had just picked it up from the store for her, and he brought inside because it's supposed to be kept cool. He claimed it cost $300.

It's a funny situation at DialAmerica. I guess I've been back on the dreaded Books program for about a week now, and the most I've gotten on a single night is ten, which is just about rock bottom. But it's such a convenient place to work, the hours are few, the pay good -- the job market tough -- that I stay on, even though I get nervous making so few sales. I suppose I'll hang on 'til they fire me. A change of pace would be good for me, but I'm afraid to make a change. It'll have to be made for me.

I've been experimenting at work with not looking at the clock, which I'd been in the habit of doing constantly. It really helps ease the pain.

Sometimes I feel like these hours at work are huge blocks of stone crushing me. There's this sense of tremendous weight. I wonder how I'd feel working a 40-hour week?...

8/4/91 (Sunday)

...Kim and I have tried to get together with Stephen C---- (now the Assistant Branch Manager) on several occasions, just because he seems like such an interesting person, but it's never happened. But this Friday, when I mentioned that Kim was out of town for the weekend, he immediately suggested that we go out for some beer after the shift was over.

One of the supervisors, Kirk S------, joined us. A friend of Kirk's, named Sylvester I think, met us at the Irish Lion, where I had three pints of Hacker-Schorr weiss beer. Yummy.

A fairly interesting evening, but I've had better. Steve, by far the most intriguing person there, besides myself, didn't actually talk that much. Sylvester and Kirk did most of the talking. Sylvester's a bitter 34-year-old, working at Pizza Hut delivering pizzas, just two credit hours short of his Political Science degree. Apparently that degree has been on hold for at least four years. He has strong liberal and socialist sympathies, whereas Kirk, also in the Political Science program, is a right-winger -- and eager to defend his position. But I wasn't much interested in political sparring, and neither was Steve, and Sylvester seemed defeated already, just shaking his head and shrugging his shoulders at Kirk's barbs. (Like: "People who get financial aid shouldn't protest against the government.")

...Another of Kirk's hare-brained theories is that those who "play the game" of capitalism shouldn't be critical of it. I told him quite honestly that I didn't know of any decnt alternatives, of any way to be a part of society without "playing the game." He started raving about his brother who lived with the Amish, how he didn't have to work if he didn't want to -- which made no sense -- and he even went so far as to say that his brother would let me come and live with him. But when I asked for his address Kirk got real cagey and started hedging.

Steve dropped me off at my apartment around 4:30 AM, then went back to Kirk's to crash on his couch. The two of them run the Saturday morning shift, which meant they had to be back at DialAmerica by 7:30 AM, probably.

I slumbered blissfully 'til one in the afternoon.

9/10/91 (Tuesday)

At last we have weekday morning shifts at DialAmerica. I've changed my schedule so that I work Monday night/Tuesday morning and Thursday night/Friday morning. It breaks my workweek into two tight little chunks.

Other news at work: Marla is gone and Ted is our new Branch Manager. It all happened quite suddenly. I wonder if Ted and Marla feel like puppets jerked around on a string. Ted's the kind of guy who tries to break your hand when he shakes it. He's always clapping his hands and slapping things and shouting. Peppy, in a word.

"Ooh, Pat!" he'll yell on the sales floor when somebody gets a sale. "Nasty! Gettin' nasty, Pat! Gettin' ugly with 'em!" That's an actual quote. He seems marginally better than Marla, but then my SPH has been good recently, and I find that affects my mental state quite a bit.

This Tuesday, my first morning shift, I arrived to find my fellow employees standing around the parking lot chatting. The office was locked. I went into the pet grooming store next door and borrowed there phone and phonebook. Daniel's number was disconnected, Steve wasn't listed, neither was Kirk, and of course Ted had only just moved into town and was still staying in a hotel. So I gave up and joined the others in the lot. The whole crew had arrived by this time, and I drifted from one to another making small talk. More middle-aged people on the morning shift, it seems.

When quarter-after rolled around I decided to split. So did a couple other guys. I drove to the apartment and took care of a few things. I called the office but no one answered. Shortly after that Ted called me, apologized profusely and begged me to come in. So I drove back, and I began work at 9:15. Ted made sure that all of us got comped ($5/hour) for the time we missed. I was quite happy with that. What had happened was this: the electricity at Ted's hotel went out, and he woke up late to an alarm clock blinking 12:00 .

I sat next to Paul, Sean's roommate. Sean and Paul just got an apartment in our old complex; they moved in just a day before we moved out. Sean is Kirk's cousin. (Kirk's one of the supervisors.) None of these characters are easy to peg. Kirk has a predisposition toward bar fights and broken noses, political science, the Republican party and the military. Not to mention capitalism. And alcohol. But he surprised me when he said he was finishing up a play which he'd been working on...

Sean struck me at first as the typical redneck, slightly southern-flavored. But although he's precisely the same age as me, he seems to have lived in every corner of the country and worked all manner of jobs. His approach to telemarketing is unusual -- he speaks in the flattest monotone. His skin is paler than I've ever seen with such dark hair.

As for Paul, I learned that he's worked for Citizen's Action Coalition in Evansville, Indaiana, as canvass manager. He's apparently very much into the Grateful Dead, planning to go out to California soon and follow them for a couple weeks. I mentioned the Dead concert in Ohio just this past weekend, how I hoped that certain "ethnobotanical substances" might have made their way back to Bloomington, as is often the case when the Dead play nearby. Paul intimated that he might, maybe, perhaps be able to get me something along those lines. Provided, of course, that I return the favor if ever I am in a position to. Of course...

10/7/91 (Monday)

...I've rearranged my schedule at work yet again. Now I work Monday and Tuesday evenings, and Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. One big chunk instead of two smaller ones. It basically means a nice four-day weekend every week. So in some ways I'm living a lifestyle that many would envy. I do relatively little work, and I have lots of leisure time...

Nevertheless I find that I dread work, sometimes to the extent that my leisure time is poisoned with bitterness. There are plenty of things to dislike about my job: the lack of personal fulfillment, the monotony, the mindgames most of all. Those things seem almost unbearable when I'm under quota. However, there's a certain threshold, a certain SPH at which I feel good, and then those things hardly bother me. The job then becomes inherently rewarding, because you're talking to people who actually want the service you're offering. With each sale you get a charge, and even the monotony os diminished.

Now, part of the mindgame at DialAmerica is to deny that some leads are just plain bad, and that others are much more lucrative. Failure or success is attributed to the rep -- especially failure. This is ludicrous, because there are a hundred tacit admissions that all leads are NOT created equal. But the whole system is set up to make you feel good when you get sales -- and bad when you don't. Nevertheless you're supposed to maintain a positive attitude whatever the situation, and dialog about what lead codes are better is not allowed to evolve.

(That is to say, vertical dialog is discouraged; horizontal dialog can and does occur, as reps compare notes and share their experiences.)

They post stats weekly, rep by rep, in order of performance. What they do not post is leads, code by code, in order of conversion ratio. That would be truly enlightening, and it would settle for once and for all the question of whether or not some leads are more profitable than others. I imagine that's a little more enlightenment than management wants us to have.

10/10/91 (Thursday)

Having gotten thru four shifts at DialAmerica since I last wrote, I must say that everything mentioned above was borne out, and to a greater extent than I could have expected.

On Monday we got a new policy: every rep is now alotted 15 minutes of break-time each shift, and only three reps are allowed to be on break at the same time. "Otherwise we lose a lot of momentum here in the office," Daniel explained. The breaks can be divvied any way you want, three five-minute breaks, one 15-minute break, whatever. But before you step out of the office, you have to let a supervisor know.

This doesn't really affect me. I've been in the habit of taking only one break per night, about 15 minutes long, midway thru the shift. I eat a sandwich and take a stroll around the strip mall. Nevertheless it pisses me off. After all, if you're making more than 2 SPH, you're not being paid for your time; you're being paid for your sales -- straight commission.

The policy raises some questions, which I didn't ask. Can you save your break-time from one night to and use it the next for a 30-minute break? Can you save it 'til the end of the shift and go home early? Can you transfer your break-time to a co-worker? These are questions that make the policy look ridiculous. If I asked them, I would be considered a "wise guy."

Also on Monday night I noticed a little hand-written sign taped to the file cabinet from which Daniel dispenses leads to the reps. It read:

This is not Burger King.
You cannot have it 'your way.'
Special orders do upset us

In other words, don't bitch if you're in a bad code; we don't want to hear it, nor will we do anything to help you. In fact, Daniel has a policy for dealing with those who complain about their lead code: he gives them more of the same. Gee, thanks Daniel. Bad vibes.

The morning shift is a whole different scene. Quite mellow. That's because Stuart is the man in charge. Stuart was just recently promoted from rep to supervisor, and you can't imagine a nicer guy. He's always been quite candid with me, very much for real. But Stuart hasn't been as happy with his new job as he'd hoped. Not a silver platter deal. When a shift goes poorly, it's his fault. Ted chews his ass. Just like when the office does poorly, it's Ted's fault, and he gets his ass chewed by the Regional Manager. Pressure on every level. When I do poorly, it's my fault, and Stuart is supposed to chew my ass out, but he's too nice.

Tuesday night, Ted kicked off the shift with a 20-minute bitch session and a new policy. Once again, it was something that didn't affect me, regarding weekend shifts and absenteeism. I don't work on the weekends, and I've never missed a shift or even been late... Still, it was a bummer to hear Ted ranting and raving. He was angry. Missed hours make him look bad to the home office. So he blows some steam at us. But what does a rep do when he or she is angry? A rep isn't allowed to stand up and pontificate. Swallow your anger and wear a smile. But isn't anger a bitter thing to swallow?

Also, because of last week's absenteeism, Ted asked everybody to work an extra shift this week. This wasn't mandatory, but they hoped everyone would do it. Ted reminisced about when he was in college, hoping to relate to all the students that work there, I guess. "I had some idea I'd study all afternoon, but then Andy Griffith would come on, and then M*A*S*H, and I didn't really get started 'til 9:30 anyway." So if you can just miss a few TV shows, make a little sacrifice and come in for an extra night --

Really. He said that. And this was on the heels of a long, drawn-out temper tantrum. My response: FUCK YOU. Daniel came around later with his clipboard, asking people about the extra shift. He did it in true DialAmerica assumptive style, "So, Bart when are you coming in for your extra shift?" I told him I just couldn't committ right off, I had to check my calendar at home, and I had to check with Kim, and I wanted to work an extra shift, but I had a lot of things going on, and I just had to check. When I asked if it would be OK to work two extra shifts, Daniel's eyes got really big. "Yeah! If you can work two extra shifts that would be great!"

Of course I'd made up my mind already. I don't feel like I owe DialAmerica anything. I make money for them, and I get a share of that. My SPH has slipped sometimes, but not because of anything I did differently. So I feel there is no love lost between the company and me. Love is a foundation for trust, and where there is no love there is can be no trust.

Now here's the dilemma. If I am a faithless employee, then don't I deserve to be treated in the condescending way that DialAmerica treats all us reps? I mean, if I don't help "the team," how can I in good conscience expect respect? What's at issue here is community, trust, an implicit covenant between me and the others at DialAmerica. I feel the management has violated that trust many times, by treating me with little respect, by playing mind games, etc. Therefore I feel entitleed to break faith as well. End of dilemma. There is no "team" at DialAmerica, only hollow talk about teamwork. What you really have is a hierarchy of exploitation. My philosophy is to do the minimum, to contribute as little of my heart and soul as possible. Good faith has to exist between equals. If one party oppresses the other, talk about good faith is meaningless.

The person at the top of the hierarchy sets the rules. But often, in Corporate America, the rules are really set beforehand, by one's predecessors. My question is, how can the situation be rectified, trust restored, faith made viable. This is the real dilemma. Start all over, start from scratch, buy some land and build a commune? Lately I'm inclined to just throw up my hands in the air and say "ah well!"... In spite of all the bullshit, it was a fairly profitable week for me. I got quota on every shift -- that's 15 sales -- sometimes a little bit more. Should be about $7.50/hour. Kim and I need that money...

10/15/91 (Tuesday)

...Yep, halfway thru another work-week. I must confess to a considerable amount of neurotic dread on Sunday, though Monday morning wasn't so bad. These last two shifts have flown by with a minimum of angst, pain, heartache and despair. The question is: why?

Perhaps because last night we started a new Books program, Time-Life Book Digest, which looked bad but actually turned out quite well. Fourteen sales! (That's nothing, though, compared to Kenny W--------- or Angie S----, who regularly pull down 30+ sales/night.) This morning Digest wasn't going so well, so they switched some of us back to CFL. I still sucked. Five sales.

So as things stand sales-wise (money-wise) I'm doing considerably worse than last week at this time. I'm a little nervous that things won't pull up tonight, but on the other hand, I feel good that work has been less irksome this week. Perhaps that will continue.

You'll notice I'm writing a lot about work lately. I used to avoid writing too much about it, because it seemed pathetic to me somehow -- I thought that I should have more interesting things in my life to write about. Also I was afraid of making my molehills into mountains, afraid of becoming obsessive. But now I realize that work is an important part of my life, and I also think that it's healthier to write about it. Silence seems to function as a form of denial, whereas writing about it is a confrontation. "A demon named is a demon tamed." (Who said that?)

9/17/91 (Thursday)

It must be recorded that just after my last entry I went on to have my most profitable shift at DialAmerica ever. 27 sales in one night. Wednesday morning was pretty good too: 15 sales. So it was a very pleasant week, as work-weeks go -- time didn't drag too much, I didn't feel myself boiling over with hate and bitterness, and I performed well...

Dec 11 1991

Been working morning shifts all week: 8:30 AM - 1:30 PM. The mornings are better than the evenings in most ways. Less noisy, less hectic, less people in general. Plus they tend to be easier; we've been selling McGraw-Hill books on HVAC design to professionals. Business-to-business, not calling people at home. Very mellow. Sometimes I'll hit a conversion of over 50%...


...Work was the usual mixed bag: loathing, worry, tedium, determination, frustration, triumph, despair, resolution, mischieviousness, guilt, bitterness, cynicism, resignation, humiliation, indignation, scorn, misanthropy, loneliness, wonder, love and hate, etc...


Getting up this morning at 7:00 AM after four hours of sleep was an exercise in hatred and pain. I hated the world and everyone in it, myself included. It wasn't until after two hours of wakefulness and one cup of coffee that existence became tolerable, and it took another hour on top of that plus a peanut butter and honey sandwich to feel ecstatic. Yes, even at DialAmerica there are moments of perfect contentment What a wild vortex of emotions life is...


Double-shift Monday. Profitable, too: about $8/hour. I wish I could work each week until I've earned my goal of $100, rather than being tied to this 20-hour schedule

Had to walk to work in the morning because the campus shuttle isn't running full schedule any,ore. (The school year is over; the streets have emptied; everybody is less stressed somehow.) I followed the train tracks, just like I do when I walk home from work... It's a nice walk...

Nov. 13th -- no, 14th, 1992

...I quit my job at DialAmerica. November 6th was my last day. Ted told me that if I ever need a job, "the door is always open." But I'm hoping to get hired on at BCAT [Bloomington Community Access Television] as a production assistant...

April 25th, 1993

Nothing major has happened since I last wrote except that I'm GETTING MARRIED...

Also I'm back at DialAmerica again. Never got another job, ran out of money in January. A fun two-month vacation...


...Today I made about $15/hour at DialAmerica...


This morning I arrived at DialAmerica only to discover that most of the phones weren't working. I got a ride home with Dallie (sp?), and we burned a joint on the back porch. 8:30 AM! XY came out and took a few tokes. Later XY and I made love and it was really trippy.

Last week, the DialAmerica Branch Manager, Mark, spoke to me for the first time in the six-odd months he's been there. He introduced himself and asked me into his office. I knew something was up. He asked about the TV show, about a particular episode focusing partly on DialAmerica. ("Out of Work, Out of Mind") I told him about it, and he seemed pleased. "You're telling me exactly what I was hoping to hear," he said. "What I wasn't wanting to hear was, 'Well, I was feeling sort of disgruntled about my job...'" He chuckled, mentioned seeing Pots, Pans and Pot on BCAT, and to my surprise he added that he "could have given that guy some tips on brownies, back from the old days..." Crusty old guy here, right, with a big mustache and a strange limp, almost nautical somehow. Like an old sea-captain. He kind of chuckled again, and then pulled out a glossy miniature catalog. "Now since you've worked here three years, you're entitled to your choice of the following gifts." I chose the DialAmerica pocketknife. [Never got it, though.]


...And yet for the most part I feel that what I do serves to perpetuate this societal madness -- my job at DialAmerica, for example, where I locate consumers who will keep the factories running...


...Still doing the DM thing (no, not Robitussin -- DialAmerica) -- the office is now automated, but they're still ironing out the bugs. They keep cancelling shifts on me. I still haven't gotten a taste of just how hellacious the autodialer really is...


...I want to be able to focus on ROX exclusively. Of course, to do that, I would need to quit my job at DialAmerica [again] at least temporarily.

* I just called Mom and... asked for $1500 to help out with the expenses -- as a loan, of course. That money would actually allow me to quit my "day job," but I didn't tell her that...


...So I've quit my job, or rather, I've taken an extended leave of absence. That makes it easier for me to come back later, but hopefully I won't need to. We're hoping this gig [a promo video America's College Video Competition, sponsored by Levi Strauss 501] will lead to another...

...Did I mention the budget on this thing is $20,000? A big step up from zero...


Dreary Diary,

Did I mention that ROX is gonna be the first Internet TV show ever in the whole wide world? On the World Wide Web. In eleven days. Jesus.

April 95, Monthly Financial Report

Complete failure. Had to borrow from XY's student loan money to pay the rent... It can't happen again -- XY's student loan money is virtually depleted. We used it to pay the bills too...

So I've got to get a job that pays.

April 95, Monthly Financial Report

...I've not been doing well with this record keeping. Nor have I been doing well financially, tho' I do have a job that pays -- back at DialAmerica...


...Sometimes I call myself a "slave to the dial." It only struck me yesterday how apt that glib phrase is. The headsets we wear are like yokes for the brain, locking us into the session both physically and mentally. The autodialer sits over to the side of the room, a beige metal box on wheels, about the size of a two-drawer filing cabinet. It looks totally inert, but in reality it is astonishingly active; it's making phones ring across the country and feeding the calls to us. We are slaves to its process.

I even have a number, 183888, which is all the dialer wants to know. It never asks for my name when I log in.

Now I've gotten silly, but this is a very serious topic. What is the real reason so many Americans are cynical, disenchanted and angry? Telemarketing. After all, the telephone network is the nervous system of our modern society, and telemarketing has infected this system like a virus, like a cancer. The effect of this spreading malaise is that people have been forced to become more wary, to put up their guard even in their own homes...