My job is to grease the gears of the machinery,
to make it go faster,
to keep the factories running.

My job is to beat the bushes,
call them tele-bushes,
to scare up demand,
to keep the product alive.

My voice, my brain, this script.
My headset, my foamies, this terminal,
the dialer.

Ah, nuanced moments of the call!
Gaining attention, explaining the offer, closing, closing again.
The sudden click.
The infinite hold.
The endless branching hierarchies of voice-mail.

Guessing the gender,
that snap-instant of decision
after the computer makes the connection:
the name springs up on the screen from the pool of data,
a last name only, a surname,
and someone is on the line;
they said hello just a moment ago
but you couldn't hear that.
Man or woman? Male or female?
If you hesitate they'll hang up,
so you have to say hello,
and you have to be bold,
because that's what it takes to sell;
you have to say the name,
you have to assume the name:
Mister... or Mrs?