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INTJ Treatment of Telemarketers and Spammers

Tuesday October 4, 2016

Most people find telemarketers and spam very annoying, and I think INTJs especially are likely to get very annoyed by the interruption. Some of us seek ways to play with or break the system, rather than just hanging up the phone or deleting the email.

Back when I was in university, I enjoyed joking around with telemarketers. I remember during one call I used a high-pitched voice and acted like a rather slow, immature adult male, asking all kinds of innocent questions about the product being sold. Eventually the caller couldn’t stop laughing and her supervisor came on the line. Then they put me on speakerphone and hung up after another minute or so of laughter.

A few years after I started my business, I started getting Skype spam for business products. I engaged one of the spammers and found out they were from another country. In that case I pretended that they had contacted me separately about another matter entirely, and using their own terms as a sort of code language, proceeded to send them attachments from U.S. defense industry companies, like PDF ads for weaponry, small helicopters, etc. I expressed that I was happy to help them with their “interior problems.”

Of course, I immediately regretted that one. The spam stopped almost instantly (for the time being) after I received a forthright reply in protest, but I do think my response was overkill. I shudder to think that my response to a telemarketer could have resulted in some (semi-)innocent person being marked as a potential troublemaker by their government, or worse.

Just recently I received an unsolicited “private number” call from a company and told the caller, “hey, what is your company name? You called a cell phone, this is not cool, do you realize that?” The caller spelled out the company name for me, then said, “well, we are an offshore company…” as if that made it OK to engage me in a way I didn’t want to be engaged. I then asked to be removed from their phone list. The caller just ignored that and continued with his sales talk. So then I replied, “OK, so your company name is [name], right? I am going to write a blog post about your company and this phone call, sound good to you?” This seemed to shock the caller, who said, “ah…..no” and hung up. His voice cracked a bit and he sounded like he wanted to be done with the call.

That last one went pretty well. Probably better than sending weapons documents. You would not believe how kitted out some of those PDFs are, by the way.

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