A Chris Blasko proudly posts the following on Google Plus:
Today is a good day. I just had a call from a telemarketer. Did I yell and scream at them, you ask? Certainly not. Like a good IT administrator I put my skills to use for their benefit. Here’s how the conversation went:
Computer: “Press 9 to not be contacted in the future. Press 4 to speak to someone about your mortgage issues”
TM: “Hello, are you having problems paying your mortgage?”
Me: “Hi, this is the IT department. We intercepted your call as we detected a problem with you phone and need to fix it.”
TM: “Oh… ok, well what do we need to do?”
Me: “We’re going to need to fix the settings by pressing 4-6-8 and * at the same time”
TM: “Ok, nothing happened.”
<alright, so he’s not using a Polycom>
Me: “Are you using the new Polycom phones that we deployed?”
TM: “No, it’s a Yealink”
Me: “Ok, I see. You haven’t had the new Polycom phone deployed to your desk yet. Let me check our technical documentations for the Yealink.”
<did a quick Google search, “yealink phone factory reset”>
Me: “Alright, do you see an “OK” button on your phone?”
TM: “Yes I do”
Me: “Alright, you’re going to press and hold that button for 10 seconds.”
TM: “OK, pressing it now”
Me: “Perfect, let me know if you get a password request”
TM: “OK, nothing has popped up ye-
That’s right. I made a telemarketer unwittingly factory reset his phone which means he will be unable to make anymore calls until someone is able to reconfigure his phone and that will take at least an hour or longer if they can’t do it right away!
I’m sure all of Chris’s fans think this is just the coolest thing in the world, but it’s really not. It’s just gratuitously mean. His victim’s employer is actually pretty ethical, since Chris could have pushed 9 to end the call and not be bothered in the future. Instead, he decided to make life miserable for some poor minimum wage earner in one of the most boring jobs on earth, who is probably trying to eke out a living and support his family during tough economic times.
There are plenty of ways to make one’s displeasure regarding telemarketing practices known, but the poor schmuck doing the calling isn’t involved with making policy or business decisions. Just to show how smart he is, though, Chris sabotages the work of someone he has never met, complicates his day, and maybe even loses him his job. Maybe the poor guy was on probation. Maybe he had an earlier screw-up and his job was hanging by a thread. Chris doesn’t care. He just wants to hurt someone.
Then he wants to boast about it. A hoard of people cheered him on too, except for one, a “who protested that “the poor guy was doing the job he was told to so he could get a paycheck – exactly what you do – and you’re hindering his means to do that,” and opined that Chris was “a dick.” Naturally, Chris, being one, puffed himself up with righteous indignation, and doubled down—my comments in bold:
- “He knew the job he was asked to do, which also means he knows how his job is viewed by the rest of the world. Therefor he made the conscious choice to ‘hassle people all day’. Since that’s the case then he is willing doing a job that is not welcomed by society and he should be willing to deal with those repercussions.” Chris apparently thinks he is “society.” Chris is wrong: telemarketing occurs because it makes money. Many, many people order from telemarketers. The job is part of commerce; it isn’t child trafficking or drug dealing—it is legal, it is honest, and it is hard. “He should be willing to deal with those repercussions” ? Garbage: that’s like saying that kids selling magazines door to door should be willing to deal with abusive people who sic their dogs on them. Yeah, we all have to deal with mean people in our jobs. That doesn’t make the mean people any less wrong.
- “No, his paycheck is not the same as mine. Mine is earned by helping people and businesses with legitimate issues that they either contract us to fix or call us on a case-by-case basis. I fix issues to enable others in-turn earn their paychecks.” Or, Chris sabotages other people’s attempts to earn their paychecks if he regards himself as sufficiently superior. Yecchh.
- “He earns his paycheck by preying on uninformed people and duping them into services or products that are always a scam. His paycheck is lined with the hard earned money of average people. He and the “company” he works for are not any kind of positive force in society; they literally fit the description of a parasite leaching off of the life blood of the common person.” That’s your delusion, Chris, and since you didn’t have the integrity to let us know what product or services the telemarketer was telemarketing, we can’t assess your accuracy in this case. But I do know that your gross generalization is wrong: I know of many products and services that are sold by telemarketers that are not shams. I, for example, bought a gym membership from one that served me very well for many years. You can hire telemarketers to sell anything: I once considered hiring one to sell subscriptions to my theater. Your justification for your gratuitous cruelty requires misrepresenting an innocent minimum wage worker as a monster, and an industry as a virtual crime.
- “Do not dare tell me that “I’m a dick”. I do not welcome these calls. I am on a national Do Not Call list to avoid being hassled by these people. That fact and the fact that they circumvent any consequences by illegally spoofing their number (which is a federal crime) to avoid being found out is a prime example of why this is not a legitimate business.” Oh, but you are a dick, Chris….excuse me, Ethics Dunce. Where did you get the idea that you only have an obligation to be fair, respectful and kind to people you encounter in life that you chose to encounter, or welcome? Your conduct violated the Golden Rule, and basic decency. If everyone acted like you, nobody would go into sales of any kind. You have no idea if the poor telemarketer has any idea how the company operates. You are the kind of person who abuses secretaries, clerks and receptionists. You know—a dick.
- “Do not presume to judge me or who I am based on a single post where I turn the tables on horrible people. Imagine if I came after you for working at Amazon. What if I said “You’re a dick for working at a company that treats its warehouse employees like slaves” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon.com_controversies#Treatment_of_workers)” Ethics Dunce Signature Significance! 1. The old “we can’t judge someone who does unethical things as unethical” canard. We can, and we should, because that’s how society establishes cultural boundaries, and avoids a society where people think its funny to abuse strangers over the phone. 2. Your critic can’t presume to judge you for wrecking a poor worker’s day and seeking acclaim for it, but you judge a complete stranger as a “horrible person” when you could have avoided contact with him by pushing a single button, and all he did was play stooge to your harassment. 3. You would also be a dick for attacking your critic based on what you read on Wikipedia, and anyway, working for Amazon is not analogous to intentionally deceiving a telemarketer and disabling his work station to make yourself feel superior. 4. There is nothing more typical of an ethics dunce than evoking the Golden Rule as a defense after violating it.