Celia Rivenbark: Coronavirus can’t stop telemarketers

Tribune Content Agency

Call me naïve, but I am surprised telemarketers seem completely undeterred by the worldwide pandemic. For some reason, I assumed Brian from sketchy “dealer services” would be using this time to stay home with his family pondering a change of career. Alas, I was wrong. In fact, Brian, Becky, Adam, Sergio…the whole cast of characters has upped its game!

Yes, even in the middle of a planet-paralyzing pandemic, apparently I should be deeply concerned about the “urgent” ed to buy an additional warranty for a 2013 Kia Optima I traded two years ago.

Is it true, then, like how only cockroaches would be able to survive a nuclear holocaust, only telemarketers will survive COVID-19? And, no, I’m not comparing telemarketers to cockroaches; that would be a huge insult. And no, I wasn’t going to say “to the cockroaches” because that’s too predictable and, therefore, not funny.

Hmmm. That sounds like the kind of thing you could learn from signing up for my MASTER CLASS in humor for a grossly inflated fee. From what I can tell, the pandemic has caused a boost in signups for these classes. I think it’s great that so many people want to improve their minds during their forced shelter in place. Doris Kearns Goodwin has one on history or maybe baseball. Friends have told me they’re considering signing up for David Sedaris’s humor writing masterclass.

For some reason, this ticks me off. Can’t quite put my finger on it. Nope. Just can NOT figure it out.

I wanted to discuss all this with my new friend “Spam Risk,” but I think I sounded too needy and he basically said he had to wash his hair.

The health care plan folks must’ve heard Dealer Services telemarketers were starting to edge them out but, unlike Dealer Services, they ALWAYS leave a voicemail message.

Reading the transcripts of these messages is one of the highlights of my day, almost as much fun as the other highlight: holding a large battery-operated wall clock in my hands and screaming at it to “TURN FIVE!!!”

I had to laugh at a voicemail transcription from “Hannibal” who is apparently Sleepless in Sudan worried slam to death about my choice of supplemental health care policies. (I’m not eligible for Medicare, yet, but I still get a ton of these calls every week to remind me I’m just a buzzard’s wingspan away).

The transcription read “Hollow. Do you have a supper mental hell care police? If not…”

Another offered “laminate paws” which sounds incredibly uncomfortable and I assume should have been “limited paws.” Which also makes no sense, now that I think about it.

I know what you’re thinking. Laminated paws would definitely save the furniture. No, no. What I meant to say was you’re thinking of COURSE telemarketers are busily working the phones. We’re trapped in our houses, so bored we are spending way too much money on master classes and asking “Spam Risk” what he’s wearing.


Celia Rivenbark wonders if real-life “Karens” are tired of being typecast as self-absorbed and spoiled. #quitbashingKaren.


©2020 Celia Rivenbark

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