It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that being a telemarketer isn’t the best job ever. Often you are interrupting people at bad times, offering them things they don’t want, encouraged to be pushy and then get hung up on pretty much all the time. This comes with the job. Which means, you shouldn’t threaten to bomb their homes when it happens. Unless they’ve changed how it’s done.

We’ve all done it. You answer the phone, expecting it to be someone you actually want to talk to and it turns out to be a telemarketer with an exciting offer for some magazine subscription or pool cleaning service you don’t need. Rather than spend the time making a stranger feel better about your rejection, you just hang up the phone. Who has time to talk this person through the emotional rollercoaster of you saying “no” to every one of their scripted statements?

After this many years of suffering through the tradition of telemarketers, hanging up has become the humane thing to do. But, what if your hang up is the straw that breaks the telemarketer’s back? You may just find yourself in the middle of a bomb scare. This isn’t a far-fetched “when telemarketers attack” myth. This happened in Mead, CO last week.

A man answered a call, was offered some money he supposedly “won,” declined the offer and hung up. A fairly standard telemarketing exchange. That is until the telemarketer got upset, called the man back and then told him he had planted a bomb in his house. The man called the police, who then evacuated his neighbors and searched his home for a bomb. None was found. The man thought the call had come from overseas, based on the caller’s “very thick accent,” but police are still investigating to determine the origin of the call.

What we’ve learned from this is that when you hang up on a telemarketer and the phone rings again immediately afterward, you don’t answer it. Maybe you even leave it off the hook for a bit. Call me once, shame on you. Call me twice, shame on me.

We’ve also learned that perhaps they need to revisit their telemarketer training program at this particular company.

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