Life in the Land of the Rising Sun

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I saw something today that I still find very hard to believe.

The phone rang over at the Grade 9 section of the junior high staff room.  One of the teachers over there answered it and then announced that there was a call for one of three named science teachers.  The nearest one took the call.

Less than a minute later, the teacher (politely) blew his stack and started (politely) chewing out whoever it was on the phone.

It turned out that it had been a call from a recently-graduated student . . . who had then proceeded to give the teacher a telemarketing sales pitch for retirement condominiums!

I really hate telemarketers.  (grating diminished 7th chord)  While I understand that a job is a job, the fact that they earn their money by barging uninvited into people's lives and harassing them puts them right down there in the abyss with cockroaches, ticks, and paparazzi as far as I'm concerned.  It's bad enough that they get their hands on public school staff directories and proceed to bully the teachers.  My wife, a public school teacher, frequently gets calls from very stubborn and persistent telefarkheads, usually from the same two companies, both of which deal in (coincidentally) retirement condominiums.  They take advantage of her politeness by badgering her.  She says, "I'm sorry, but I'm not really interested," and they just keep calling back again and again . . . sometimes even late at night or early in the morning.  I finally grab the phone from her and frothily practice my rudest and most obscene Japanese on the arsehoal on the other end, and a few months later yet another salesprick from the same company starts calling asking for her again.  Over the past four years I think I've already told more than half a dozen youngish-sounding drips from one company to yank their heads out of their aft-shafts and get a life, and just a few weeks ago we got ANOTHER one from the SAME OUTFIT . . . followed a few days later by someone from RCCfH(Retirement Condo Company from Hell)#2!!! This is yet another example of a Saga That Just Won't End Even Though It Ought To.

As far as I'm concerned this qualifies as harassment, disruption of livelihood, disturbing the peace, and mental anguish, all of which are grounds for a lawsuit.  However, the always-company-sided Tokyo High Court has already set a legal precedent saying telemarketers are exercising a "legitimate business right".  That's one of the main reasons why Ye Olde Academy, a private school, decided some years ago not to make the staff directory available anymore.  It's bloody inconvenient, but it has saved us from most of what my poor wife and her colleagues have had to suffer.

. . . only now they're calling us at work . . . during class hours to boot . . . using our own alumni to harass us.  



  • Wow! At least here they finally got a Federal "Do not call list"...and all you have to say if you DO happen to get one is "I'm on the DO NOT CALL list, so remove me from your files.."

    Also, we disconnected our landline..and that helped ALOT.

    By Blogger ladybug, at 8:27 PM  

  • My daughter went to a birthday party of a schoolmate. Now her parents email periodic "real estate updates". I guess I should have read the Terms of Use before sending her to the party (rolls eyes).

    By Blogger Don Snabulus, at 12:25 AM  

  • Can't you block these calls? I'm amazed they have the gall to keep calling back - do they think you'll give in and buy a condo just to get them off your phoneline??

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:28 AM  

  • Ladybug
    The idea of a no-call list has been brought up here, but the problem is that businesses still enjoy too much legal favoritism. Let me put it this way: it took more than a couple years for cell-phone spam to be banned even though each unwanted message still cost the receiver around 10 cents! Considering such spam tended to come in large numbers, it could amount to a pretty penny! It also took a while for the government to stop so-called "wan-giri" ("one ring, hang-up") calls, i.e. phone calls to cell phones from solicitors that rang only once and then left a call-back number which, if dialed, went to a tolled phone porn site...often incurring a charge of hundreds of dollars. Again, the solicitors insisted they were practicing a legitimate business right, and the law solidly backed them up till the Diet was able to pass legislation banning the practice.

    And I thought ambulance-chasers were bad...

    The new fax/phone I gave my wife for her birthday a couple of weeks ago has a selective call-blocking feature that looks really nice. I was surprised, since it was announced some years ago that call-blocking was an "infringement of rights".

    By Blogger The Moody Minstrel, at 9:45 PM  

  • I had forgotten...have been enjoying a few months of peace since leaving my land-line behind and relying solely on my mobile phone.

    As well as telemarketing I used to get a LOT of wrong calls for shipments and deliveries to a Mr Shah or Sheikh or whatever - on both land line numbers I have owned. They would insist - and repeat the correct number at me, and I would say there is nobody here by that name and maybe this was their old number...or...?

    By Blogger Olivia, at 7:16 AM  

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