Today’s telemarketer wants me to know that he is calling on behalf of a “family-owned business.”
“That’s wonderful,” I say. “The family-owned business is the heart and soul of America!”
“Tell me, though, which family?”
There is silence.
“It’s not important,” he says.
“Of course it’s important. How do I know you’re not calling from some evil corporation, man?”
There is silence, then he gets defensive.
“We aren’t evil, we’re painters.”
“Are you kidding me? There are plenty of evil painters in the world. But I guess I’ll just have to take your word for it. Swear you aren’t evil, ok?”
He swears. Then he offers me a deal. I pay the regular price for them to paint the exterior of my home, but then I get money off for each friend I refer.
“So, you mean that if I refer enough friends, I get the painting done for free?”
“That’s right,” he says.
“And what happens if my referrals exceed the cost of the painting? Is it possible to make money on this deal?”
“It has happened, but only for our most popular and beloved customers,” he says.
“But what happens to you?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, if I start selling these paint jobs like hotcakes, this family-owned business won’t need you anymore.”
He laughs, but I don’t know why. This family-owned business is trying to make this poor telemarketer obsolete with their pyramidal deals, and that sounds evil to me, man.