17 October 2004

The Job of the Year 2004

or, Why oh why do we have such liars serving as government economists?

In 2002, at the height of Singapore's grand "transition into a mature economy" (where do the mandarins in our civil service come up with crap like that?), and when our then-PM Goh lauded graduates frying chestnuts and selling porridge at hawker centres as entrepeneurs (and how did this piece of crap manage to float to the top of the civil service?), the Job of the Year was: Insurance Agent.

In 2003, when our government economists proclaimed that Singapore had grown marvellously despite the SARS outbreak (presumably, one has to admire their talent for looking for silver linings in very dark clouds, and ignoring the countless people who lost their jobs), the Job of the Year was: Multilevel Marketer.

For 2004, let's give a loud cheer for the 9% growth rate (projected)! It is a growth rate that shouldn't slide below 8% despite the dramatic slowdown in the last quarter! Indeed, as our government economists put it, even if the economy does come to a complete halt, we'll still have at least 8% growth, huzzah! Ah, the wonders of starting from a very low base: any improvement becomes spectacular. And the Job of the Year is: Telemarketer (aka Direct Marketer).

Do you hate it when telemarketers call?
(Link courtesy of Edward)

The Direct Marketing sector regards the telephone as one of its most successful tools. Consumers experience telemarketing from a completely different point of view: more than 92% perceive commercial telephone calls as a violation of privacy.

Telemarketers make use of a telescript - a guideline for a telephone conversation. This script creates an imbalance in the conversation between the marketer and the consumer. It is this imbalance, most of all, that makes telemarketing successful. The EGBG Counterscript attempts to redress that balance.

Why make life difficult for telemarketers?

Well, because they do make life difficult for us. Like making us ponder the mysteries of life, the universe, and everything:

1. Where did you get my contact from?
2. When on earth did I ever give my contact to your company? (especially if I haven't even heard of your company in my life)
3. Which company did you buy my contact from?
4. What makes you think you're not annoying me by calling at x pm?
5. What makes you think I'll give you my email address at the end of your unsolicited sales attempt?

But mainly because telemarketers are just one step above email spammers.

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