In the fall of '04, to pick up some extra money, I worked for a tele-survey company. It consisted mainly of weekday evening hours (5 to 9pm). There would typically be about 12 or so of us working on any given night. Now, I wasn't a telemarketer. I was just calling people to ask them questions, to complete a survey. We did many different types of surveys. One had to do with Hormel's baked beans, another with farming, still another for the local newspaper.
It was always a struggle to get people to take the time to answer my questions. I would dial number after number and get no answer, voice mail, or a child answering that no one was home. I was a super-quick dialer, though, from my previous experience working in the telephone office at a medical facility. I was so fast, in fact, that my supervisor questioned me about it, saying that the number of numbers that I dialed was more than twice anyone else. I guess I was just too productive, like a high school student who messes up the curve on a test for everyone else who didn't do as well.
It was real fun calling people in southern states, accents as thick as molasses. And you wouldn't believe the excuses I would hear from people who didn't want to take the surveys: "The presidential debate is about to start", "American Idol is on", "My husband just died". Me and this other gal frequently competed on who could get the most completed surveys. It was a real pisser when I would get 2/3rd of the way through a survey and the respondent said they couldn't go any further. But such is life.
One thing I liked was when someone would say to me, "I'm on the "do not call" list". I always responded (with my tongue sticking out): "I'm not a telemarketer". I ended up working there about 5 months. It was decent, but I really needed to get away from the phones as '04 gave way to '05.