On the list of most annoying things in the world, somewhere between hepatitis and being shot is telemarketers. While any number of legit jobs can involve phone calling and even phone solicitation, there’s just something so aggravating about a computer that calls you at all hours of the day and then puts you on hold for a minute until someone can be bothered to talk to you. Roger Anderson felt the same way, so he did something about it.
The Jolly Roger Telephone Company is the robotic vengeance of a man fed up, a hero of modern times who’s had enough. What initially started as a call filtering system to greenlight calls from friends and family and redirect calls from auto-dialers to a pre-recorded message evolved into something a little more destructive. Anderson noticed that his redirected calls ended very quickly – the autodialers would hang up when no human voice was detected. It’s a method of saving time and money. So Anderson changed his system to respond more like a human would.
With his new system, the program, which Anderson gives free access to for anyone who wants to use it, will start by asking if it’s talking to a real human. This prompts the auto-dialer to actually redirect to a real person, thinking it has a potential customer on the hook. From there, the system gives generic answers to keep the conversation rolling, a series of “yeahs”, and “uh huhs.” Any lulls in the conversation get filled with goofy banter, like saying you’re distracted by a bee on your arm.
Because all the system does is waste time, most telemarketers catch on after a few minutes and get pretty frustrated before hanging up. Some even curse the system out, which is a nice touch that probably makes Anderson feel happy. But more than anything, it keeps the telemarketers talking to a machine and not bugging you on the phone. And for providing that service, Roger Anderson is a hero.