The Phone Call I Just Had With A Scam Artist

Today at work, I received a phone call that was obviously a scam from the word go. However, I was amused throughout the whole exchange, and decided to post this transcript:

Me: (Company name)?

[A click, and the phone starts ringing on the other end – this is the first sign that this is going to be an automated and/or sales call, but I had a free moment, so I decided to see how this would play out.]

Voice: [with thick Middle-Eastern accent] Hello?

Me: Hello, (Company name)?

Voice: Hi, I am calling about your Windows computers, we have received many notifications that your Windows computers are experiencing issues—

Me: We don’t use any Windows computers here.

Voice: What kind do you use?

Me: Macintosh.

Voice: I’m sorry?

Me: Macs, Macintosh computers.

Voice: How many computers do you have?

Me: … Why do you ask?

Voice: I’m asking how many computers you have.

Me: To what end?

Voice: [annoyed] “To what end?”

Me: Why do you need to know how many computers we have?

Voice: Your computers are going to crash.

Me: Our computers are fine, sir.

Voice: You don’t know that. Are you engineers?

Me: No, we are not engineers.

Voice: Then how can you know your computers are not going to crash?

Me: You didn’t know what kind of computers we have, how could you know are computers are going to crash?

Voice: Just transfer me to your manager, idiot!

Me: [amused] I’m sorry?

Voice: Transfer me to your manager, idiot!

Me: I’m not going to do that.

Voice: Just do it, idiot.

Me: No, I’m not, because you called me an idiot, which is disrespectful, so I’m not going to pass you along.

Voice: You are an idiot!

Me: Well, that’s my problem to deal with, I suppose.

Voice: I run a company—

Me: Well, I don’t believe that’s true, because you called me an idiot over the phone, which is very unprofessional. If you are who you say you are, I do apologize, but you need to work on your sales tactics. If you’re not who you say you are, you still need to work on your sales tactics…

Voice: Don’t you understand, I am the owner of a company—

Me: What is the name of your company? What is it called?

Voice: That is not your business—!

Me: Okay, I’m going to hang up now, you have a good day, sir—

Voice: Okay, okay… I work with your manager, and I am going to call and talk to your manager, and when I tell him about this phone call, it will be big trouble for you!

Me: What is my manager’s name?

Voice: What?

Me: You said you work with my manager? What is his name?

Voice: Your boss, the man you work for!

Me: I know who I work for, the burden of proof is on you, sir.

Voice: I work with your manager, and I am going to tell him—!

[I hung up.]

Interestingly, no repercussions came from my manager. Weird.

A Brief Editorial on Superman and His Glasses

We all know the story. Superman, the god-like being from another world, who puts on a pair of glasses and hides among humans as the unassuming Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for a major metropolitan newspaper.

Clark Kent’s flimsy disguise has drawn a lot of criticism over the decades (including some from this very blog), but it really is an amazing metaphor when you stop to consider it.

Continue reading A Brief Editorial on Superman and His Glasses

An Open Letter To The Guy That Always Texts At Airport Urinals

Dear That Guy I See Texting At Every Airport Urinal,

You don’t know me, but I’ve been seeing quite a lot of you lately. I just got back from a vacation to Ireland last weekend, and as I type I am waiting to board my flight to Seattle for my cousin’s wedding. So, needless to say, I’ve been in quite a few airports over the past few weeks. And at every one of them, at some point, I’ve used the restroom, and I’ve seen you there, standing at the urinal with your johnson in one hand and your blackberry in the other, typing away like you’re not obviously peeing in public.

I suppose, on one level, I shouldn’t be too surprised – we live in a world of unprecedented interconnectivity, and it’s easier than ever to use your phone to stay in touch with your loved ones and colleagues from anywhere in the world. And as someone whose job regularly requires me to check my email from home at 10pm at night, I can relate to feeling like you just can’t stop looking at your messages, for the fear that something important and possibly catastrophic might happen in that one moment you’re not looking.

However, there is both a time and a place to check your messages, and – regardless of the context – the moment you are urinating is never that moment.

I’m also surprised at just how many traits, hopefully present in every human being, you seem to lack. Such as:

Patience – The most important thing you need to understand is that, whatever it is you’re doing on your phone can wait. I appreciate that everything we do on our phones seems urgent – I myself have found myself standing before the porcelain altar and felt my phone buzz, and began speculating wildly as to who could be trying to reach me. Is it my boss, calling to fire me? My mother, calling from the hospital? A lawyer, calling to tell me that a great-uncle I never knew has passed away and left me an indecent amount of money and a mansion with a live-in butler who will change his name to Jarvis if I ask him to, simply because that’s how much he is paid to serve me? My mind is racing, and I simply have got to know, and I have to look at my phone, and why is this taking so long, what was I thinking, why did I drink all that apple juice during that ‘Dead Zone’ marathon? But it’s important to understand that anything the phone has to say will still be there once you have finished relieving yourself.

Humility – I can tell from your clothes, hair, and the fact that you are constantly using your phone at inappropriate moments, that you are a successful businessperson. You wouldn’t be using your phone at airports otherwise, right? However, you are clearly keenly aware of this as well, and to be frank, I think you think that’s a bigger deal than we do. You are in an airport. At any point, you could be side-by-side with a surgeon, or a detective, or a Pope. Heck, the odds are at least a few of them are airline pilots or air traffic control personnel. And they are all much more important than you, yet they all resist the urge to look at their phones when they’re draining the lizard. If they can wait, you can wait.

Hygiene – I feel like this one speaks for itself. Wait until after you’ve washed your hands before you touch your screen. It’s just so gross.

I am, however, impressed that you somehow are able to appear in every airport bathroom in the world. This suggests some sort of teleportation ability, or at the very least the ability to move at superhuman speeds. With this sort of power at your fingertips, I’m surprised you don’t have time to take a leak without sending a tweet.

So, please, for everyone’s sake, put the phone down and focus on what you’re doing.

Sent from my iPhone