Sometimes I Make Them Cry

Lately I’ve been getting a lot of unsolicited phones sales calls. How they know to call when I have my hands full I’ll never know. I’ve gotten smart and used the little trick on my phone that announces out loud who the caller is. That way if the phone rings and I hear Siri say, “Unknown Caller” I know I can go about my work and enjoy the vibration in my pocket.

However If I’m not busy and I’m feeling a little mischievous many times I’ll answer the call. If its a recorded voice I just hang up disappointed. After all how many times can a person listen to some girl named Jennifer trying to sell some kind of medical alert bracelet.

Several days ago I got a call from an “unknown caller” and I was just sitting in the back yard taking a break so I thought what the hell. I looked at the phone and it said the call was from Waco, TX. This was before Harvey hit so I was hoping for some one with an interesting southern accent to their sales pitch.

It was a live person – a girl with an accent but not one from Texas. This girl had a thick middle eastern accent and surprise, surprise, her name was Jennifer. Anyway she claimed that was her name. How they ever found so many girls from India with that name I will never know.

As she started reading her script I proceeded to tell her that my phone said she was from Texas and that I have relatives there. I asked whereabouts in Texas was she from. I kept firing questions at her in an attempt to rattle her but she never went off script once. She was gonna tell me all about the amazing business loan I was eligible for or choke trying. Since I wasn’t interested and she was probably getting paid by the number of calls she made I just hung up and let try to sell to some other smuck.

I have had more exciting phone sales encounters in the past. My favorite was the day a “Microsoft Technician” called to tell me that there was a problem with Windows on my computer. This is a well known ruse that unscrupulous folks use to gain control of your computer to “fix” it and then they can get all kinds of financial and personal information from the machine.

Three factors played into the opportunity I took with the guy that day. One, I knew about the scam. Two, that day there wasn’t a Windows machine in the house; if you recall I’m an Apple bigot when it comes to computing. Three, I was in user support for just about every operating system for more than twenty years and I’ve pretty much heard it all when it comes to troubled users.  So when this guy decided to educate me about my problems in Windows I was fully armed in a battle of wits.

When he first told me there was a problem with my Windows I quite honestly told him that I never use Windows. I use Microsoft Word to write letters and things and I use Excel to do my budget sometimes but I never use Windows. This was all true because I have Microsoft Office on my Mac. He then started to try to explain about operating systems but I never gave him a chance. I interrupted asking how can I use windows? I never click on the Windows icon. I let him start again but before he could get four words in I told him I’ve never even seen the Windows icon.

Again he started trying to teach me the difference between programs and operating systems. At this point I started using random complaints I remembered getting from users over the years only of course in the first person. By now I had put him on speaker phone so Snowball could hear what was going on. She began clasping her hands over her mouth to keep from laughing out loud. A few moments later she was suffering so badly from the containment she had to silently excuse herself from the room.

By this time I had complained to the “Microsoft Technician” about all of my printing problems and how my screen flickers sometimes. I would let him go about five or six words and then go off on another technical tangent. Every time his frustration would cause his voice to get a little higher. I kept stringing him along for a full five minutes. Finally his voice just about reached D sharp over a high C and it sounded like he was starting to cry. I actually started to feel sorry for this guy. I stopped him and said in a serious tone, “Hey look dude look, I’ve just been messing with you. I’ve been in the I.T. field for twenty years. I know all about operating systems and programs.”

His reaction sort of surprised me. Remember I knew this guy had originally called in an attempt to rip me off. But he started screaming telling me what a terrible person I was that I knew all about this stuff and just wasted his time. Well that erased any guilt I had about the episode. I just told him “Hey, you called me!” and hung up on him.