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Rage Against The Human Machine

, , , , | Working | February 23, 2018

(I work as an office assistant for a small company. We get a lot of spammy recorded calls of questionable origin. The phone rings and the caller ID is from an insurance company. It looks to me like it may be another recorded message, but I always pick up the phone in case it’s not.)

Me: “Hi, you’ve reached [Company].”

Caller: “Hello? Can you hear me?”

Me: “Yes?”

Caller: *long pause* “How are you doing today?”

(This is a common enough format for recorded calls that I ask outright:)

Me: “Is this a recording?”

(After another pause, he doesn’t respond to my question, and instead starts talking about where he’s calling from. Between the long pauses and ignoring my question, I figure it’s a recorded message and hang up. The phone immediately rings again from the same number. I don’t bother answering it, instead lifting the receiver and hanging it back up. This pattern goes on for some time, at least five times. I also hold the phone to my ear a couple of times before hanging it up and hear the same voice say, “Hello?” and, “Can you hear me?” but nothing unique enough to make me think this isn’t a sophisticated recording. I’ve heard that if you let a recorded call get far enough or even answer it at all they’ll keep calling you. I figure this is a particularly persistent and obnoxious one, and I guess I hope if I hang up on it enough it’ll stop. I probably should just let it go to the voicemail, but I hate letting the phone just ring. However, this pattern is now at the point where I can’t get anything done because of the constant calls. I snap and decide to try picking it up again)

Me: *picks up phone* “Hi, is this a real person?”

Caller: *same voice, but now exasperated* “Yes! I’ve been hung up on several times now. I’m trying to do an employer check for [Company Employee]. Who am I talking to?”

Me: *embarrassed now* “Oh… This is the office assistant, [My Name].”

Caller: “Can you tell me if I am speaking to the right person, or who I should speak with?”

Me: “The directors should be able to help you out. Let me transfer you.”

Caller: “That’d be great, thanks.”

(I was too embarrassed to apologize for hanging up on him so many times. Hopefully he didn’t give my boss an earful about his incompetent office person!)

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