Can Recognise A Scam in Any Language

, , , , | Legal | February 20, 2019

(I work in a warehouse in Norway. I am doing my usual rounds when suddenly my cellphone rings. I notice on the caller ID that it is a very long number from a foreign country. I answer and, lo and behold, it’s a “your Microsoft Windows has a virus” scam. I am somewhat multilingual; I speak Icelandic and Norwegian, can scrape together Danish and Swedish, and have the bare basics in German. I also speak English, of course, but I decide the unlucky SOB has called the ONE person in Norway who doesn’t speak a word in it.)

Me: *automatically speaking in Norwegian* “Hallo, this is [My name]”

Caller: *very foreign accent but speaking English* “Hello. I’m calling from Microsoft because we have detected a virus on your computer.”

Me: *realizing what it is, does not switch to English and continues to speak Norwegian* “I’m sorry? I don’t understand you.”

Caller: “Ah, do you speak English?”

Me: *switches to my mother tongue, Icelandic* “Is this English? I’m sorry; I don’t speak English.

Caller: “English. Do you speak English?”

Me: *in my absolute worst Danish* “I’m sorry; I still don’t understand you.”

(I quickly whisper to my Danish coworker nearby what is happening and they nearly fall down laughing.)

Caller: “ENGLISH! DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH?!”

Me: *pretends like I’m thinking about it, then exclaims in utter joy, in my bad German* “Deutch? Ja, ich sprechen Deutch!”

(“German? Yes, I speak German.” He hung up for some reason.)

Karma Lives In Ohio

, , , , , | Working | February 18, 2019

(I work in an electronics lab at a high-tech manufacturer in California. My supervisor sometimes takes credit for my work. One day a customer in Ohio is having trouble with their user interface port, a problem I have already solved. My supervisor asks me to explain the fix, all the while repeating, “I do NOT want to go to Ohio!” Later, the owner walks in for an update.)

Owner: “So, did you come up with a solution?”

Supervisor: “Yes, it seems that—“ *repeats my solution as his own*

Owner: “That’s good work, [Supervisor]. I’m sending you to Ohio to fix this customer’s unit.”

Me: *suppressing a shriek of laughter*

Banking On Them Getting To That Part Of The Fine Print

, , , , , , | Right | February 15, 2019

(I work at the admissions desk of a museum, selling entry tickets. It is an extremely busy day as it is a public holiday and the weather is nice. Even with every till open and as many staff as possible trying to get people through the doors, the waiting time for the visitors is still around an hour and a half. A small family approaches my desk to pay for their tickets.)

Me: “Hello, I’m sorry about the wait today.”

Customer: “I want to use this two-for-one voucher.”

Me: “Oh, I’m so sorry, but unfortunately we can’t accept two-for-one vouchers on bank holidays.”

Customer: “What?”

Me: “We’re unable to accept that voucher today, I’m afraid.”

Customer: “You mean to tell me that we’ve stood in this queue for two hours, and now you’re going to tell me that I can’t even use my voucher?!”

Me: “I’m very sorry about the wait; we’re extremely busy today. But it does state clearly at the bottom of the voucher that it cannot be used on bank holidays.”

Customer: “Are you stupid?! Do you honestly think that I would have stood in this queue for hours and hours and not even bothered to read this? It doesn’t say anywhere on this voucher that it can’t be used today, nowhere!”

Me: “It does say at the bottom—“

Customer: “No, it does not! I think your attitude is appalling. You’re just trying to con me out of a deal! I think you’re just trying to scam people and pocket the difference! To prove it to you, I am going to stand here and read the contents of this voucher out loud, so you’ll hear it doesn’t state that anywhere, and then I want to speak to your manager about your attitude!”

(I resisted the urge to point out that I do not work on commission and am certainly not a thief, and patiently stood there as she loudly read the entire contents of the voucher to me. At this point, she’d raised her voice enough to attract the attention of other customers in the queue. She read the spiel about how the voucher couldn’t be used with any other offer and so on, all neatly laid out in bullet points, in a large enough font… until she reached the BOLDED bullet point about the voucher not being accepted on bank holidays and abruptly stopped talking. She refused to even look at me as she handed her purse to her husband and walked away, leaving him and their very embarrassed-looking children to purchase their tickets.)

Your Insults Can Just Walkie On By

, , , , , , | Right | February 12, 2019

(Many of the associates in my store have learned that it’s easier to clip our walkie-talkies to our back pockets instead of a front pocket or our belts. It prevents us from constantly whacking the walkies with our arms, hitting it against displays, and so on. One day, a customer sees my walkie clipped onto my back pocket. I’m an overweight female.)

Customer: *insultingly* “I’m surprised your radio doesn’t break when you sit on it.”

Me: “HA! I wish I had the chance to sit down around here! I’ve been here for six hours now and haven’t had a chance to sit down once.”

(In a store with too few employees, we were always SO busy that many of us are forced to skip breaks and only take the barest of lunches on every shift. Ignoring the way this man is commenting on my weight AND has to have been looking at my butt while I work, I try to be civil.)

Me: “And when I do finally get a break, I take this thing off.”

Customer: “Oh.”

(His wife smacked him on the arm, and they paid for their copies and left without another word. I hope she gave him a talking to when they were on their way home!)

Fake Stranger Danger Danger

, , , , , | Related | February 12, 2019

(My brother has a wicked sense of humor and loves to troll people. He never means any real harm by it, but not everyone knows how to handle it. Our mother has been forced to learn from experience. We’re shopping with our mother and my fourteen-year-old brother. This is also during an era when there was a string of commercials on television about what children should do if a stranger tries to take them from a store.  On this particular day my brother has been bored and is dragging his feet.)

Mother: *to brother* “Will you come on already? We’re almost done.” *tugs on his arm at this point*

Brother: *throws himself to the floor* “THIS ISN’T MY MOMMY!”

(Everyone around us stops to stare. I expect my mother tear into him, but instead, she stays completely calm.)

Mom: “Well, if I’m not your mother, I guess I don’t have to give you a ride home or feed you any of this.”

Brother: *sheepishly gets to his feet*  

(He did not try that one again.)

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