Getting A Calling For Dealing With The Callings

, , , | | Legal | August 23, 2019

(I am going through a period of getting calls from scammers, usually with an incredibly thick Indian accent, giving a very American name and claiming to be calling on behalf of Microsoft for some essential update. The first time, I initially thought they were linked to my work where the IT support is a genuinely good company in India, although it was odd that they would call me at home. After some questions about my system, they wanted me to visit a site. I first quickly Googled it which confirmed it was a scam and I hung up. I went along far enough that they considered me a potential victim and called at least five times more in the next hour, claiming urgency. Over the next couple of months, I became unemployed, so I couldn’t afford to simply ignore unknown callers IDs, but the accent and opening lines usually make it clear who I am dealing with. These are some my of responses. I’ll skip their intro spiel. I’m male and so is the scammer:)

Me: *in a sultry voice* “Well, hello, sweetie. What are you wearing?”

Scammer: “…” *click*

(Another case:)

Me: *sigh* “Listen, I know this is a scam. Please just hang up and delete my number.”

(Cue the scammer insisting they are real a couple of times.)

Me: “Okay, I’m done. Do me a favor and jump off a cliff or something. Just f*** off.”

Scammer: *in the same tone as a greeting* “F*** you, too, sir.” *hangs up*

(I need a second to process the politest, rudest dismissal I have ever gotten. Another time, the phone rings at 6:00 am; my grandfather was committed to the hospital the day before.)

Scammer: “Hi, I’m calling from Micros–”

Me: *WORDLESS SCREAM FROM THE TOP OF MY LUNGS*

(Another case:)

Me: “Listen, I know that if I follow your instructions you would lock my computer and ask for payment to unlock it. I’m clearly not going to do that, so just give up.”

Scammer: “No, sir, I am calling from Microsoft per instructions by Bill Gates and need you to–”

Me: “Okay, how about this, then: let’s skip the whole bit where you lock my computer and I’ll just send you money to stop calling me?”

Scammer: *without missing a beat* “Certainly. How much money would you send?”

Me: *incredulous pause* “You seriously think I would do that?” *click*

(I later talked to my dad, who works for the police. He said I should have written down their account details. This might have made it possible to trace them, and asking for money to not call people counts as extortion, which makes for a stronger case than phone harassment. It’s almost sad that was the last call I got from them.)

Won’t Be Branching Down This Tree

, , , , , | | Romantic | August 23, 2019

(I am on a first date with a guy I met online. He works for a tree removal business. I teach high school biology. We are both pretty nervous but he is telling me about his job.)

Me: “I guess you learned a lot about tree species before you got your job? I’m more of a zoologist than a botanist.”

Date: “Yeah.” *laughs* “I could tell you a lot about trees. Like, palm trees are growing farther north than they ever used to.”

Me: “No kidding.”

Date: “Oh, yeah, and here there are a lot of oaks and pines that have to be taken out because it’s gotten too warm for them to survive. It’s intense how many of those trees have died in the last ten years.”

Me: “Global warming sure is scary.”

Date: “Global warming isn’t real.”

Me: “…”

Date: “There’s a concert next weekend that I’d really like to take you to.”

Me: “I don’t think this is going to work out.”

Not Even The Beyoncé Version?

, , , , , | | Working | August 22, 2019

(I work in an assisted living facility. A coworker is up near my desk on her break. There are tables near my desk and she’s sitting at one with a couple of residents. This coworker is… not the brightest bulb, to put it mildly.)

Coworker: “Can you put on Avahmarra for [Resident]?”

Me: “Put on what?”

Coworker:Avahmarra. [Coworker #2] said it’s her favorite music.”

Me: “Oh…” *thinking* “Ava… Do you mean Ave Maria?”

Coworker: “Yeah, that’s it! Is that a solo singer? Or a group?”

Me: “It’s… a song… about Mary… from Christianity? Catholicism, in particular, I think.”

Coworker: “Oh… okay… I’ve never heard of it!”

(I’m not religious, but I’ve heard of it! Since I was a kid! It’s played all the time around the holidays. Her voice the whole time — and always, for that matter — was bubbly and cheerful. She had no clue that I was gob-smacked that she had no idea whatsoever what “Ave Maria” was. Jesus Christ… No pun intended.)

It’s Slowly Adding Up That It’s Not Adding Up

, , , , , | | Right | August 22, 2019

(I’m buying a couple of items at a game store, and the total is $38. The cashier and I are making small talk as I hand her a $20 and a $5.)

Cashier: *realizing the money I handed her isn’t enough* “I’m sorry, your total is $38.”

Me: “Oh! I’m sorry, I thought that was a ten instead of a five.”

Cashier: “…”

Me: “…which still wouldn’t have been enough. I’m sorry, I can’t do math today.”

(I felt a little embarrassed, but at least she got a good chuckle out of it!)

The Longest Shortlist

, , , , , , | | Working | August 22, 2019

Where I work, we have several printers/scanners scattered throughout the building. Each one mainly serves the employees whose desks are closest. On the machines we had until a few weeks ago, each scanner had shortcuts for the email addresses of the employees who used it most frequently. We just recently got all the scanners replaced, and the new ones come with a general address book of the entire company and no scanner-specific shortcuts. A number of employees, myself included, found that irritating.

Then, one day, I discovered a way to use the “shortcuts” feature to make a short list of frequently-used email addresses on my nearest scanner. Certain that my other coworkers would appreciate this, I sent out a company-wide email letting people know that it was possible and I’d be happy to show them how. Multiple coworkers responded favorably. Then, one of the managers called me up and told me to let the IT guy handle adding any shortcuts, “so that he can put them on the server and they’ll be available on all printers.”

After about five minutes, I finally got her to understand that this would defeat the purpose of my idea, but she still failed to see what was so annoying about scrolling through several dozen names every time you scan. And her name isn’t at the top of the alphabet, she has to scroll, too.

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