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How To Win The War Against Telemarketers, Part 28

, , | Working | August 7, 2017

(An unknown number calls my cell phone. I’ve been getting a lot of scam calls lately, so I decide to mess with them.)

Me: “Hello?”

Scammer: “Hello, yes, is [My Father] there?”

Me: “Oh, he’s not here right now.”

Scammer: “This is [unintelligible] calling from Windows Technical Services. We have detected a problem with your computer. Could you please open it up?”

Me: *thinking* “Score!” *saying* “Just a sec.”

(He’s called me pretty much first thing after I got into work, so it actually takes some time to unpack my non-Windows laptop.)

Me: “Sorry about the delay. Hello? Hello…? If you’re going to scam me, you could at least put some effort into it.” *hangs up*

Scammer: *calls back* “Hello. Why did you hang up on me?”

Me: “You weren’t responding.”

Scammer: “Yes, I was, I… I have the serial number for your computer here. Can we just confirm it and if it doesn’t match, you can hang up.”

Me: “All right…”

Scammer: “Can you look at the left side of your keyboard, what key is at the bottom left?”

Me: *thinking* “Oh, no. They’re learning.”

(My laptop has a different set of keys along the bottom than a Windows keyboard would. All of my “What’s a start menu” jokes, ruined! I turn away from my laptop, and pick up the keyboard to my desktop machine. It is covered in dust.)

Me: “It says C… T… R… L…”

Scammer: “Yes, what’s to the right of that key?”

Me: “It’s like… a rectangle, with some lines…”

Scammer: “Could you press that key, and tell me what happens?”

Me: “Nothing is happening. I’m pressing it over and over, and I’m not seeing anything.”

(This is 100% truthful. The desktop is not hooked up to the monitor; I do all of my work through the laptop. I don’t see anywhere to go with this, so I hang up again and turn off my phone. I soon realize that I should probably actually look at what I did, so I’m sure the desktop isn’t sitting around with a menu up or anything. When I manage to hook it up, I see a dialogue box that would let me tell a hilarious joke.)

Me: *thinking* “It’s just too bad they’re going to have rationally given up on me by this point.”

(I later turn on my phone, and get some voice messages, in which the scammer attempted to talk to my voicemail service like it was me, which didn’t work out well. Something like an hour later, my phone rings again.)

Scammer: “Hello, yes, this is [unintelligible] from Windows Technical Services.”

Me: “Oh, yeah, you guys called earlier! I pushed the weird rectangle button a few times, and nothing happened, but then I realized, my screen was off! I turned it on, and it said something about sticky keys, so that keyboard’s in the sink now.” *hangs up, as neither of us can possibly follow up on that*

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