If you asked me what I accomplished today, all I’d be able to say is “I did laundry, and cleared some of the crap out of the back room so I can sit in there.” Sounds pretty dull, right? But it wasn’t, really, ’cause a package I’ve been feverishly awaiting (since the middle of last week) arrived, plus I spent a long time just plain goofing off and playing video games. (In my defense, it is the first day of Spring Break.)
One really annoying thing happened today, though. I got one of those phone calls where the person on the other end says “Hello, I am calling from the Microsoft Windows.” I never know how to reply to that. I mean, should I just say “No, you’re not,” and hang up? Admittedly, I’ve done that on at least one occasion. Should I point out that they are obviously not in the employ of a piece of software, and that even if they were, their sentence is grammatically wrong (the “the” shouldn’t be there) and therefore their script is obviously suspect and a major corporation (or sentient evil operating system, if you wanna get all Tron about it) wouldn’t give them that script?
But it’s not like telling them you know they’re a scam is going to get them to stop calling back; it’s an auto-dialer, so there’s no way of saving yourself the hassle. (Apart from not answering the phone. But I don’t have caller ID, so that’s not really an option. Yeah, I know, who doesn’t have caller ID in this day and age? In a word: me. It costs extra, and I have to pinch pennies somewhere.)
So the one today, after he says that infuriating introductory line, I’m so annoyed and unsure how best to reply that he starts saying “Hello?” again, thinking the line’s gone dead. I sighed, and said something about how I’ve gotten those phone calls before. He misunderstood my remark, and said if I had any questions, I could ask him. Naturally, I didn’t think of any of the things I should have said, and he was soon trying to return to his script of claiming that my computer (which was off at the time) was sending in bad data and so forth and so on, and I soon corrected him that what he claimed was impossible, and hung up.
But what I should have said, when he prompted me to ask him questions, is that I should have come up with the ideal question to ask. Which would have been something like this: “You said you were calling from Microsoft Windows–which is a piece of software, by the way, not a company–but unless this is your first day on the job, you must have noticed that your paycheck does not come from Microsoft nor any subsidiary company. Therefore, unless you’re dim-witted, you have to realize that what you’re saying to people when they answer their phones is an outright lie, with all that implies. Realizing, then, as you surely do, that what you’re doing is a scam, why do you still do it?”
That’s what I should have said. As always, I thought of that long after the fact. (There are seriously conversations I had more than twenty years ago where it still annoys me because I should have said one thing and I said another. Like the time in tenth grade when someone called me claiming to be someone else, and instead of calling him on it, I just made up some sort of weird excuse and hung up, so he probably thought he had successfully pranked me. Well over twenty years ago, and it still bugs me.)
What makes me more angry, though, getting back to the scam calls, is the one I got last week. It was on the day that my car was in the shop, and was due to be returned at some point, right? So I get one of those calls, and as soon as he does his requisite line I say “Look, I’m expecting a very important phone call, so unless you’re the car dealership, I really don’t have time to talk to you.” And he says “Then hang up, bitch.” He was the one trying to scam innocent, under-educated people! Where does he get off calling me names!? His criminal activity was intruding in my life, and instead of just telling him to go to hell and hanging up, I politely explained that I did not have time for his phone call, but he responded by swearing at me? I cannot begin to express just how much that pisses me off.
Those calls are getting more and more frequent, though. One time I actually got two of them in the same day. I wish Microsoft would use some of its unfathomable wealth to put a stop to it, since the scammers are using the company’s name in vain.
Heck, I’d even buy a Microsoft product just to thank them for getting rid of those guys! (Like an XBone. There are probably going to be next-gen exclusive games that are worth playing eventually…)