About that Airhorn…

 

You wouldn’t guess it without having spent some time with me at home, but my #1 frustration in life is telemarketers and phone scammers.

 

Yeah yeah! Me too! baby

 

But I’m not frustrated like you are: it’s not because they interrupt important conversations, or because they’re annoying thieves, or any other reason you might think of.

 

 

No, it’s because they’re the only people who are exactly as stubborn and persistent as I am, and I am therefore powerless to stop them.

 

In normal human encounters, I come out on top by virtue of the fact that I’m willing to go to the mat over issues that other people just don’t care about; getting my takeout order exactly right is deeply important to me, down to the right sauces in the bag (which is probably why I haven’t paid for a Chipotle order in a while—it’s just been the same comped meal getting comped over and over until they learn what I mean by salad, extra veggies).  But this technique doesn’t work against a recording, does it?

 

Ooh!  Except the automated assistance line at UPS:

 

 

RECORDED VOICE:  Please briefly describe the reason for your call.  For example: you can say “track my package,” “request pickup” or “locations.”
ME:  Missing package.
RV:  … I heard you say you need a pickup.  Is that correct?
ME:  No.
RV:  … Okay.  Please briefly describe the reason for your call.  For example: you can say “track my—
ME:  Missing.  Package.
RV:  … I’m sorry, I’m having trouble understanding you.  Please briefly—
ME:  Customer service.
RV:  … I’m sorry, I’m having trouble understanding you.  Please—
ME:  GET ME TO A FUCKING HUMAN RIGHT FUCKING NOW BEFORE I FUCKING BLOW UP YOUR FUCKING PHONES WITH FUCKING COMPLAINTS SO HELP ME FUCKING GOD!
RV:  …
ME:  …
RV: … Please hold while I transfer you to a customer service representative.

 

Deb Morgan "Mother shitfuck"

See Mom?  Sometimes swearing gets shit done.

 

But in general, the machines don’t respond to profanity.  Which is a real shame, because they inspire so very much of it.

 

 

ME:  (answers phone)
ROBOT:  Hi, this is Tom!  Can I have a moment of your time to talk about—
ME:  Is this a robot?
ROBOT:  (fake robot laugh)  No, no.  There’s a real person here.  Do you have a moment to talk?
ME:  I hate robots.  Fuckin’ takin’ over, fuckin’ robots are what’s ruining ‘Murca!
ROBOT:  (talking over my entire speech)  That’s okay, I’ll call back later!  You have a good day now!
ME:  (hangs up)
HIM:  Robots again?
ME:  Said he’d call back later.  After insisting that he was a real person, of course.
HIM:  At this point, they’re just crowd sourcing their evolution… we’re doomed.
ME:  Which is why I put on the redneck act.  I figure if the robot is playing a role, I shouldn’t show up as myself—that’s just rude!
HIM:  We should get a robot to answer the phone and determine if the caller is a robot.
ME:  That’s… a really good idea, actually.
HIM:  Then they could train each other.
ME:  Oh my god!  You just described Spyfall for robots!  (cheers, jumping around)
HIM:  (sighs)  Yeah, okay… that would be cool.

 

excited

Someone please get on this.

 

But then there are the humans!  And I’ll tell you, they might as well be machines, because I haven’t yet figured out a way to make them stop either.

 

 

ME:  Hello?
SCAMMER:  Hi, this is Brenda.  There’s no problem, but I’m calling you about your Discover Card—
ME:  Brenda?  You did say it’s Brenda, right?
SCAMMER:  Yes ma’am.
ME:  Your parents wish you’d never been born, and your friends only like you when you’re drunk.  (hangs up)
OFFSPRING:  Are you trying to make her kill herself?
ME:  (shrugs)

 

 

She didn’t—Brenda calls me twice a week, like clockwork.  I don’t even have a Discover card!

 

 

ME:  Hello?
SCAMMER:  Hello.  Yes.  Ma’am this is Mike*from Windows Technical Support—
ME:  Yeah, I’ll just bet you are.
SCAMMER:  Yes ma’am.  I’m calling to tell you that there is a very serious problem with your Windows computer.
ME:  Uh-huh.
SCAMMER:  You see, ma’am—
ME:  I’m gonna stop you right there, because I can smell your bullshit from here.  Microsoft has never and will never hire filthy scammer scum like you, and I want you to know that you’re going to burn in hell—a thousand years of torment for each dollar you stole from some poor trusting soul who believed your con.  Maybe quit now and get a job your family can be proud of?  Buy a second goat to fuck on the nights the first one won’t have you?  I don’t care, but you won’t be getting any of me, so FUCK OFF!  (hangs up)

 

 

 

That guy called back with increasingly violent sexual threats every few minutes for the rest of his shift, and a couple times a day for the next few weeks.  I like to think he took my advice about the goat, though.

 

daydreaming woman

Maybe for the right goat he’d really turn things around…

 

 

ME:  I need to scream in frustration, but I don’t want to hurt my throat because this isn’t worth hurting my throat over.
HIM:  I know.
ME:  See, this is why I need an air horn.**
HIM:  So you can hurt other people instead?
ME:  Yes!  I love how you get me.

 

cartoon air horn

 

 

 

 

 

* No it isn’t.  Own your heritage, Ranjish.

** I did buy an airhorn, for phone scammers*** but it was from the dollar bin at Target and it turned out to be a wheezy li’l squeaker.  It truly sounded more like a fart than a horn.  I need to get a decent one.

*** Here’s how that works: you turn your phone upside down and speak quietly, explaining that you’re feeling a little under the weather and apologizing for your weak voice.  A decent person would wish you health and get off the phone, but these are scammers and they will turn up their headsets and keep plugging away.  When you’ve got them firmly on the hook, you hit ‘em with the air horn.

 

 

 

 

 

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30 comments on “About that Airhorn…

  1. They drive me insane to. Calling a number I haven’t used for years looking for me. I think when I piss then off they pass my number to every other fecker to have them ring me too.
    We get the computer one too. I’m going to start telling them I work for Microsoft to see what they say lol

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Victor K says:

    I wish I had that kind of persistence in the face of fucking scammers. Too many news stories about the following harassment if you waste their time keeps me wary of trying. Although there was one bored day where I kept “Microsoft” on the phone for an hour or so while my internet was out, seemed a good time to play crazy stupid.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Phil Taylor says:

    Love it! I get so frustrated with the robo call systems that don’t get my sarcasm. I’m not as cold hearted as you though. If I call a company help line I can’t be mean to those people. The error wasn’t their fault and they’re stuck in a dead end job getting verbally abused all day.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There was a scam going around south Florida last year where they would call you up and tell you the IRS was going to sue you unless you gave made a payment to them immediately. We were a hot mess at that point, just exhausted from me being sick for so long and completely broke. Well, they call my ever patient husband, a man who is NEVER rude to anyone, and tell him the IRS is going to sue him. He’s completely deadpan, no emotion whatsoever. “Cool, sue me.” The guy on the other end is so confused, he explains how serious this is and it could completely wipe out his finances, etc. My husband is like, yeah. Ok. I look forward to losing everything. He hangs up, looks at me, and says, so the IRS is suing us. I say, sounds about right. The next day we read about the scam, realized that was what the call was, and cracked up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Best way to handle those. I’ve only ever gotten them automated, but if I ever get a person I’m stealing that!

      Liked by 1 person

    • jen7iris says:

      I got that one too, while I was on vacation in Italy. They got more and more angered as I questioned the validity of their claim. My favorite was when he claimed he was calling from DC but the caller ID on my phone clearly said the number was in GA. He gave me some BS response when I called him on that. In the end, when I insisted I would not be committing to giving him any kind of payment he said he looked forward to seeing me in court where he would help them prosecute me as harshly as possible. I responded with “Thank you for your kind and understanding response.” Then I blocked the number. I’ve gotten a few more from various other numbers. I don’t answer, but I look up the number and when I see what it is, I block that number too. I’ve started blocking all numbers that I get telemarketing or scammer calls on. It doesn’t stop them forever but I figure it makes them work a little harder at it.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Oh, one of the Brendas From Discovercard was calling from a spoofed number that happened to be a lawyer here in town. So I called them up and let them know what was happening with their number. They went to the police, but the police said they can’t do anything about it, you have to go through the phone company; phone company said no, you have to report it to the police. Last I heard, the attorney was taking it further up the food chain… but Brenda did stop spoofing that number!

        Like

  5. bexoxo says:

    My go to for non-robots on the line is to put them on speaker, then press and hold a number key so it beeps in their ear. They start asking if you’re still there. Sometimes I respond, sometimes I don’t. They usually just hang up.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Adeline says:

    OMG the Brenda one- DYING LOL

    Like

  7. Adeline says:

    You get the horrible old lady name today, I’ll take it tomorrow LOL

    Like

  8. Jen says:

    I used to work at a call centre. When you have people yelling at you all day and telling you to die, it really gets to you. I had this one guy that went on a tirade about how insignificant and horrible I was for bothering him. I ended up bursting into tears after the call.

    I know people don’t like getting called, but it was part of my JOB to do this. I needed the money and work experience at the time and this was the best I could do at the moment. The easiest thing to do is tell the ‘real’ companies that call you that you are not interested and want to be taken off their call list. Have all the fun you want with Scammers though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When it’s a legit company, I tell them to stop calling (Charter needed to hear it phrased… creatively… a few times before it really stuck, but they figured it out) but 99% of what I get is scammers. Probably because I’ve already sent the cable company, the insurance companies, even the window and siding people, packing.

      Charities call; they get a “nope, but you have a lovely day!” Because I think they’re doing good things and want that to work out for them.

      Like

  9. lariatlarge says:

    We have this wonderful thing in South Africa called the “Do Not Call” list. I’m on it. I don’t get calls. It makes me very happy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, the DNCList here is just that thing scammers use to find legit numbers; since they’re out of the country (or otherwise illegal anyway) there’s nothing that can be done about the fact that they’re ignoring the List. Plus, companies you have legit dealings with can still call, which means I get calls from affiliates and other branches of those companies, offering services I have said I don’t want. But they’re totally allowed to call because they’re owned by the same parent company.

      Like

  10. alawrenceg says:

    Me: Uber pool was supposed to charge me $6 and I got charged $13
    Uber: You will never be charged more than what the app tells you, no surprises. We see that what we charged was in line with the ride you took. So, you’re good.
    Me: No I’m not good. I got charged too much
    Uber: we’re sorry you had a problem with drop off.
    Me: whaaaa? Can I talk to a real person?
    Uber: I can’t find the ride you’re contacting us about. Please go to this LINK to open your case
    repeat exact same comversation.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. My best day was keeping some fucker holding on the phone while I “searched for my visa card” to pay them. I actually made my beds, hung out a line of washing had a coffee and emptied the dishwasher while they were on loudspeaker as I shouted intermittently…”sorry to keep you, I know it’s here somewhere, hold on while I look in my other handbag”” No problem madam, I will wait for you, take your time”…so I did. I had another coffee and peeled some spuds for the dinner. Eventually I asked” have you got a pen handy?” “Yes, madam, I have pen, I am ready” ” ok son” says I ” well you can take that pen and stick it up the highest part of your hole and swivel on it…and don’t fucking ring this number again”

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Rhonda says:

    Such a funny post! And relatable. It reminded me of the time when I was in middle school and my slightly older cousin blew his clarinet into the phone when some jerky kid was calling to harass him. I thought that was brilliant! I’m thinking a kazoo would work pretty well too.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I get the Microsoft one every few months. As soon as I know it’s them calling again, I say…”Thank fuck you called!! I don’t understand why my Excel program keeps merging cells when I don’t want them to merge cells and Word is stuck in the Algerian font and my boss is going to fire me if you don’t get this shit figured out!! And don’t even get me started on PowerPoint!! What did you say your name was? Ahmed? Okay Ahmed, let’s get down to brass tacks. I have a pen ready so give me your IP address so I can link your computer to my computer and I can send you the files that keep fucking up. What? You can’t give me your IP address? What kind of Microsoft person are you?! I spoke to Bill and Melinda this morning and they said they would have a tech call and take care of this shit! Okay….wait. I’ll just get them on a conference call and they can explain your job to you. Hello? Ahmed? Are you there, Ahmed?”

    Liked by 1 person

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