I am part of a dying breed. I am one of the last people on earth to not be part of the Do Not Call list.
I don’t really bother. Telemarketers don’t upset me and I rarely pick up my phone. Most times, my cell phone is somewhere in the bottom of my purse, dead because I never charge it.
So today I did something rare. I picked up my phone as a number I had never seen before (323-489-7473) came up on the display. The following is an actual transcript of what happened next.
Mystery Caller: (thick Indian accent) Hello ma’am, this is John, from Microsoft. Who am I speaking with please?
Essa: No fucking way your name is John. Why do Indian people continue to underestimate the intelligence of Americans? Just because we’re fat and lazy doesn’t mean you need to dumb down your names for us. Come on ‘John’ what’s your real name?
‘John’: I assure you, it is John. May I ask who I’m speaking to?
Essa: (eye roll) Haberdashery Vondella Sharoom….but you can call me John.
‘John’: OK, Ms. Sharoom (dude does not like to work off-script) I am calling from Microsoft today because we received a warning about your system. A hacker has tried to gain access to your computer.
Essa: Wow, that’s some excellent customer service. You guys really monitor every computer for hacking attempts? (note to idiots; Microsoft does not monitor your system for anything. They just provide the computers)
‘John’: Yes ma’am, we do.
Essa: Even for my MacBook Pro? Does Apple know you’re doing this?
‘John’: (Clearly not understanding computers…or the limitations of the Patriot Act) Yes ma’am, we do. Now, in order to help…
Essa: Does that mean you guys can see all the porn I download? Because I have to say, I’m a bit uncomfortable with that.
‘John’: No ma’am, we only monitor for hacking attempts.
Essa: What kind of threat are we dealing with here? Like a Denial of Service, SQL Injection, cross-site scripting…?
‘John’: All of those, now if you’ll just…
Essa: Well, that’s good then. Those are website based attacks. You should probably call the webmasters of the sites being hit.
‘John’: Actually ma’am, it is your site being attacked. Now if you will just…
Essa: “Dirty Asian Super Sluts With Weird Birthmarks” is being attacked!?! I’ll kill the bastards!
‘John’: Yes, now if you’ll just go to our site at stopmicrosofthacking.com
Essa: (does nothing) Ok
‘John’: Now, there is a screen where you will need to enter your personal information so we can open a support ticket.
Essa: (types a bunch of random letters on her keyboard so it sounds like she’s going to the site. Her computer isn’t even on) Ok, working on it now. I just have some questions.
‘John’: I am here to help.
Essa: (guesses that they are probably phishing for passwords) Why do you guys need my email password?
‘John:’ To ensure that is has not been compromised.
Essa: Ok. Is it the same reason for my Facebook password?
Essa: Ok, John. Listen, I’m a really slow typist, so what I’m going to do is I’m going to put you on hold. Now, I need you to wait, in case I have questions. I’m not hitting submit until I talk to you again, ok?
‘John’: Ok, I will wait.
Essa: I’m serious John, if you hang up, I’m going to delete everything. I need you to wait.
‘John’: I will be here.
Essa: (leans back in her chair to watch an entire episode of ‘Locked Up Abroad.’ She occasionally takes John off hold, to ask stupid questions like ‘what a middle initial’ is, just to make sure he’s still holding. Finally, after 45 minutes, she takes John off hold) You still there John?
‘John’: Yes, ma’am
Essa: I just have one more question before I submit this.
‘John’: Certainly, what is that?
Essa: How many people do you think I saved from getting taken by your stupid scam while I kept you on hold for 45 minutes?
‘John’: (dead silence)
Essa: Because I think at least 5 would be a fair estimate, but I could be giving you too much credit. How many people do you actually manage to scam in a given day? Give me that number, and I’ll work out a ballpark based on an average for the 45 minutes I had you sitting there, twiddling your thumbs, while I watched people get put in jail who deserved to be there less than you do.
‘John’: (hangs up)
Some people just don’t understand basic telephone courtesy.