I admit that isn’t much fun but, when I get a live caller, that’s when I can play my game. It’s a lot more fun than wasting time with Solitaire, Mah Jong or whatever other free game you’ve got on your computer. Simply put, I try to see how long little old me can outwit them and keep them on the line in order to get the same result. For example, if it’s for a donation of some sort I beleaguer them with questions about their organization, what they stand for, what territory they cover, what form they want their donation to be in, do they have a minimum, a maximum, etc., etc. I try my best to keep them from hanging up but if I feel that point is almost reached I tell them, “Oh, I should let you know that I only respond to requests for donations if they are in writing and are accompanied by a current financial report for your organization.” Then I hang up!
One call I get with some frequency, and which gives me the most amount of fun, is a man who says he represents Microsoft Technical service and tells me they have information that my computer has been infected with something and he wants to fix it for me. Lately I’ve been getting a couple of these a week. He speaks poor English and always sounds the same and I can always hear people talking – sometimes shouting – in the background. Here’s how my side of the conversation usually goes:
Who are you?
Oh, I see. You’re with Microsoft. That’s that computer outfit, right?
Why are you calling me?
Hello. I’m having trouble hearing you. Can you speak a little louder?
That’s better. What did you same your name is?
No. I know you’re with Microsoft. I asked for your name.
Well, I always like to know that.
Bill, is that right?
Where are you calling from, Bill?
I’m sorry. I didn’t hear that. Can you talk a little louder?
Thank you, that’s better. You said India. Is Microsoft in India? I thought they are in the U.S.?
I see, they have a technical service there. Don’t they have that in the U.S.?
I see, O.K. Well that’s nice. So, why are you calling me?
You say I have a problem on my computer? What is it?
You don’t know what it is? Well how do you know I have one?
You can tell that over the internet? Wow! That’s amazing. What is the problem?
I don’t understand that. Can you talk a little louder?
O.K., that’s better. Yes, I don’t like to have a problem. Well, can you fix it?
O.K., you have to find out what it is first? Can’t you use the internet?
You said you have to go on my computer? How can you do that?
You want me to push what button?
Can you speak a little louder?
You want me to push the “Fin” button?
Wait – I don’t see any “Fin” button on the lower left side
Oh, sorry, not with the cursor?
Oh, you mean on the keyboard. I don’t have any “F-I-N” button.
I see, you mean FN, but I don’t have such key or button.
No, I don’t have a Seetril button or key either.
Yes, I’m looking at the lower left corner of my keyboard and there is no Seetrill” key.
Oh, wait! Do you mean the CTRL key?
Yes I see that. You want me to push that?
Wait! What happens if I push that?
O.K., nothing, but then I have to do some more? What happens then?
You get on my computer? What do you mean?
Speak a little louder please. There is a lot of background noise.
That’s a little better. You mean you can actually do things on it? Wow! That’s amazing.
Yeah, I really don’t know a lot about computers. But wait, can you read stuff on my computer?
But you don’t actually read my stuff – only use some programs?
I don’t know if I like that. I don’t like anyone reading my stuff. I don’t even let my wife do that.
Yeah, I know. That’s what you say. But even though you say you won’t, you can.
By the way, what will you charge me for looking in my computer?
Well, that sounds good, “free” sounds good. What if you find something wrong?
Can you speak up, please?
You’ll fix it but won’t charge?
Oh, I get it. You’d do so for $ 150.00 for a whole year.
No. I don’t think so. I have a friend who’s good at fixing computers; I’ll have him look at it.
No, I don’t want to talk to your supervisor – he probably speaks English no better that you do.
Well, that’s not nice.
Yeah – to you to.
I hang up. Too bad, they haven’t called me since. I enjoy the game and can probably do better as I get more experienced at it. You can too. Not to worry, there will be other callers.