Saturday, August 23, 2014

Overheard in the Office...

We kinda need a POTS land line at Roseholme Cottage because reasons, but I was musing about how, when I lived in the cottage on the lake and only had my cheap Cricket phone, I went for years without a telemarketer, only getting calls from people to whom I actually wished to speak...
RX: "I don't know, I kind of enjoy the chance to be rude to people on the telephone sometimes."

Me: "But you could pick up the phone and be rude to some random stranger any time you want!" *mimes dialing motions*
I have to admit that when Singh called from Bombay Mumbai to tell me he was from the "Windows Service Department" the other day, I barked "There is no 'Windows Service Department', you heathen scam artist!" before hanging up.

I wish I'd answered the phone on Bobbi's desk phone, a Western Electric 302, rather than one of the cordless handsets, because there's no way to punch an "off" button with your thumb that has the level of tactile satisfaction of slamming that Bakelite handset into its cradle. You kids today don't know you're born.
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27 comments:

Bob said...

I guess someone needs to invent an acronym for Get Off Of My Lawn. Do you use GOOML or the shorter GOML (Get Offa My Lawn)? Or even go with the full YKGOOML! (You Kids Get Off Of My Lawn!)

Temnota said...

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\f0\fs26 \cf2 \cb3 \expnd0\expndtw0\kerning0
\outl0\strokewidth0 \strokec2 The telcos are intentionally letting their copper networks degrade to push fiber, so what few advantages a voice landline had over wireless are diminishing. The day when you can no longer use your landline to tell the power company that you have an outage is fast approaching.

Weer'd Beard said...

My wife just got the same call!

She will be deeply amused!

There was a telemarketing boiler room in Orono Maine where I went to school, and it was there preciously because there were a ton of young people with shitty resumes who were willing to work strange hours for beer and food money.

I will mention how ruthless I can be to telemarketers. I justify this because they have no souls.

A close friend of mine worked the phone banks, and has corroborated my observation. When he was waiting for the computer to give him a live body to pitch crap to, he indeed was without a soul.

If they want people to be nice to them, they can get an honest job!

Joseph said...

My call last week from the Windows Service Department was from "Steve". When I told him I don't have a Windows computer, I swear I heard his brain grind to a halt. There was honest to god 10 seconds of silence on an open phone line (i could hear the background chatter) before I took pity and hung up on him.

Kristophr said...

I've always wanted a button on my phone that caused it to start spewing Lovecraftian chanting at the caller.

Sebastian said...

Growing up, the Western Electric 302 was the only phone in the house I could reach. To this day, I know my grandparents phone number, my aunt's phone number, and a few friends from that age. But I don't know Bitter's phone number, or anyone else's phone number. You used to hate numbers with a lot of 9s in it, because it took longer to dial.

The house I grew up in was build in the early 1920s. All the phone plugs in it were 505A type, rather than RJ11 type. You had to plug in an adapter if you wanted to interface to an RJ11 phone cord.

Kids graduating college these days never grew up in a world that didn't have ubiquitous cell phones. Even the kids graduating with computer related degrees can't fathom having to program anything with only 8k of RAM.

John Peddie (Toronto) said...

Well said, well done.

I enjoy the same pleasure whenever I can, and if it's not Singh from Windows, it's his brother who wants to clean my air ducts-'cept I have none, as he soon and profanely learns :-)

Will said...

I tossed all of my last batch of telco type phones (sourced from a business that relocated) when they no longer worked with the latest land line systems upgrade. Would no longer ring, IIRC. More than 10 years ago.

Then, the phone people turned off my personal line, because I wasn't using it enough, due to multiple cell phones. Only so many lines into the neighborhood, and heavy demand for more. We had six active lines into the house. Down to one, now.

Stranger said...

Good for you. Actually, that bunch is evidently from Kolkata, Calcutta to Brits, relayed through a Salt Lake exchange. So far he, and a couple more bad accents including a female who probably spent time in Oz called me almost daily.

So far they have been with Microsoffr, wanting my passwords; the U.S. Governmentm wanting bank account numbers:" peddling "compuder speed sek:" "Fix Windows compuder:" and a few other scams.

I startled one by telling her, in my awful Urdu to do something unlikely.

Ian Argent said...

Caller ID. Not that our landline is POTS anyway.

Thornharp said...

My usual response is "Can't you s come up with something original? Now go flush yourself down the Ganga."

It does seem to have reduced the frequency of the calls.

Old NFO said...

Yep, I remember them... Hell I'm old enough that I remember party lines and crank ringers. My Grandmother was two cranks (rings), my aunt was three, and my uncle was one.

og said...

I got that call today, in fact. Fortunately I have spent enough time around Indians and watching the Simpsons that my Apu is fairly well tuned, so I spent several moments running her around.

I don't know what the actual threshold of rudeness is, to a girl who will run a phone scam from India, but I'll tell you that it took a good deal to cross it. I had to bring out the A material, and by the time she had hung up in disgust I had talked her out of her measurements and the amount of time she spent with in flagrante delicto. (Shrugs) she did call ME.

Weer'd Beard said...

Temnota: Actually my Fiber line comes with a UPS that keeps it working even when the power is out.

They advise you to only make and take urgent calls when running on battery power, but I hardly talk on the damn thing anyway.

Flighterdoc said...

I can infer, from having seen broken Western Electric desk sets that they can be broken.

Like my Estwing hammer, though, I cannot fathom how in the world it would actually occur.

I have a couple we still use

mikee said...

I have explained the intricacies of a "party line" rotary dial phone system to my kids, because I grew up with one, but they don't really believe me.

Their kids won't believe we all survived without the ATT implants.

OldTexan said...

Old time phones, we had a little rectangular wall unit that held the phone and when we took it off of the hook a nice lady would say number please and we would tell her the number we wanted to call. Our phone number was 858 and sometimes the nice lady would ask me how my mom was doing because the other night at choir practice she thought mom was coming down with a cold.

That was the good old days and you never said anything on a phone that was rude because somebody might be listening and now we have the govt. doing that for us and everything old is new again.

Kevin said...

I've always wanted to try the bit where you answer a call from an unrecognized number by whispering "OK, it's done. But there's blood EVERYWHERE!"

Darrell said...

I got one of those calls yesterday. IIRC his name was "Randy". LOL I played along for a few minutes, he seemed heartened when I expressed shock at being informed that my computer had been hacked. He went deeper into his spiel, but I called it off when he wanted access to my system.

Windy Wilson said...

Telemarketers are accustomed to abuse. They come to expect it. I learned this technique when I renovated my house. Whatever they're selling, I just got through spending a boatload of money and an eon of time on. I then thank them kindly and quickly hang up before they start crying.

I'm more cruel than all you guys.

bedlamite said...

I've been waiting for one of those calls, I haven't decided if I'm going to complain about the latch on my new vinyl windows sticking or if I'm going to fire up the Commodore 64.

Sidheshooter said...

One of my favorite coffee haunts has an old 302 plugged into a land line, sitting on a shelf outside the men's room. I think I'll go call someone from there on Monday, now that this thread has brought it back to mind.

Scott J said...

I was discussing with a couple co-workers recently how kids today (my lawn, get off of it) have no concept of push button phones with that little pulse-tone switch on them somewhere.

Nor can they recall when touch tone dial was an extra cost option.

mostly cajun said...

That bakelite handset HURTS when an irate little brother blindsides you with one upside your head, too.

Don't ask how I know...

MC

Robin said...

Scott, the telcos - via the miracle of public utility commissions - charged a fee for touch tone dialing for many years after new phone switching equipment actually made interpreting pulse more costly.

Will said...

MC:

That type handset on the end of a twenty ft? kitchen cord will put one in the ER, when applied in that manner. Much laughter ensued when the denizens of spatter and gore asked what caused the wounds. Unfortunately, this so distracted them that they missed the gash above my ear, from hitting the wrought iron table leg on the way to the floor.

Ah, the joys of sharing housing with drunk and drugged idiots. Friends of friends rating lost a bit of regard on my part after that episode. Ft Lauderdale vacation memories. Hmm, that might have also been the same evening that my friend and I lost our nightclubing pickups to a couple of guys with a 100ft yacht.

Jim R said...

mikee said... "Their kids won't believe we all survived without the ATT implants."

I can see it now, in some future delivery room: "And which service provider will you be using for your son?" Psssht. "All done, here you go!"

Jim R