Journal of Daily Living January 15, 2015

This morning’s phone call:
“Hello, Mrs. Krugger?”
“Who’s calling, please?”
“Mrs. Krugger, I am Ricky Dyson from Global Windows Computer Systems calling about a problem on your computer.”
“Oh, good. I’ve been waiting for you to call.”
A hopeful pause.
phone cord“You see, I’m a journalist, and I want to do a story about the international computer scams, where you get old and confused people to give you their passwords, then scam them out of money. Just wait til I get my pen and paper. I’d like to interview you.”
Usually they hang up the moment I say “journalist.” Sometimes they make it to “old and confused.” Sometimes to “scam” and occasionally to “interview.”
This time, he didn’t hang up. A confused silence on the line. Feeling slightly bemused, I pulled out a pen and some paper.
“Good,” I said. “I’m ready now, and I’m going to write down every word you say. Where are you calling from, please?”
“I am Ricky Dyson, Mrs. Krugger, and I am calling from Global Window Computer Systems in Ontario.”
“Where in Ontario?”
“I am calling from Ontario.”
“But which city?”
“It is from Ontario.”
“The thing is, Ricky, Ontario is a big place. It’s like the Punjab, like a state, with cities inside it. Which city are you calling from?”
A brief pause, perhaps a consultation. “Brampton.”
“You see, the problem, Ricky, is that when you call me from someplace local like Brampton, the phone only rings once. When you call me long distance, it rings three times. This time, it rang three times. Where in India are you calling me from?”
Pause. “I am calling to talk to you about the problem with your computer. You see, it is sending out invisible signals…”
“How long have you been working for this company?”
“Your computer is sending out invisible signals, Mrs. Krugger…”
“How long have you been working for this company?”
“It is sending out invisible signals that are causing you great problems and costing you money.”
“I’m afraid it isn’t. How long have you been working for this company?”
“I am only a junior, Mrs. Krugger.”
“But you’ve got to know your company scams old people and confused people out of money. I’m sorry you can’t find a better job.”
“My Mom and Dad think I am good for nothing, Mrs. Krugger. I am trying to earn money to put myself in a better position.”
“I’m very sorry about that. How many other people work at your company?”
“I am trying to help you solve an invisible problem with your computer. Of course I know there is a problem with scams, but to show you this is a true company, I will give you my phone number. It is 7278 864 648. You can call this number and reach me at any time in order to solve your computer problem. It is an Ontario phone number.”
“We don’t say numbers like that here, Ricky. Four numbers, then three and three.”
“How do you say numbers in Ontario?”
“I’m not going to tell you. That would just make it easier for you to scam old people. And I’m sorry you have a lousy job, but what you’re doing isn’t good. You must have parents and grandparents.”
“I am being a little kid, Mrs. Krugger. I am just a little kid to my Mom and Dad, and I am also a son. I would like to be a son to you. Your son would like to visit you and help repair your computer problem.”
“I don’t have any problems with my computer, Ricky.”
“Invisible problem, Mrs. Krugger. You have my phone number. I will repeat: 7278 864 648. You may call me when you realize you have a serious and substantial problem.”
“I will call you when I develop serious and substantial problems.”
“And invisible.”
“Thank you for the interview, Ricky. I hope you get a better job very soon.”
“Thank you, Mrs. Krugger. Please continue to think of me as your son in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.”
Click.