Tag Archive: response to scam

post by carolnl | | Closed

No Dice #2

If you’re calling about your home service, press 1.”  The automated voice spoke into my phone.

I pressed ‘1’. This is my fourth phone call to try to resolve the same problem with our cable service.

I need a little more information. Please state in a few words why you are calling.

I did.

I’m sorry I didn’t get that. Please tell me again why you are calling.

I did.

What is the error message you are receiving?

I spoke it, clearly and slowly.

I’m sorry I didn’t get that. Please repeat the error message slowly, one letter at a time.

I did, at higher volume.

I believe you said xxxx. If that is correct, hit 1. If not, hit 2.

I hit 2.

Do you know you can get information on local outages via our website at …?

By this time I’m fuming and ready to swear (which I try not to do). I speak back to the automated server. “I do and I don’t care! Shut up already.”

Finally I get a real person on the other end. She is pleasant, and wants to help. She asks for the telephone number on the account and I give it to her–the third time I’ve repeated it on this one call: “408-765-8258″*. She repeats it back: “615-675-82558” (seriously!). “No ma’am, that is incorrect.” And I repeat our number. Once again she reads it back to me incorrectly.

Help me Lord!“Dear Lord,” I send up an arrow prayer. “Please control my temper. I do want to be Christ-like.” My heart rate slows as I close my eyes and remember my heart’s desire, which is to be like Jesus.

We finally close out the call with her scheduling a technician to come fix the problem we’ve had for the past two weeks, my four phone calls and their offsite resetting unable to resolve it. And God showed up. I wasn’t warm and fuzzy with the woman on the other end of the line; but I was civil and thanked her for her help. Isn’t it amazing that sometimes the little things in life are toughest to handle with grace. The repeated automated messages that become so very annoying after multiple calls; the poor listening skills on the other end of the line; the frustration with unacceptable service on something that has no eternal significance.

And yet, perhaps it’s as we learn to respond to these petty annoyances with God’s grace that we are also prepared to deal with the bigger, real challenges of life–the ill spouse, the death of a loved one, the wayward child, the loss of a friendship, financial challenges.

Corrie ten Boom, whose family hid many Jews from the Nazis during WWII, served in and lost several immediate family members in concentration camps. She once said, “This is what the past is for! Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see.” I want to allow Him to use the little things to prepare me for future challenges.

How about you?

*not my real phone number

post by carolnl | | Closed

No More Ms. Nice Gal

I was soundly sleeping when ...

I was soundly sleeping when …

A call wakened me at 8:01 this morning. A familiar-sounding voice asked, “Carol?”

“Yes?” I queried groggily.

“I’m calling because I want to deliver to you a check in the amount of $950,000.”

“Thank you. I’m not interested.” And I hung up.

Then I got mad at myself. Why the dickens was I POLITE? I’m convinced this was the same voice that called me several weeks ago, saying he wanted to give me 5.2 million dollars from the Trump Magazine Sweepstakes. It was a scam the first time, and no less this second time.

Why didn’t I say “You’re a scammer and I’ve reported you to the police?” (which I had after the last call). Politeness and courtesy are wonderful gifts to give and receive. But not everyone deserves them, nor do I owe graciousness to someone who is trying to steal my identity, my money, my time. I don’t have to be nasty. But I don’t have to be nice either.

Let's think about this

Let’s think about this

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not always gracious. I have friends who can attest to that. However, politeness has been ingrained in me. In college I thought I needed to be “God’s happiest person” and so I smiled at everyone … people I knew, strangers/men I didn’t know … my intention was good (to reflect the love of Christ) but I was incredibly naïve. One of my brothers pounced on me and told me to quit smiling, particularly at men I didn’t know. Thanks, Arnold!

I’d like to think I’ve gotten less naïve and more astute over the years but I still have some of that “pleasing” others mentality. I want to become context-appropriate rather than simply polite.

Kinda hard to do when you’ve caught me just waking up. But being authentic includes confronting people when they try to take advantage of me or of those I love. So, here goes–a new, less kind Carol coming up. You can check in with me if you’d like and I’ll let you know how it’s going.