New Fiscal Year: New Round of Phone Scamcalls

Last month, I got a call from a number I didn't know. So I didn't answer.  That's normally how it works.

I answered one last week, though, just because I was bored. The gentleman was calling me with an invitation to a *job interview* at the Pentagon!

Go figure.

But last month, my bus was late so I called the unknown number back just for giggles ... an elderly woman answered and proceeded to cuss me out for calling her from my 'blankity blank' Pakistan call center and trying to scam *her*. This lady had called me because she was calling *me* back to bitch about my scam call to her.

We're friends now ... on Facebook.

I've now started calling these numbers back, too, since I've learned more about this "spoofing" thing.  I'm working on a routine just in case I get lucky and I get a spammer in a call center one of these days.

15 minutes ago, I called a number from a call I missed about 5 minutes earlier. They answered:

"Hello, Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics, can I help you?!" 

Gaaahhh!!! Yep.  Nope, they hadn't called me, the lady on the other end of the phone (that's a dated expression, right?) told me that someone has been making 'scam calls' with their number and she was very sorry and nice and apologetic. I thought about becoming Facebook buddies with a prosthetics clinic, but that's kinda creepy, right?  So we politely finished our chat and I thought I'd tell you about it.

As a matter of fact, as I finish typing this, that same number for fake body parts (now blocked) is calling me back; caller ID: "Spam Risk." BAM.

FCC's advice (and mine):
If you don't know the number, don't answer ... unless it's for a job interview.


Self Control

During a quiet moment sometime around lunchtime last Tuesday, two women walked by my desk. 

That event, in and of itself, was not so blog-worthy but, the portion of their conversation with which I was gifted was priceless.

I work in a cubicle farm.  I sit on the edge of the farm and my left-side cubbie wall borders a hallway that runs by the farm like a babbling brook.  Passersby babble (sometimes to themselves) as they stroll by the farm because nobody thinks about the people on the other side of the wall.

By the brook on the other side of the wall from my humble little hovel is a holy trifecta consisting of a water fountain, a scale, and the male and female bathrooms.  A quadrafecta?  It's hangout central ... and I have never found myself wanting for gossip, good gouge, and just general jibber-jabber.   I only have to listen.

On this day, these two women were discussing getting their hair done:

     Lady 1:  " ... oh and you *know* it's going to be much much bigger this time!"

     Lady 2:  "Yes, but I kind of like it bigger.   Well -- not as big as I liked it when I was younger.  I couldn't *get* it big enough then!"

     Lady 1:  "Oh I've always liked mine big.  But I'm happy if it turns out just okay now.  I'm not so picky anymore."

     Lady 2:  "Now I like it loooooong.  Reeeeaaaally llllooooooooong!"

     Lady 1:  "Ooooh, not me.  That would make my neck sore, y'know?  Because I'd always be having to keep it up all the time ... "


As they continued their journey down the hallway and became inaudible, I am very proud to claim that I was successful in my herculean effort to resist the maddening temptation to stand up and shout out what I wanted to shout over the cubicle wall and down the hallway as they passed.

It was a wonderful moment.  Brief but intense.

** UPDATE ** 15 October 2019 **
Someone musta let the cat outta the bag.  I'm noticing that the girls now whisper, more often than not, when they're gossiping along the babbling brook.    



Today's "Conversation in the Metro":

A girl on her cellphone is having a ... conversation ... with someone on her cellphone.

It's a loud ... conversation. She's behind me as we walk through the tunnels:

Girl on cellphone: I know, right?
Girl on cellphone: So I said, 'Marie, you ...' I know, right?
Girl on cellphone: And then ... I know, right?
Girl on cellphone: And Marcus, he just ... I know, right?
Girl on cellphone: So - Listen! I know, right?

I probably should have been laughing to myself but, this kid had one of those voices that made me wince. It hurt. So I picked up the pace and tried to discreetly increase my stride in an effort to reduce her volume a little.

Girl on cellphone: That was ... I know, right?
Girl on cellphone: Yeah, and ... I know, right?
Girl on cellphone: Marcus was there, too ... I know, right?
Girl on cellphone: And then Marcus, he ... I know, right?
Girl on cellphone: No. Really. I know, right?!

It wasn't working. Since my first attempt to avoid the droning one-sided-yakathon-screecher-conversation failed, I took a shortcut through a parking garage.  Leaving the tunnel should have, A-squared plus B-squared equals, given me about 10 yards or better when I cut back into the tunnel by the Korean guy's store. I thought that would easily take care of little Miss Monologue.

And -- it didn't work.

I must have slowed down or she sped up during my shortcut-trick. Or she ran, more likely, because she was obviously sent by the Devil to annoy me.

Yep.  As I reentered the tunnel, she was right behind me again.

Girl on cellphone: Hey! Weren't you just in front of me before?

Me: Yeah ... I know, right?!


I'm Batman.

This AA Flight Attendant would be almost 90 today.

On the walk to work this morning, I found a young woman's American Airlines ID card and some miscellaneous AA badges on the floor in the Crystal City Shops tunnel.  

They belonged, I was pretty sure, to one of the pilots, navigators, or flight attendants, etc., who often stay in our building during their layovers or whatever they call them.  And I was almost as sure that she dropped them this morning in the middle of her trip to the airport.  If this were a Saturday or Sunday morning, I'd have taken them back to the apartment building.  But today was (well, okay:  is) Tuesday, so it was more likely that she'd soon be arriving at the Metro station entrance (which wasn't even open yet) and I'd be there in about 5 minutes.  Her train wouldn't be leaving for almost an hour.  

I also reasoned that she probably didn't even know they were gone yet.  She probably wouldn't notice they were missing until she tried to board her flight or go through whatever door 'they' go through that 'we' aren't supposed to.   

That would suck.

If she realized her ID was gone before her train to the airport arrived she'd likely head back to the apartments to trace her steps in hopes she'd find what I found.   And, I thought, if I didn't see her on my way to the Metro station, I'd just take them back to the apartment building at the end of the day and leave them at the front desk ... they may even know who to call at AA and advise that they'd been found.

So when I got to the station, there she was.  

Completely oblivious.  

She was staring at something invisible on the ground and trying to pretend she couldn't smell the homeless guy.  Who smelled like day old pee.  You can smell him from 20 yards away -  30 if the wind from the tunnel is good enough.  He's usually there early in the mornings when it's cold.  The gate to the Metro Station wasn't open yet.  

I walked toward her (she matched the photo on one of the badges) and she backed away like I was attacking her.  

"S'this you?"

I held up her badge so she could see her picture.  

It was way early and I'm not exactly a smiley pleasant guy to strangers in the morning (unless that's my job and I'm working), especially when I'm standing five feet away from a guy who smells very strongly of old pee and whatever else he hasn't washed off -- so I didn't blame her for backing off initially.

"Oh my God!" she gasped.

It was like I just did a really cool magic trick.  I looked at the front of her badge to check in case something other than her picture wasn't on it and I didn't, for some reason, think a picture of some dude looked like her.

"Oh my God!"  she said again as she checked her American Airlines scarf and her American Airlines lanyard (where her American Airlines ID wasn't).   And I'm still holding out her badge.

She also fumble-checked the hidden compartment on the back of her special American Airlines-issued "fits-perfectly-in-the-overhead-compartment" flight attendant kit.  It wasn't there either.  And I'm still holding out her badge.

I was kinda wondering what she was checking for ... did she think I was holding out a badge that looked like hers but wasn't really hers?  Maybe she had an extra.  "I'm good, I have one of those already." 

"Oh my God!" she said again.  "Thank you thank you!"

She was probably tired, too.  She had no other words, really.

"You're welcome, ma'am."

I'm Batman.

Who else needs help?


Being sick sucks

Fortunately I don't get sick all that often.  Well, besides the various parts and things that have 'gone bad' after so much mileage anyway.  Let me amend that:  "I don't get a cold that often."

But when I do, it seems like it hangs around for waaaaaaay too long.  And I get grumpy.

Some folks stay home from work until they feel better.  I'll stay out of work for whatever period of time that I feel I must be 'infectious' and then I'll go back.  I do that mainly to prevent work from piling up ... because, although someone would do my work if I *died* (meaning, I know that I no longer have any unique skills where I am and can be easily replaced where I am now), when it's known I'll eventually be coming back nobody will touch anything that's not on fire and that means all the stuff I'm responsible for doing will just keep piling up.

S'just the way it is.  Ain't nobody got time for that!

In case you're wondering (and I'm guessing you weren't until you read this particular sentence), the lady (above) who made the "Ain't Nobody Got Time For That" memes possible had some small modicum of success after her apartment complex caught fire in 2014.  

Since that time, Ms. Brown appeared on TV shows, in a Tyler Perry movie, and created a line of t-shirts and barbecue sauces.  According to a recent check of the interwebs, however, she still lives in the same apartment complex where she was in 2014 when the famous video was shot of her following the fire there.

So ... some three or so weeks since I took a whopping 2 sick days and 1 4-day weekend after that, I'm still feeling kinda crappy ... and it's hard to be blogivated when you feel crappy.

It's kinda like feeling like you missed the boat you wanted but know there's another one due to come by.  You just don't know when.