CJ's note: The following is a true story I just made up
So, I surprised myself today...
Externalities in my professional life have been weighing on me lately, causing me a fair amount of stress. Of course, one can't remain in a state of duress for long periods of time without some sort of blowback, so it came as no surprise that my stubborn, rebellious nature bubbled to the surface.
Fish weren't meant to live in a box, kid. It does things to you...
Now, when my stubborn and/or rebellious nature bubbles, it usually means I get increasingly sarcastic and cynical. Passive-aggressive, even. Today, however, I felt like taking a more aggressive approach... and I had the perfect target(s) in mind.
As with any office, we receive our share of scam/spam faxes. On rare occasions, we receive a faxed version of a common email scam. Today, we received one such scam, on beautiful letterhead addressed to my boss, from a supposed legal firm in Edinburgh. It went on to inform him of the sudden, accidental demise in London of his long lost Uncle Arthur. Poor Uncle Arthur left behind a sizeable (and unclaimed) estate of several million Pounds, and they were reaching out to my boss as the sole heir.
Ordinarily, we'd have a good laugh then throw the fax in the trash. Today, however, I held onto it and decided to have some fun. I went into my sandboxed environment on my laptop, and navigated to the firm's website. It was apparent that they'd put all their effort into designing their faxed letterhead, and none into their website. Apart from the fact the site looked like a Geocities page from 1998, the names of all the principal actors were uniformly misspelled and, unusual for a supposed law firm, each "partner" had a Gmail address rather than one specific to their firm.
Still curious, I grabbed my international cellphone and dialed the firm's phone number listed on the letterhead. Not in service. A quick internet search came up empty.
So much for that... Suppose I could have emailed them, but meh. I wasn't feeling that dedicated.
Disappointed, I went back to work.
Not long after, we received another spam fax, this time from a local business specializing in promotional items, custom printed with your company or team logo, for giveaways or special events.
Rather than throw it out, I gathered my nerves (overcoming my usual extreme phone anxiety), and gave them a call:
PM: Promotional Materials, can I help you?
CJ: Good afternoon, can I have sales, please?
PM: This is Melissa, how may I help you?
CJ: Hi Melissa, this is CJ from Moron Industries, how are you?
PM: I'm fine, and you?
CJ: I'm well, thanks. We get your promotional faxes fairly often, and I was wondering if you dealt with the general public?
PM: We do!
CJ: Great! I was afraid you only did corporate events.
PM: No, not at all, we can supply promotional material for anyone, really.
PM: What is it you were needing?
CJ: Well, Melissa, my friends Murray and Ken are getting married in a couple of months...
PM: (hesitatingly feigning excitement) Oh, that's great..!
CJ: ... and we're throwing them a stagette, and it would be great if we could order cups, plates, and water bottles with our sponge hockey team's logo.
PM: Errrr.. for how many people..?
CJ: Not many, it's a small gathering. Maybe four dozen or so. Do you have a minimum order point?
PM: Oh no, not at all, although we do offer a quantity discount for... larger events.
CJ: That's fine.
PM: Okay! Did you want to put a congratulatory message on the goods?
CJ: No thank you. Just our team logo, which is a bit... risque...
PM: Errr, how bad is it?
CJ: Our logo is a skull with lipstick and rouge...
PM: (brightens up) OH! That's not bad at all!
CJ: ... with crossed penises underneath. I can send you the logo, would you need it in Jpeg, TIFF, or PDF format?
- silence -
PM: I'm sorry, we... don't actually, er, do that kind of graphic.
CJ: Oh, are you sure?
PM: Yeah, we kind of stay away from anything erotic.
CJ: Oh, that's too bad, it would really mean a lot to them.
PM: I'm sorry, I'm afraid we'll be unable to supply.
CJ: That's too bad, really. I'll check around, maybe we'll go with a simple congratulatory message if I can't find someone who will do it.
PM: OK, thank you.
- click -
Anything to liven up an otherwise boring lunch hour. If nothing else, Melissa will have a story to tell her coworkers.
It's nice to get back to my old self every now and then. The days of being socially irresponsible are long behind me now that I'm married and have a family (and career). But that doesn't mean I can't have a bit of fun once in a while.
I've been paying a lot more attention to the world-at-large and have a newly resurrected Nadia at my side, and while I can't promise to blog more often and get myself into trouble... I'm going to blog more often and get myself into trouble.