This is very funny. And it isn't.
Can I speak to Mr. and Mrs. Grimmelmann?
I'm calling from the [name omitted] Sweepstakes, and you've been entered in a drawing to win $25,000 or a trip to Hawaii. The sweepstakes is also available to cardholders with a Visa, Mastercard, or American Express. Do you have one of those?
Yes. When did you say the trip to Hawaii is?
The winners will be announced August 31.
Oh, I'm sorry. August 31 isn't good for us. Is there another time we could take the trip?
No, you'll find out on August 31 whether you've won.
Okay, then. We'll take the money instead. Now, you'll put that directly on the credit card, right?
I tell you what. We'll get in touch with you if you win, okay?
James ends by commenting, “I’m getting better at this.”.
Now I certainly emitted a number of evil chuckles at this one. And a chunk of me wishes I had the reflexes to do something like this in real time.
But the problem is, that horrible person on the other end of the phone is a wage slave. They are only a tiny bit responsible for the call; the whole thing is orchestrated by someone better paid. Maybe they could find something else to do, but maybe they can't.And I remember the time that phone sales was the only summer job I could find with my newly minted high school diploma. That would be shortly before I discovered people would pay you money to do programming even if you had no formal training. I found something else to do. I am lucky.
So I laughed. Then I felt guilty.