December 17, 2016

Calling Linda Wong

Linda and I first met a year ago, when I got a new phone number. The first time I called middlesis using my new phone she said "Linda Wong?!!!" Her caller ID had identified me as Linda Wong. And thus it started. I am now officially Linda Wong to my sis.

And then I guess Linda need insurance. And a loan. And maybe she was an undecided voter. So I started hearing from the Obamacare phone bank. Love the President. Love the Affordable Care Act. Don't love receiving 8 calls between 8 and 9am for Linda Wong.

Since the election the flow of calls has slowed somewhat. Until yesterday.

But let's back up about 15 years. We'd moved to the little house on the hill, and had a peekaboo view of the mountain and the flats of the city. But there was this annoying weather balloon in the middle of my view on weekends, and hideous rock music blaring out of a building nearby, both courtesy of Greg Smith Motors.

Maybe I was an obnoxious dork for complaining about the balloon in my sight line, but maybe they were dorks too. They cut down the city's trees in front of their dealership and eventually defaulted on a quarter million in taxes they owed the city before skipping town. Anyhoo, I would call to complain about the big balloon in my view and whoever would answer the phone would hand the phone over to "Greg Smith" himself, who would field my complaint. The first time I called he had a local accent. Next time he sounded like he was from Nashville. Finally "Greg Smith" had a very thick South Asian accent. Such a crack up. Eventually Greg Smith skedaddled and the next dealership didn't use balloons.

So yesterday I'm at work and I see a call coming in. Urgent calls related to my mom can come from anywhere, so I picked up. I hear a crunch and a pause, and a guy with a very thick South Asian accent introduces himself as Greg Brown and says he's in charge of cybersecurity blah blah blah and without thinking I just burst out laughing. Then I hung up. Just like the old days. So excellent, "Greg Brown".

Lots of people who work phone banks take pseudonymns. As an example I had a friend, last name named Gil-Sola, whose phone bank name was "George Sola." It wasn't so far off the mark but gave him anonymity. That works. Make it believable, People.

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