Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Reflection on Protection

"Did you hear that Ramesh died?"

"Really, no! Oh my god, what happened?"

"He died while protecting someones privacy."

This conversation, as ridiculous as it sounds will actually take place sometime in the near future.

That's how important our privacy is. As in, we will NEVER sell your email address or tell anyone about that time you fell in the bathtub while stinking drunk and also? please read our privacy policy and check the box that says you read it, thanks so much, now please send us a handwritten letter in an envelope that you personally licked and enclose in said envelope your fingerprints and a description of your favorite sexual fantasy. Thank you again for your cooperation and remember - your privacy is VERY important to us! - The Management. Now enter your username, password and answer the secret question.

Protecting your privacy has become so important that the average person has created approximately 389 passwords before deciding on one password which is the number of passwords the average person actually uses. One. The Same One. (Did you hear that? That's the sound of a a customer service rep at a call center in Bhopal India collapsing in a heap on the floor.)

We use the same one because it's one last question we have to struggle to remember the answer to. That way we can remember our favorite pet's name, even though we didn't have a pet so we have to remember Jimmy Anderson's sister's hamster's name, which by the way was Marge. We do this because we are getting older by the day and (a) life is short and (b) we are probably in the earliest stages of Alzheimer's in which the symptoms are barely noticeable except for the fact that we can now only remember 5 passwords and 8 usernames at any given time and refer to our spouse as honeybun because we can't for the life of us - you get where I'm going here.

So let's just say that I was to become an employee of a call center in North America. Yeah, I know, that's a nostalgic fantasy but bear with me, I used to pretend I was one of the Walton's too. So let's say they had call centers in North American and let's pretend I decided to work there. If I had that kind of a job, I would have to set goals for myself.

First of all, I'd figure out how to get fired within the first couple of weeks so I could go back on unemployment. Then, while waiting to be fired, I'd figure out how to have some fun. I'd ask callers to answer secret questions such as " What was the name of the person you first have intercourse with?" And then when the caller answered the question I'd tell him/her that the answer was incorrect. Then I'd offer to give them another secret question to answer, each one invading his/her privacy even more and each one I would claim was incorrect. Then I would ask for financial information followed by personal health information. Then I'd say something like "I'm sorry Mr. Albertson, that doesn't seem to match our records, " and the person on the line would say "I'm not Mr. Albertson," and then I'd say, "Oh, really? Can you verify that?" And so on.

And that's kind of the same situation Dave found himself in this morning(or really close to it) when he tried to return a call from Bell Canada.

You know, I find that nothing says Today Is Going To Be The Best Day Of My Life like an Obscenity Fest with An Indian Man Before 9:30 am.

Don't you?


  1. My husband has had a many obscenity-laden conversations with Indian men over the phone. "Look Bob, we know that isn't your real name...get me someone who's first language is English please!"

  2. Miss Yvonne,

    You're kidding - you mean they're all Bob?

    I feel really stupid right now...


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