It's a sad thing, really. When the phone rings and the voice on the other end tells me that they are calling from Microsoft, I don't flinch before I go into my act. My whole aim is to try and keep this person on the line as long as their patience will allow. Not because I want to aggravate them. I do this so that they won't aggravate someone else. I know that Microsoft is not in the habit or practice of cold-calling customers who are sending errors to their servers. That is why I take those opportunities to take their "concerns" and milk them until they give up on me.
"My computer is sending error messages? Is that dangerous?" I like to start out sounding frightened. The voice on the other end is generally reassuring.
"Which computer is it? We have a number of them in the house." I am reminded that they are interested in the Windows computer.
"The one that's sending the bad messages, right?" At this point, I am still very nervous because I can only imagine what trouble I may have caused a great big company like Microsoft. "Maybe it's the one by the window. Do you think sunlight might be causing the trouble?"
This is generally where the voice at the other end starts to become less patient with stupid old me. But I am anxious to have them fix whatever the problem is, as long as it doesn't mean actually turning on a computer at my house. Instead, I wander about from room to room, doing odds and ends that can be accomplished as I string this Microsoft employee along. I know it's over when I get passed along to a supervisor, and then ultimately I use up their patience and the line goes dead.
Wouldn't it be great if Microsoft was actually calling their customers and checking in on the service they are providing? Wouldn't it be nice if these people calling from purloined cell phone numbers were not trying to hijack personal computers and information for their own illicit purposes? For that matter, wouldn't it be nice if the credit card I was just asked to approve via e-mail was truly offering me a line of credit at little to no interest? And don't get me started about all those reminders for messages I missed on my Facebook account. The Facebook account I don't have. It would be so nice if we could all trust everyone and these amazing offers were real.
Then maybe I would spend less time on the phone.