Sunday, September 30, 2007

I'll Miss You, Stmnnn Grnsmnsnsamm

I don't often have voice mails at work; I'm at my desk plenty, and even when I'm not, I don't get a lot of calls. Most of the people I need to talk to are in shouting distance, and if we don't want to shout we use email. But way back in July, I got the best voice mail ever.

PLEASANT FEMALE VOICE: This is a call for
COMPUTER GENERATED VOICE: Stmnn Grnsmmsnerhsnsmnn.
PFV: If you are not
CGV: Stmnn Grnsmmsnerhsnsmnn
PFV: then please hang up. If you are
CGV: Stmnn Grnsmmsnerhsnsmnn
PFV: please stay on the line. This is an attempt to collect a debt from
CGV: Stmnn Grnsmmsnerhsnsmnn.....

Obviously, some dude had given a fake phone # and name on some kind of credit app. The first name sounded kind of vaguely like it might have been "Stephen," but the last name was total gibberish as interpreted by the voice software stuff. So I laughed, and hung up, figuring that was the end of it.

Except, two weeks later, it happened again. Same message, same incessant repetition of the garbled name--and it said it in kind of a singsong, so it was more like StmNNN ... GrnsMMSnerhSNSmnn... and it reduced me to giggling fits as I listened to the entire message to see if there was some way to call them back and tell them they had the wrong number. There was a number; I called it, and got put on hold for 5 minutes before I gave up.

After the third or fourth time, I began to wonder why they never called while I was at my desk. I mean, it happened again and again--I even saved it in my voice mail so I could forward it to co-workers on slow days. Could it be that Stmnn Grnsmmsnerhsnsmnn was stalking me? Who IS Stmnn Grnsmmsnerhsnsmnn?? And why is he such a bad credit risk? What did he default on, and why is he haunting me?? The calls increased in frequency; I'd leave my desk for 10 minutes, come back, and there he'd be again. It was worrisome.

Then, last week, I got a call while at my desk. I said, "Hello, this is me" and there was a pause, like there is when a computer is dialing for someone, and then a voice came on the line. "Can I speak to Steven Peterson?" "Umm, nope--no one by that name here, sorry." "Thank you." And they hung up. A moment later I realized--was that the credit cops? Could this be the end of Stmnn Grnsmmsnerhsnsmnn?? It's OK, Stmnnn. You will always live on in my heart. And in my saved voice messages.


epiplectic said...

I too get these messages at my place of "employment" (such that it is not officially). But, oddly enough I think that mine is from a Mr. Casota or something like that.

I googled the number to call and discovered that just like you, it is a scam......yes, yes it is true.

The Wax Lion said...

a scam? mine was a real live debt collection agency when I called them back, they just put me on hold for fuckin' ever and I gave up on them. But I didn't doubt that it was fo' real--because if it was, why would they tell me to hang up if I wasn't their dude?

What kind of scam was yours?