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November 8, 2003
You Should Try It From The Other Side

I found a good blog that I'm adding to my blogroll, Bloviating Inanities, which on one hand elevates link-whoring to a new level, while in another post, openly hopes that all readers go away:

It is the goal of Suckwatch to annoy and alienate every blogger who reads me so eventually I have no readers and don't have to blog anymore because frankly, it's a big pain in the ass. This mission statement knows what you're thinking - why don't you just quit blogging, you idiot! Well, that would certainly be the logical thing to do, wouldn't it.

I love self-contradiction, and so I'm going to be visiting often, although apparently I will eventually be the only one. However, this post is the one that really got my attention, titled I'm an Idiot:

As I've mentioned, we had an alarm system installed at our house because a neighbor got robbed. Well, last night I set the damn thing off. I walked into the house and it beeped at me (this is your alarm system, Jackass. Turn me off). I walked into the kitchen and it beeped again (seriously, you moron, turn me off). But did I listen. No, I started feeding the cats. Then all of a sudden, the loudest, most annoying sound I had ever heard, well, sounded. It was like a thousand monkeys were pulling the tails of a thousand weasels all while the monkeys made that screaming monkey sound. Do weasels have tails?

Bill then got the alarm system turned off and had a difficult time with the alarm company because he had forgotten his identifying password, causing frustration and worry about what would happen if the police showed up. Would they arrest him for being in his own house? Well, Bill, to set your mind at ease, let me tell you what happens, because for 15 years, I've been the voice on the other end of the line, and have had regular conversations with alarm users that make you look like Albert Einstein in comparison.

First off, the police wouldn't arrest you -- they'd check your ID against your mail, check your house key, pictures on the wall if necessary, maybe even verify your identity with a neighbor if they wanted to bother, but they probably wouldn't. (Be kind to neighbors just in case!) I can tell you that the only thing that motivates police less than a residential burglary alarm is a doughnut-free diet. Oh, they respond, quickly and professionally in almost all cases, but they're not going there thinking that they're about to capture international jewel thieves. They know that either it's a homeowner who decided to feed his cat instead of turning off the alarm, a dog stuck inside with the motions armed,or a drug addict looking for your jewelry to get a quick source of cash for his next fix. None of these require Inspector Callahan; Inspector Clouseau could handle it.

And forgetting your password? Very common, especially when you're under stress -- a 120-decible siren in your ear tends to do that. No one thinks you're an idiot for that (although the cat thing ... well ...) . What we get much more often are calls like this:

C: Hello, I'd like to make a change to my call list.
A: Okay, may I have your password.
C: I don't have it with me.
A: It's on the card we sent you.
C: Oh, that thing? My wallet's too full already, I threw it out.
A: Okaaaaaayyyy .... You could submit your request in writing with your signature.
C: I need it done now.
A: You could fax it in.
C: Look, I don't have a fax machine, and I need to make the call list change now.
A: That's going to be a problem because without your code, we can't identify you.
C: I'm John Smith.
A: I'm sure you are, but without the code we can't verify it.
C: But I'm telling you that's who I am.
A: We're on the telephone. Anyone could call up and tell me they were you.
C: Why would they do that?
A: To make unauthorized changes.
C: How about if I tell you my phone number?
A: That's listed in the phone directory, it's not a secure code.
C: Let me speak to your supervisor.

Then we get to have the same conversation again with the supervisor, at which point the call gets transferred to me (the manager), where we have the same exact conversation, except this gets added on:

C: You suck. I hate your company.
A: I can understand that, sir. We made the assumption that you wanted a secure system. If not, you could always call another alarm company that allows any unidentified callers to make unlimited changes to your account.
C: F*** you.

Bill, I'll tell you what ... compared to people like this, you're a genius! (via A Small Victory)

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 8, 2003 8:37 AM

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