Technological Warfare


I got a call from a telemarketer the other day.

Now, I knew it was a telemarketer, because these people have called before and I have listed their number in my Contacts under a very bad word.  In fact, they have called from several different numbers, and I have all those numbers listed under that same very bad word.

Like most of you, I am sure, my usual policy is to refuse to answer any number that isn’t recognizable, and if — upon checking the messages — it turns out to be telemarketers, simply list that new number under the bad word of choice and forget about it.  It wasn’t like they called that often.

But this time, I thought perhaps I would answer it, and tell them I am not interested, and they would understand, and they would leave me alone, and everyone would be happy.

As I have mentioned before, I once had a job as a telemarketer.  I lasted two days.  I was terrible at it.  I really hated calling strangers and trying to talk them into purchasing something they did not want.  I felt guilty as hell for disturbing them.  I could feel them wishing me dead right through the phone, and when they told me, generally not very politely, to go away, I would apologize for disturbing them and hang up with an overwhelming sense of both failure and relief.  If I (in this current phone call) had been speaking to me (as my prior self) the call would have been short, polite, and settled with equanimity.

But no. I did not get former-me. I got somebody who was good at being a telemarketer. Someone who could not understand why I did not wish to clean out my bank account and send it via certified check to a company which (I Googled them) is currently being subjected to a class-action lawsuit for, and I quote: “Betrayal, Deception, Theft of Intellectual Property, Fraud, Monetary Theft, Psychological Trauma and Pain.” Someone who was, in fact, so damned annoying that they caused me to lose my temper, erupt in a volcanic spittle-spraying rage, and hang up in a fury.

Which was stupid.  Because what appears to have happened is that — after the telemarketer I was cursing out finished getting high-fives from everyone in the adjoining cubicles and consuming a celebratory donut — he pushed some sort of button that put my number on the Telemarketer Hell List.

I began getting robo-calls from all sorts of companies.  Day and night.  I filled up the bad word contact with numbers and had to add three more just to hold all the numbers I was collecting.  And even though I did not answer, they were waking me up and interrupting my work.

So I did what I had to do.  I put Ellen on the case.

Ellen is my phone.  She is a Galaxy Note 2, and I call her Ellen because she is so bossy.  I have never met an Ellen who wasn’t bossy.  (By the way, if you are reading this and you are named Ellen and you are even now in the process of writing me an indignant letter saying that you are NOT EITHER bossy and How Dare I; this is your bossiness coming through.  But it is okay.  You cannot help it, because your name is Ellen.)

Anyway, I asked Ellen if she could do something about these disturbing calls, and she said Sure.  Anything to keep from being sprayed with spittle again.  She put a block on all 47 of the numbers that had been bothering me.  So now they don’t ring.  They can’t leave messages. I don’t even know they were trying unless I check my Recent History list.

Ellen takes care of me, she does.

I even bought her a present — a little app that supplies her with every known telemarketer number in the known Multiverse so she can block them all.

Yeah.  There you go, Ellen.  Armored up.

You get ’em, girl.


— Bob out

Artist’s Notes:  This is one of my favorite pages.  Lots of color, drama, yelling, Max snapping on his suit- apparently some kind of modular design (don’t ask me to explain it).  I had a little fun with the sound FX here; I wanted to give a sense of REALLY LOUD machinery whining in the background- and I think this sells it.  -Max