About my notes on phone interaction... You know, one tries to be "nice to the help", as one says about one's cook, about one's people who come by and straighten up one's house in town, one's house in the country, etc.
In dealing with scams, I keep it together. We both know it's a scam, so I tell them to please just go away and don't call back.
When I become unpleasant is when I am on the phone with my bank-- and when I say I'm talking to "my bank", I mean some company in India who my actual bank hired to handle the calls that come in. I think they're almost all about "I've lost my card, still looking, but can you freeze the account?", then "okay, I found it under the bed, can you reactivate it please?", or "okay, I really can't find it, can you shut down the account and mail me a new card for a new account?"
However, my bank has recently done some pretty shady things to me personally. By "my bank has done", I mean a bank's heuristics have altered the parameters of an account of mine (APR, credit limit, etc) on a card that I happen to not use much anyway, and then the automated process generates a form letter telling me this, which of course is mailed from the farthest point they can possibly mail it from. There is no "the person at the bank" involved. It's bots all the way down.
So when I am on the phone talking to the people working for my Large American Bank, I have coherent goals for the conversation, my agenda of things to tick off, including some things to ask the person to change (and finding out that they can't do much of anything in their job beyond the simple "Card: Freeze / Restore / Cancel-Replace" options).
I see no point in yelling or being insulting. It'd just rile me up. But in this kind of case, I see no particular reason to "be nice to the help". Granted, I do not waste time in bringing up how this bit of shadiness toward me is merely a mote in the larger pattern of to how this bank is under investigation for pretty blatant predatory lending and just plain fraud in a dozen different cities and states; and in at least one case (last I heard) an entire large city combined all grievances as a class action lawsuit.
But if I am brusque ("so, is there anything you can do here except read me the gibberish form letter that I incidentally have in my hand?"), it's because THEY ARE ANSWERING THE PHONES FOR THE MAFIA.
The fact that the mafia in question has a corporate logo, and letterhead, and whose offices occupy entire tall buildings, and who issues credit cards and prints up checks, and has an HR department that cuts you paychecks instead of slipping you envelopes of cash— that doesn't stop them from BEING THE MAFIA. You know that you should be answering every call with "HELLO, MAFIA SPEAKING! HOW CAN WE GRIFT, MENACE, AND DEFRAUD YOU TODAY?" You know it. You can't un-know it. Yes, they seem official because they have lawyers on staff. OF COURSE THEY DO, THE MAFIA ALWAYS HAS LAWYERS!
IF YOU WORK FOR THE MAFIA, YOU HAVE TO QUIT. "Easier said than done! I got kids to feed!" I know. I know. But feed them from a safe job. If you work for THE MAFIA, they're stealing from me— and they're stealing from you too, out of habit if nothing else. Do this: personally log your clock-in and clock-out time, multiply by your wage, and you will see a problem. You have to stop working for a company that is almost definitely stealing from you! ...and which is, I point out, THE MAFIA.
Stay cool about it, and just say "No hard feelings, but I have an ailing sick aunt— in a distant city where everyone has the same last name as me and I can't give a forwarding address— you know, what with the economy and all." BUT YOU HAVE TO QUIT.
LEAVE THE GUN, BRING THE CANNOLI!
Current Music: Nancy Sinatra- These Boots Are Made for Walking