I answered the phone tonight, even though it was from an unlisted number.

Pat said “Don’t answer,  it is a Scam”  But I did.  Who knows it could be from one of the kids phoning from a pay phone in some obscure location after they escaped from a kidnapper.  We see that all the time on TV.

But Pat was correct, it was some guy with a funny accent telling me that he was phoning from our bank to correct some information.  This has happened before.  I am normally very polite and listen through his spiel,  and then ask him (or her) if they tell their parents that they are thieves.  At this point there is normally a pause and I say, Well do you tell your parents that you steal money from people for a living?  At this point they hang up and move on to the next caller.  But it always gives them a pause.

When I was 17 I took my 1956 Ford to the local dealer for some much needed service. I tried to repair as much as I could but this fix needed a trained mechanic.  (horrible cars in those days)

At the time I was making diddley squat on Saturday jobs and driving a truck in the summer.

I picked up the car at the dealer and the bill was much less than I anticipated.  As I looked at it I realized that the clerk had only added the labour and not the parts.  Whoopee.  I went home and made the mistake of bragging to my father about my good luck.

Dad looked at the bill and told me… You have to go back and get this corrected.  I said “Dad, Percival Motors is a rich and I am poor”  but there was no recovery.  I went back and pointed out the error (I still recall there was no thank you just an acknowledgement that there was an error).  I admit I went home wishing I had never told my dad.

Anyway this view on honesty has seemed to stick.  To this day if I receive too much change from the clerk at the store I make a point to correct it because even though Dad is long gone he is still there over my shoulder.  (now, granted this does not include some padding of my expense accounts when I was in sales but that is another issue)

So when I tell a telemarketer to ask his family if he is a thief I hope this might come with some guilt.  I assume that this is the attitude of our children.

And so far I think I am right (aside from Janine charging too much for under arm deodorant)