The social skills of a thermonuclear device: Why did you hang up?
One morning I’m working in my office and I’m interrupted by a telephone call. The caller-ID shows that it came in through the switchboard. (I.e., somebody called the main Microsoft number and asked for me by name.)
Caller: [angrily] Mr. Chen, why did you hang up?
I don’t recognize the voice, and I haven’t received a phone call in several days, so I have no idea who this person is or what he’s talking about. But if somebody starts out rude to me, that doesn’t put me in the friendliest of moods. Still, I use a polite tone of voice.
Me: Oh, I’m sorry. I’ll do it again. [click]
A few minutes later, my phone rang again. The caller-ID shows that it is once again a call from the switchboard. I let it go to voice mail.
Shortly thereafter, I received a notification that I have a new voicemail message. Here’s a transcript:
[swearing in a language I don’t recognize] Why do you keep hanging up on me? I asked you, are you Raymond Chen, and then I talk to you, and you hang up. Are you stupid or something? [click]
Now I kind of feel bad that the caller probably got the wrong person. There are at least four people at Microsoft who share my name (or a name very similar to it).