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Being the primary employee to field telephone calls at my job, I tend to get a hell of a lot of telemarketers. They’re pretty easy to quickly identify (background conversations from cubicle farm, flat/dead delivery of reading from a script for 8 hours), but I’ve had a couple in the past month that have been different.

The first one had no background noise, but the voice was quite familiar. It’s a voice that I’ve dealt with at insurance carrier 800 numbers, programmed to be a bit more “human” than the typical voicemail menu, and will listen to spoken responses as opposed to solely button presses to navigate the menu. After all but confirming that it was a computer, I responded to one of it’s questions by asking “are you familiar with the Turing test?”, to which it immediately replied “OK, goodbye.” I guess it is familiar with the Turing test.


The second one just happened this morning. It almost caught me off guard, they’ve programmed cubicle farm background noise into it, but it’s still the same voice. I again asked if it was familiar with the Turing test, and it again immediately replied “OK, goodbye” and ended the call. At least I know how to have a bit of fun with them.

The next one is getting the Steve Martin treatment: “May I mambo-dogface to the banana patch?” I’m curious as to what it’s reply will be, but if it’s unsatisfactory, asking about the Turing test seems to be all but guaranteed to end the unsolicited call.

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