Sunday, August 23, 2015

#188 - Is Stupid Stamped on My Forehead?

It's been a while between posts, but life has a habit of getting in the way. It has been a very busy summer working with our son, working around the house, running errands. You know, living.

Recently, though, I had a few episodes that got me to wondering about the state of the world we live in and helped me, perhaps, to understand some of the stereotypes we as Americans, generally speaking, tend to use to describe people from other nations and other cultures.

First, let me explain that I am of an age (albeit still at the lower end of that age range) that puts me in a group susceptible to "unscrupulous" people seeking to separate me from my money. Yes, I am a member of the AARP crowd.

Within the space of a few days, I had not one, not two, but three different calls from "agencies" calling me to discuss my "problem," with which they were familiar. All three calls came from people who were either calling from India (or that general region) or were originally from that part of the world.

The first call was from a "pharmaceutical" company calling about my medications. Fair enough, except for the fact that I do not take any medications outside of an over-the-counter allergy pill. Click.

The second call was from a "help desk" calling me about the problems I was having with Windows on my computer. Just one problem. I do not use Windows on my computer; I use Linux. Another click.

The third call in as many days came from "(inaudible) Home Security." While I want my home to be at least as secure as the next person's, I also prefer to be the one to initiate any inquiry into home security systems. Needless to say, I hadn't. So my only response was "No" followed by hanging up yet again. Third click.

While I know anyone can be duped by a scam that seems straightforward and legitimate at the onset, it seems that scammers have a lower opinion of the over-50 crowd than they do of other age groups. Either that, or they think I'm even older than I am. Or maybe they simply think I'm stupid.

I also know I am not the only person ever to receive such calls, but it seems with every year that I age, the number of such calls I receive increases exponentially. Oddly enough, they nearly all seem to come people with an accent resembling that of someone from India.

I say oddly enough because my admittedly limited knowledge of that part of the world includes an understanding that elders in general and the elderly in particular are revered and cared for. Perhaps these people never learned that. Perhaps their elders are long gone. Or perhaps it is simply that they figure since America tends not to revere its elders the way other cultures do those people are "fair game."

Maybe someone saw my wife and I out while she was wearing an "I'm With Stupid -----> T-shirt. Who knows? All I know is that the word stupid is not stamped on my forehead. At least it wasn't the last time I checked. Perhaps I'd better take another look.