Colin Timothy Gagnon (sacredspud) wrote,
Colin Timothy Gagnon

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YOU be the detective! (Or the idiot, if you like.)

Today at work somebody had left some videotaped movies in the break room for whomever wanted them, and so an anti-piracy e-mail went out to everybody in the building. Nobody thinks about the laws they're breaking when they copy a CD or tape Basic Instict off Showtime, but after thousands of FBI warnings ("oh, I'm so scared!") and the recent crackdowns by the MPAA and RIAA (and also the SPA's Don't Copy That Floppy campaign) have so ingrained the evils of media piracy into my brain that I can only assume that this person was living under a rock.

Or a VCR, which, in our enlightened and technologically advanced society (so enlightened and technologically advanced, in fact, that we require violence for oil -- oh, wait, that's another post entirely) can be viewed much like a rock, albeit one that's difficult to program.

The preceeding portion of this post contained more commas and parenthesis than usual. I bet I'll be embarrassed by it in the morning.

Changing gears though, I ran into something today which perfectly illustrates part of my job. Many of you have asked me what I do, and I usually deliver the oversimplified "I read poorly written letters from stupid people who want their bank to pay for their mistakes (which, more often than not, is the case)." This is, in fact, a minor part of what I do, but it is the most fun part.

Thanks to The Smoking Gun, several of the letters written to the Mayor of Duluth, Georgia in protest of the Jennifer Wilbanks case are available online for your perusal. Have you ever wanted to know what it feels like to do my job? Go to the site and read them (or at least read #15), and pretend that each letter ends with the words "In closing, pls. give me my $$$ back b/c it would be a shame for me to half to cansel my card."

Now pretend that you're working in favor of a mattress store and that each one of these letters represents a $400 deduction from their account. Imagine that you're going to have to explain that even though the runaway bride has nothing whatsoever to do with anything, they're still going to have to go through their records and produce the original sales receipt for each transaction. Imagine that you have to explain this to the owner of th-- no, let's say it's a family-run candy store. Pulls in just enough money to stay in business. And you have to explain to the owner -- a sweet, little, old lady, or perhaps her churlish son -- that even though they didn't sell a bunch of $400 mattresses, they're going to have to pay for them, all because of a woman who thinks she's a bunch of Julia Roberts movies.

As you’re doing this, announce occasionally and loudly to no one in particular that you shall go insane to compensate for the recent collective IQ-drop of the rest of the human race. Marvel when somebody passing by suddenly turns to you in embarrasment and says "Did I say that out loud? I didn’t realize my voice was so deep.” Quietly promise yourself that you won’t go quite that insane.

That's my job (or a small part of it, anyway). Fun, isn't it?

And finally, if you've ever had your credit card stolen and not been reimbursed for all the pizza some idiot bought with it, really, don't blame the pizzaria for not asking to see some ID. Blame the phase of the moon or the lack of patriotism displayed by the youth of America or the fact that you don't look good in a yellow hat. Then ask an innocent shoe store to foot the bill. That’s what everyone else does.
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