0615: "Avoidance"

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0615: "Avoidance"

Postby TurtleMidget » Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:00 am UTC

Image
Hobby: seeing how many menu selections you can get someone to go through before they realize you're not an automated system and/or hang up.

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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby aleflamedyud » Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:04 am UTC

The alt-text basically tells us that Randall's an evil bastard.
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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby '; DROP DATABASE;-- » Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:07 am UTC

Nice.

The alt text reminds me of something I've always wanted to try, but haven't had the chance. Try to convince a telemarketer they somehow called Japan by accident, after leading them on for as long as possible. It shouldn't be that difficult; just answer in Japanese, make like you're getting the guy who speaks English, then lead them on in a fake accent before asking why they called you all the way in Kyoto. It doesn't even have to be a good fake accent. :P (If I could get an Asian friend to do it though, that'd be even better. The choice of language/country is not that important; I only go with Japan because I know enough Japanese to answer the phone and pretend to get someone who speaks English.)
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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby Eternal Density » Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:09 am UTC

It took me a moment to sort out exactly what was happening here. At first I thought Randall was giving Verizon a hard time again.
I found the whole 'relationship issues' thing to be a bit predictable and not especially interesting. Especially the rather unimaginative 'hot girl from the party' line. It seemed rather cliche`. Oh well.
My dad has said that some of his customers have mistaken him for an answering machine because he always starts with "Thankyou for calling <business name here>, this is <subject name here>."
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Omegaton
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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby Omegaton » Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:11 am UTC

Haha, this would be a great defense against prank callers.

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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby krynd » Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:14 am UTC

Randall's been telling us he's a bastard for years.

http://xkcd.com/51/
http://xkcd.com/53/
http://xkcd.com/120/
http://xkcd.com/121/
http://xkcd.com/148/

I only ran through the first 150 for the sake of brevity.
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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby TunezNZ » Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:15 am UTC

Omegaton wrote:Haha, this would be a great defense against prank callers.

Seconded
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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby Quicksilver » Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:23 am UTC

That's cold.

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Freiberg
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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby Freiberg » Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:27 am UTC

And if you aren't awesome enough to do it yourself, you can just record the voice message off of an actual error message, and have it as your voicemail. I want to do this now.

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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby kcwong » Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:36 am UTC

Unless she was in a very quiet room or her cell has supreb noise reduction, the presence of ambient noise will ruin the prank immediately...

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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby Quicksilver » Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:43 am UTC

My voicemail says "hello?" followed by a 10 second silence and the message that I can't come to the phone right now. I've been abused for it in the past, but no matter how many times people fall for it, it's still funny to hear about it.

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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby Math_Mage » Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:58 am UTC

Meh, I think the third panel is a rather stilted way to connect to the punchline. Maybe something to do with how the girl rejected him the first time around would be better.

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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby Kow » Mon Jul 27, 2009 5:01 am UTC

Quicksilver wrote:My voicemail says "hello?" followed by a 10 second silence and the message that I can't come to the phone right now. I've been abused for it in the past, but no matter how many times people fall for it, it's still funny to hear about it.

Oh god, I hate those.

I just have the default cellular number voice mail.


I half expected the punchline to be that she rerouted her number to block his calls or something.
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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby Wii Owner 3.14 » Mon Jul 27, 2009 5:14 am UTC

Yay, I finally get to say this!Get out of my head, Randall. A friend recently showed me a prank call in which the caller pretended to lead his victim through an automated system, and I was wondering how practical that really was.

In related news, the comic was decently funny, but there haven't been as many gems recently as there usually are. Also, Quicksilver is a dick. My younger brother has an outgoing message like that, which is annoying when I forget and need to know whether I have him or the machine.

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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby fordpref » Mon Jul 27, 2009 5:24 am UTC

Reminds me of a friend of mine that setup a BBS where the initial screen came up and said "Touch Screen Detected, Commencing calibration." It would then walk the user through a series of calibration steps, which would fail, and then ask them to leave a message if they wanted additional help. He said he got a couple a week. :-)

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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby Munzapoppa » Mon Jul 27, 2009 5:29 am UTC

Reminds me of the Seinfeld episode where Kramer gets wrong numbers from people trying to reach MovieFone, and then eventually starts perfectly imitating him (though he runs into a problem when he tells people to press buttons on their keypad). That episode is hilarious, I need to watch that again.

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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby TheSkyMovesSideways » Mon Jul 27, 2009 5:30 am UTC

Heheh, it's kind of like Kramer pretending to be an automated movie information telephone service on Seinfeld, except Randall presumably doesn't have racist outbursts.

[Edit: Damn mind-reading ninjas! :shock:]
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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby Sir-Taco » Mon Jul 27, 2009 5:45 am UTC

I guess this also tells us Verizon is full of bastards?
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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby DreadArchon » Mon Jul 27, 2009 5:54 am UTC

That took me a minute to understand. When I did, I loved it. The title text is a crucial part of the joke, though, IMO.

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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby admeister » Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:09 am UTC

First time poster, long time reader here. Great comic as always, keep it up!

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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby Soulshift » Mon Jul 27, 2009 7:09 am UTC

Now there's an interesting concept - the inverse Turing test!
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Kow
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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby Kow » Mon Jul 27, 2009 7:26 am UTC

DreadArchon wrote:That took me a minute to understand. When I did, I loved it. The title text is a crucial part of the joke, though, IMO.

I didn't feel it was necessary...

Reminds me of a friend of mine that setup a BBS where the initial screen came up and said "Touch Screen Detected, Commencing calibration." It would then walk the user through a series of calibration steps, which would fail, and then ask them to leave a message if they wanted additional help. He said he got a couple a week

Can you elaborate on this? I don't know what you mean.
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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby vish » Mon Jul 27, 2009 7:35 am UTC

Kow wrote:
Quicksilver wrote:My voicemail says "hello?" followed by a 10 second silence and the message that I can't come to the phone right now. I've been abused for it in the past, but no matter how many times people fall for it, it's still funny to hear about it.

Oh god, I hate those.


Had an actor friend once who had the best "one of those" ever.


him to phone : "hello, just a sec"
him away from mouthpiece (to a third party):"it's right there on the table!"
to: "yeah, sorry, i'm lis..., just a sec"
away(louder, irritated) : it is right there on the damn desk!! "
to: "excuse me a sec"
and this would go on for about 30 seconds where you get to hear one side of an escalating verbal fight with curses and all, which would end with :
"ahhm, this is't a good time right now, just leave a message. *beep*"

first time i heard it, i actually hung up halfway through the fight.

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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby Matthias » Mon Jul 27, 2009 7:46 am UTC

And why would she give him her number if she was just going to pull this stunt?

Simple: she works at Verizon.

Note: I actually like Verizon, but AT&T doesn't make sense in the context of the joke.
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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby TheSkyMovesSideways » Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:15 am UTC

Matthias wrote:And why would she give him her number if she was just going to pull this stunt?

Well, he says that he got her the first time he called, so maybe she only realised then that he was a dick? ("Hey, this is $stick_man_1 from $stick_man_2's party last night. My parents are out of town until tomorrow, so, you know, if you want to come over you could even use the front door!... Hello? Hello?") Or maybe she just decided that the guy wasn't as interesting now as he'd seemed at 2am after she'd consumed half a bottle of tequila.
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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby tahrey » Mon Jul 27, 2009 8:59 am UTC

Or it could be she realised he was a dick and gave him that number just so that she could fuck with him... maybe not even step one, in fact. Might be her own hobby. That, or just listening to his voice in those situations gets her off. No law saying its only guys who do prank calls (or in this case, inverse pranking) or do creepy phone-stalker things.

My reason for coming back to comment, however, is that I've actually heard this being done on the radio in the last couple of months. A certain national DJ had it as the basis of a closest-answer-wins guessing question in an on-air quiz - i.e. how long can someone be strung along? For this he called up a notoriously gullible member of his own team, didn't much disguise his own voice (as he does some corporate voiceovers anyway), and pretended to be a cold calling, recorded-message "you have won a fabulous cruise in the bahamas" kind of scammer, complete with requesting button presses (interpreted by means of the old "if you want <x>, press one ...... if you want <y>, press tw{sound of victim mashing "2"}") and inaccurate voice recognition (they say, "London", get the reply "I think you said, Newcastle. If this is incorrect, say Incorrect now, or say Correct"). Managed something like 3-4 minutes if I remember, before cracking up and blowing it. Some people are that easily fooled.

My dad also did that "Hello! .............(just enough time for you to start talking).................. (beep)" answerphone thing til I left him enough verbally abusive messages about it, it became cheaper to just change it back to default than keep picking up / deleting them.

KOW: GIYF, n00b ;) it's an excellent idiot-filter along the lines of "hold your driver's license up to the monitor so we can scan it and verify your age"

Soulshift: as well as the inverse turing test (can you convince someone you're a computer? I think I managed to convince some guys in IRC i was a bot, once) ---- the reverse turing test, i.e. being sure that a human you're talking to is actually a human... a couple people ImRL have failed this a few times, particularly over the phone. There are voice-recognition cinema ticket ordering lines that have slightly more reliable audio input and AI than those folks' wetware. That, or they actually ARE glitching androids.
(as the classic is a computer convincing you of its humanity, i dont know what phrase you'd use for a computer convincing you it's a computer)

Freiberg: sort of like this? http://www.scn.org/~bk269/data.html --- scroll down to the "SIT" (s.i.t.) invalid number tone entry.

Drop Database: Done THAT over IM as well, when someone invited their rather ditzy 17yo friend on board. Feel the full wrath of my novice-level knowledge of japanese cribbed largely from Anime and that ancient phrasebook / cultural guide picked up from a church fair for a single shiny silver coin, bakayaro-ko!
(it was quite amazing how long they sat there complaining and trying to figure out WTF I was on about... I tired of the game and disconnected before they did)

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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby TheGuyWithTheHat » Mon Jul 27, 2009 9:26 am UTC

I've done something similar to the alt-text too, when someone calls me and says to pass the phone to someone I go "please hold, your call is being transferred..." and try to keep it going for as long as I can :P
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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby docent » Mon Jul 27, 2009 9:35 am UTC

Speaking of alt-text and the automated systems, this prank was pulled of couple of times by the infamous fonejacker...

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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby KaRaKaL » Mon Jul 27, 2009 11:31 am UTC

It's the opposite of what a friend of mine did: Set his voicemail to sound as he's actually answering.
" 'lo? ... Yeah, good. Yourself? ... ... ... Just kidding, my phone's off, leave a message." *BEEP*

He changed it after getting punched too many times...

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Gobo
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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby Gobo » Mon Jul 27, 2009 11:35 am UTC

This was my answering machine message for a while: ([This text] indicates my wife's voice.)

Hello. You have reached [Gina and Adam].
No one is available to take your call. To proceed in English, press 1 now.
pause
You have chosen to proceed in English. If this is correct, press 1 now.
pause
You have confirmed that you wish to proceed in English. If this is correct, press 1 now.

etc.


It completely fooled my boss once so I ended up feeling bad and changing it.

Kleppner
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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby Kleppner » Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:17 pm UTC

KaRaKaL wrote:It's the opposite of what a friend of mine did: Set his voicemail to sound as he's actually answering.
" 'lo? ... Yeah, good. Yourself? ... ... ... Just kidding, my phone's off, leave a message." *BEEP*

He changed it after getting punched too many times...


brb, changing my voicemail.

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SunDawg
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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby SunDawg » Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:35 pm UTC

Perhaps she can actually do math if she works at Verizon and got a spot in an xkcd comic :shock:

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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby SirMustapha » Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:48 pm UTC

The alt-text was the only bit that I liked.

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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby DSenette » Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:59 pm UTC

i've got a friend that has a Trixbox (asterisk) setup at his house for his phones..... he's got a call menu that's at least 23 levels deep each with at least 4 options (all of them increasing in insanity as you reach the depths of the menu structure)....it's really effective with telemarketers (he's got some script that tracks the button presses and graphs them...so you can see how far someone get's through the menus before they give up)
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mheney
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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby mheney » Mon Jul 27, 2009 1:13 pm UTC

The alt text needs to be a separate strip!

Meantime, methinks it's time to change our voicemail message!

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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby SpringLoaded12 » Mon Jul 27, 2009 2:07 pm UTC

I have a sudden urge to meet the person who did the voice of GLaDOS.
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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby Alzheimers » Mon Jul 27, 2009 2:36 pm UTC

I dunno. The first thing I do when I get an automated message is to hit 0. Half the time, that'll take you right to an operator.
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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby Tamasan » Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:04 pm UTC

Used to work in a call center. My voice sounded very similar to the guy that did our automated menus. If it wasn't for the QA department I could've gotten away with this anytime I wanted.

Especially after answering 'Thank you for calling {company}. My name is {name}. How can I help you?' for the eleventy-billionth time in the same monotonous tone that indicated my mind had gone on permanent hiatus after dealing with the callers who managed to screw up 'Put CD in computer. Click install. It now works.' for the 4th time before calling in.

Randall, if you got the idea from my brain, please tell it to come back!

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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby EmptyTrash » Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:05 pm UTC

I don't know if Verizon uses the same lady, but AT&T has used Pat Fleet since back when it was the Bell System.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat_Fleet

Some of her recordings might still be in use with Verizon from that era, even if AT&T has locked her into an exclusive contract. (Not that AT&T would ever do something like that.)

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Re: "Avoidance" Discussion

Postby The1exile » Mon Jul 27, 2009 3:45 pm UTC

SpringLoaded12 wrote:I have a sudden urge to meet the person who did the voice of GLaDOS.

Win.
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