I walked in the door after finishing a job today and as soon as I saw Mum’s face, I knew something had happened. She was shaking as she held the phone in her hand.
“What happened?”, I asked her. As she explained, my blood began to boil.
She got a call. The caller identified himself as her Grandson. She asked which one. The caller, not prepared for the question asked, “which one do you think?” Big Red Flag. He did not know the name of my boys. The caller began to tell a tale of Covid testing, positive results, then a ensuing traffic stop which rendered my (supposed) boy in jail and in need of bailing out. She hung up on him and immediately called my son on his cell. He confirmed that he had made no such call. Meanwhile, the caller called another 4 times. All were ignored.

We’ve spent the better part of the afternoon calling the local and state police as well as the AG’s office. The number, traced back to Toronto, is on file and hopefully being investigated. The important thing is obviously no harm has come to my son. But my poor mother, having to briefly process the unthinkable. It infuriates me. How many times in my life do I have to ask the question,
“What is wrong with people?”

I don’t fear aging, I don’t worry about dying. I do, however, worry about being at a stage in life where I may become vulnerable to the ever increasing predatory scams perpetrated by people who will easily take advantage of the naturally protective and loving nature of people for the reward of a few dollars. It is daunting to realize that there really is no limit to how low someone will go to steal from another, and the bar is being set lower all the time.

For all of the advances we have made in society, we seem to lose another piece of humanity. If only people put as much effort into ways that we can be better as a society as they do into creating ways to defraud and cheat. The distrust that such behavior causes is irreversible and erodes at the very fabric of society. Want to see how bad it is? Say hi to a complete stranger in passing and watch their face, they will be 50 yards away from you before they recover enough from the surprise, ask themselves 35 ways to Sunday why you just greeted them (what do they really want!) and decide whether or not to respond. If you really want to mess with someone, sit next to them on a park bench or on public transportation. It will likely induce fear in someone.

Respect, courtesy and tolerance are all but gone in our society. Bad behavior is the norm. Volume is the new tool against logic, reason and listening. Facts are inconvenient and the truth is considered hurtful. But I know that many people, in their heart of hearts, want to believe in the good in people. They want to trust someone at their word and not have to assume the worst. Unfortunately, that basic desire is being challenged every day by unscrupulous and greedy people. Once trust is lost, I fear there is no coming back from that.

I will continue to try to see the good in people. One thing I have always believed is that there is good in everyone and I will always try to find it. I hope that I never lose that. It’s not an easy task, people test it every day. For now, I will say this.

I believe most people are good and that we only hear about the bad ones.

13 thoughts on “decency”

  1. Nothing pisses me off more than what happened to your Mom. I am getting to the point where If I don’t recognize the telephone number, I won’t answer the phone because they are either robo calls or this kind of crap. Once when I got a call I asked for their name and telephone number so I could call back, and they hung up.

    As far as I‘m concerned, these folks are the lowest of the low and deserve a special place in hell. I have also often wondered how productive these scumbags could actually be if they put their “talents” to good use

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My in-laws get this “grandparents scam” call once a week. The first time, as you can imagine, it scared the crap out of them and the caller had them going (they posed as my youngest son who had been in an accident and had injuries to his mouth and that is why he didn’t sound like himself). Said he had knocked someone’s fence down who was pressing charges. Requested that they send money in pre-paid cards and PLEASE DON’T TELL MOM AND DAD. They also said that authorities had confiscated his phone so not to try to call him back to verify. Finally, my mother-in-law said, “well, if you are my grandson, where did you go to High School?” The caller abruptly hung up. My in-laws are 88 and 91 and like I said, they get this call weekly now and hang up. I can’t help but think there is a special place in hell for people who scam others like this!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You know me. I actually think most people are scumbags but, thank god, I’ve surrounded myself with good people.
    I don’t think I’ll ever stop asking “What the fucking is wrong with people?”

    (Give your mom a hug from me, will you?)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. How terrible for your Mum Billy. I hope they catch the guy. Here in the UK you can block numbers and report them as you have done. Some people are leeches.
    We had a spate of calls in the early hours, but no-one spoke. I got really pissed off at 2am and did a 141 which gave you the last caller’s number, if it hadn’t been withheld. It hadn’t, so I withheld our number with the 1471 service, and dialled it, then when a sleepy voice answered, I said that someone in his household was making nuisance calls at unsociable hours and they should do something about it, then hung up. Funny we never had any more.


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