Modern Lies

One Liner WednesdayI have written about salespeople lying to me, too many times to link to. Still, it’s not only continuing, it’s getting worse. I expect lies about products and features: “This copier will meet all your copying and scanning needs forever.” “This is the lowest price you’ll ever see on this product.” “This car has the highest resale value in its class.”

The copier doesn’t perform. The price drops by 15% next week and the car is in a class by itself in so very many ways.

What I don’t expect, and what I have been experiencing more and more often, lately, are blatant lies about alleged recent events that involve me. Personal stuff, that I can verify. It’s like these people are counting on the fact that I have a pi**-poor memory or that I’m going to confuse them with someone else. These contacts come in email and over the phone. Actual human beings call me and say things like: “It was nice meeting you at…” or “Hi Dan, we spoke earlier this month and you asked about…”

The increase in the number of these events had me thinking of a clever comeback. That’s when I remembered the place where I’ve learned all I really need to know…Star Trek

A Lie Is A Very Poor Way To Say Hello.”
— Edith Keeler

That’s from: “The City On The Edge Of Forever,” Stardate Unknown, from Star Trek, the original series.

Captain James T. Kirk is trying to explain why he broke into the basement of the mission house the Edith Keeler (played by Joan Collins) is in charge of.

The gallery has a few photos from one of the best episodes of that series. Yes, this post is an official review, so my interpretation of those pesky copyright laws tells me that I can use them. Spoiler alert, if you never saw this episode, Kirk falls in love, Spock performs heroic acts of science, somebody dies and the universe is saved from destruction. Before we get to the gallery, let me share something from the lying sales cycle that at least provides entertainment value.

Our voice mail system uses Microsoft Speech-to-Text technology to provide me with “readable” emails of the voice mail I’ve received. Unfortunately, some of the salespeople don’t command a strong grip on the English language and carry a heavy accent from the land of their birth. No offense intended, but I love messages like this:

Yeah, I want me some IP Socket love.

This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s fantastic weekly series, One-Liner Wednesday. Please visit Linda’s page. Check out her post and the other entries.

Live long and prosper!


  1. Well done, Dan! Love the Keeler quote, and your “response” about the voice mail-to-text, and the Star Trek episode. Lies from sales people… Imagine being a woman having to buy a car… This time I got a former boss to go with me. We worked out our “act” ahead of time, him pretending to be making the decision. When we arrived (separately, but walked up to the door together) the salesman went immediately to him — I didn’t even rate a business card. I asked one mechanical question about the car. Salesguy gaped at me, I repeated it four times, because he couldn’t believe it was coming out of my mouth. ( Young guy too, not some old codger you’d expect that from.) Anyhow, our act worked, and I went away with a great deal… having someone else basically read the script I had written. To twist the words of Mark Twain: There are lies. There are damn lies. And there are (salesmen). Hugs!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. My daughter deals with this all the time. She bought my car when I got a new one. She took it in for maintenance and they still called me to discuss the problem. I said “call my daughter, it’s her car” but they kept calling me. She knows enough about cars to manage this, but it just is so hard.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. GAH! I so despise Madison Av and marketing and the culture of lies. And that voice to text thing? Hysterical if it weren’t so pathetic. What a waste of your time.
    I’m gonna go out on a limb here and confess that I am NOT a Star Trek fan – only because I missed the boat the first time around. But I do like Ms. Collins’ cheekbones.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Awesome post, Dan. My roomie and I were talking about that episode last week as the quote was within our daily Star Trek calendar. That’s one of my favorite shows from the original series, one of only two times (if I remember correctly) that Kirk is truly in love.

    I am not a fan of that type of sales where the person acts as if they know you. I’ve gotten them in emails, but the sales pitch is ignored. This reminds me of my days on, when I would get the lying spammers. Their untruths were so obvious.

    Of course, you get bonus points for the Kirk and crew reference. How about 1,000 for today? I’ll give you 500 more if you also have a Star Trek desk calendar.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mary. One of my favorite episodes. I don’t have a calendar but I have a model Phaser from the original series :)

      Lying to sell something might work. If I buy it, you’re done. Lying to start a relationship?? How is that ever going to work?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I was quite the Trekkie when I was younger (and still don’t mind seeing the reruns), so I remember this episode well.
    The voice email sounds like a google translate version.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We received two calls recently on my husband’s dumb phone that made me laugh about their lies. One woman said I’d recently stayed at their Florida resort so I was eligible for a 75% discount. Not. The second woman started telling me about dealing with her husband. When I tried to stop her script, I realized it was a really good robot call and the only way to stop her was to hang up which I did immediately. I do have to say not having a landline is the biggest gift I’ve given myself this year. Now if you could only block unwanted calls on a dumb phone like I can on my smart phone it would really be quiet here. :-)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I keep getting these texts telling me, “Hey, Karen, your are eligible for a loan up to….” Whoa, buddy. This ain’t Karen. So I type in STOP and send. I receive a text that I have opted out of the ‘Karen’ messages. Next day, another message about loans for Karen. I text back, STOP. I receive a text telling me I have already opted out. So, WTH?????? Sales pitches are everywhere and I am sick of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I just have to throw in one more comment…. Please, this is not political, so let’s not go there, but many have said that The Donald’s supporters take him seriously but not literally, whereas the press takes him literally but not seriously.

    And therein is the secret to successful sales. You can huff and puff your product all you want as long as your prospects take you seriously – but not literally. When they take you literally, you damned well better deliver.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. The voice to text process is a “fluid” one, isn’t it? Loved the Star Trek reference and pics. Haven’t seen an entire episode in forever but back in the day I likely saw them all. The lines between lying and misrepresenting shorten in distance daily. Nothing surprises me anymore as far as promises made regardless of the circumstances. What happened to “underpromise and overdeliver?”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh that’s a splendid example! Voice to Text could have its own blog, couldn’t it? Some of them are outright hysterical! The Mister uses his audio choice a lot, and I get some pretty weird texts, because Siri doesn’t understand our accents too well. I’ll never forget a voice to text message I got from my Louisiana neighbor, Phyllis. Basically, it was like, “Hi Joy, it’s Fellers. I warned let you know Casey’s died. I gave huh fresh water and topped off huh food.” Died and fine, that’s the same. Poor cat. Poor huh. :P

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I’m feel as if I’m falling farther and farther behind in reading and commenting as I still have 20+ in my “Following” list and the entries in the photo challenge increase every times I look. (So I should stop looking, right?) I love when salespeople call and say things like “A number of people in your neighborhood have called with dampness in their basements…” and I want to see, “Yeah? Who and how many?” Where we live now, we can put everyone off by just telling them we rent and can’t make any of the decisions. :-) As for your message, it looks much like some of the spam that appears in my WP spam file. Some are hilarious and the ones that tell me what a great writer I am or that they learned to much from a post that’s for a photo challenge really make me smile. It may not be Star Trek, but it certainly comes from way out there!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m chasing my tail this week, falling behind and just deleting en masse because I can’t possibly catch up. I love to read these things, but I can only read so much.


  11. As someone who has worked in sales or around sales people most of his adult life it saddens me to say that I know exactly what you mean :-(
    There are techniques used to direct a conversation towards a desirable conclusion (for the salesperson of course), but none of those involve lying or misleading a customer about your product or service.
    That’s why salespeople who engage in that kind of behavior infuriate the crap out of me. Once they do that to me I’ll hang up or walk away before wasting another minute with a liar.
    I’ve always felt that if I truly believed in what I’m selling I wouldn’t have to make stuff up or trash the competition in order to sell it. If I don’t believe in it, then I shouldn’t be selling it.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. That software that listens to voice mail and attempts to write it out for you is terrible. Sometimes it’s as though they’re translating something by translating it out of English and then back into English, e.g English-French, French-Russian, Russian-Italian, then Italian-English. Comcast used to do that when we had their phone service; it was one of the reasons we got rid of it. I’d rather take my chances with the original recording, thankyouverymuch.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. The first time I got that call saying the person had spoken to me before, I told that person he [not she] was a liar and hung up. I have gotten the call a few more times since then but I just hang up. As long as phones do not have a way to get rid of repeat solicitors, there is going to be this problem.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I completely understand the lack of soft skills these sales people have, but I have been on the other side of the scenario as well. I never sold anything because I am not good at selling (I mean lying). However, I believe the problem lies with the company and not with the individuals. Companies are more interested in selling products rather than winning customers. These sales guys get targets to complete and if they don’t they don’t get the commission. So, they are mere horses running with blinders. The only thing they see is their commission and the opportunity to be not smacked by their bosses.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah. I understand. Sometimes the salesperson has no soft skills and no empathy and common sense. It requires certain amount of training to know how to deliver a good customer service while balancing all the given corporate parameters.

        Liked by 1 person

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