While coming home early Sunday morning back from work, I found a random person trying to add me on Skype. As I usually do when this happen, I replied with a polite "Hi. Who are you and how do we know each other?" – for all I knew this was someone who I did knew, but didn’t have on Skype. As it turns out, this was not the case:
i got ure name from the member directory here on skype cuz i was bored and lookin for new people to talk to. lol
25/f here u?
Now, based the writing alone I was fairly certain that this was an individual that I’ve not shared words with before as most of the people I spend time with, including my acquaintances, makes an effort to write properly. I felt that stating this would be a natural follow up:
I see. So, basically, we're two random people who's had no previous contact?
However, instead of answering my question, Random Person went on with the questions:
so what r ya up 2?
To in turn I replied:
I just got home from work. It's about 08:17 at my place. Night shift.
This prompted another strange answer:
i'm just looking forward to my spring vacation from school, i'm still in college right now so i'm pretty excited ya know
At this point, I was more than just a little baffled, but trying to remain the well-mannered person I like to think of myself as so I went along with what I consider a perfectly natural question of my own:
What do you study?
To which I got this in return:
lol, so i have an idea if ure up for a lil fun
And it was time for the bad feelings to make themselves known. Now, I still wanted to give Random Person the benefit of doubt, so I asked the following:
The description Random Person gave me confirmed all my earlier bad feelings:
i was actually gonna get to my "job" here shortly. my girlfriend was working online and i kept askin her about it so she showed me what she was doing when we got back to school after christmas vacation
lol i thought she was joking at first, but its pretty cool actually. we work online doing private webcam shows which sounded crazy at first trust me. but i freakin luv it!!!
Remaining calm, collected and keeping up with the traditional tone I had set so far I replied with something positive and non-committable:
Then that's good for you - I'm glad you and your girlfriend have found something that's rewarding for the both of you.
This seemed to activate some form of conversational trigger with Random Person – not only was the next bit related to the last statement, but it went into depth to what was actually going on:
well what i was going to say is i have some free passes and i usually just do a private show before i get started to "warm up" lol. no one is online though so i was going to let u use one of the passes if u wanted but u have to give me a really good rating so i can get more if u do tho k?
To be fair, you have to give Random Person some credit. Not only was I not showing up as online on Skype (I almost never do, even when I am), but the recruitment to better one’s own marketing in this manner either spoke of cleverness or desperation. Here’s my attempt at keeping to remain calm, collected and polite:
Let me see if I understand this correctly. You'd like me to be an observer of your work, then regardless of your performance give you excellent scores? Please do clarify if I messed this up.
It may not be the most correct thing to say at the time, but I wanted to be absolutely clear on this. Sure, most people would have said “thanks, but no thanks”. I, however, am not most people, but what I got in return might as well make me one of them:
oh i'll earn it don't u worry lol. k its *webpage link withheld for not wanting to promote this kind of behavior* and u should see a lil button to accept my invite and create your profile. u just click on that.
then u just make ure own username or w/e and u can cumm into my private chat for us two and type to me and tell me what you want me to do
…okay. This is not something I do – I do not go to random pages online to do this sort of thing. To be perfectly honest, I’m not even that comfortable clicking on links unless I know the person forwarding said link to me. It was time to let Random Person down – gently, kindly and in a way that would not be possible to misunderstand:
Um... I'm not so sure. You do seem like a nice person, but this isn't normally what I'd do.
All true and with plenty of more to come:
yeah you will need a credit card of sum sort... but, its just to keep out the underage kids
u should feel special i dont usually give out this one!! lols im such a goofball sumtimes
A credit card?! Seriously? Now, this was a big, red warning flag accompanied with an alarm who kept on beeping louder and louder. Random Person wanted me to do something that I would not even do with my senses working even at full capacity. Also, there was no way of knowing is said credit card would be billed the instant one were to accept the small writing - nu-huh. My reply:
Just to keep out the underage kids.
The more I hear about this, the more skeptical I become. No offense.
I’m afraid that this mild brush off didn’t seem to have any effect at all:
i'm really excited 2 it's gonna be so much fun. i love meeting new ppl on here, oh by the way... might wanna turn ure speakers down cuz i can get a lil loud once i get going
Right. As Chandler once said “…and we’re done with the *insert random food stuff he was currently eating at the time here*.” – this phrase comes when things have turned icky, disgusting and/or otherwise unappetizing for the main cast in Friends. It was time to bring in the big guns of reasoning:
Let us take a step back for a moment, if you don't mind.
While describing this as a job, I'm assuming you're getting paid for your time. However, you're offering a free pass, even if the site itself require credit card information.
You say you enjoy meeting new people. This is something I can relate too, but as I'm not so sure we have much in common - even with strangers on the internet you're offering to do whatever it is you do while on the site in question. I'm flattered, don't get me wrong, but I'm not so sure about this.
This brought me the silence I had not known that I wanted. I admit, my curiosity itched and irked, wanting me to do what Random Person had offered – and not at all for any really good reason. So in seeking distraction from this odd turn of events I flew a few games in space with some fellow pilots (it’s called Galactic Star Fighter, or GSF for short). We won every match and it was oddly unsatisfying.
I’m not going to keep on telling what went on that day.
Sufficient to say it proved strange.