Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Dropping Forty T
"I knew these people a long time ago, in another life, and I never thought they'd reach out to me like this..."
The man who said this line didn't seem to be aware that he sounded like the voiceover for the opening of a bad TV show, one that might star Chuck Norris. This line would have made me cringe if it came from a television, but it came from a customer in the print shop where I work.
Most of the time I don't deal with walk-in traffic. But when the primary person who does is on the phone, and all three owners are out of the office, there's not much I can do but try. So how could I help?
"You could print out a document if I brought it to you on disc or emailed it to you, right?" Yes, yes I can do that. What will it cost? Black and white copies are twelve cents per, there'll be a $20 output fee (this usually gets the vague 'can you print this out for me' character to leave). It's a legit fee, and we do charge it. There's usually some time involved figuring out how to get the file from them, how to extract it from the amateur office software they've cobbled it together in, and so on. Even charging the fee, it's our least profitable sort of transaction, but it's easier to do it for a price than to turn people away flat out. The most common follow up question is 'can I get on your computer and print it out myself,' which we actually draw the line. No, you may not touch my computer with your kiddie-porn searching, malware downloading, sticky from junk food fingers. Not for twenty bucks, not for two hundred.
But this guy, he didn't go there. He got weirder. Which, to my way of looking at it, is more entertaining.
"Do you stock A4 paper?" he asked. I'll save you googling that one, it's the European standard letter size, what we use 8-1/2 x 11 inch paper for, the metric-speaking world uses 210 x 297 millimeter, it's a sheet about a quarter inch skinnier and three eighths inch longer than what we're used to.
We don't stock anything that size, I explained, but we get parent sheets of lots of paper we could cut down to A4 if that's what you need. Then he tells me that he has some A4 stock at home he can provide. Great. Provide it, we'll print your documents out. A4 is one of the paper sizes Xerox offers default buttons for, and in seven years this would be my first time ever selecting it. Not super interesting, but it's a first, right?
"After I get them back from my lawyer," he explained, then going into lengthy detail about his diabetes, arthritis, terrible eyesight and how hard it is for him to get these documents straight. He was getting less weird and more boring and I tried my best to give him zero conversational handles to extend this visit.
We'll be here whenever you're ready, I said. I just could not shake this character.
"You can delete the files after you're done, right? From your server and the print spooler and everything?"
Sure, whatever, yes we can do that. It's unusual, we keep stuff on file normally so people can reorder things, but if you want us to nuke it we'll nuke it.
"Because there was this whole hostage situation here the other day," he said.
It's true, there was a police standoff that blocked off the streets for a few hours when the cops came to serve an arrest warrant and the subject of the warrant decided to make it interesting. But I didn't get what that could have to do with me deleting this clown's important, lawyer-vetted documents after I printed them.
"Well," he said. "The people I'm doing this for, if there were someone more important than the President, these people would be it if you know what I mean." I had no clue what he meant, but I could tell my ignorance wouldn't last. He had to enlighten me.
Then he got into the NSA and how they harvest so much data it's nearly unmanageable, but when there are certain red flags or connections, they can focus in on something. Uh, yeah, I suppose that's true. Then he dropped the bomb.
"I'm facilitating the transfer of funds from the Saudi royal family to the Rothchilds," he said. "And you don't want the government getting wind of it when someone is willing to invest $40 Trillion dollars in something like this, especially when that government could only come up with $800 Billion for the same thing."
Apparently Uncle Sam would be embarrassed to find out that the Saudis and Rothchilds were funding some sort of infrastructure project (I'm unclear what infrastructure this is supposed to be but he said it was kind of like the Works Progress Administration from the Depression) to the tune of fifty times as much money. I checked the guy's math out, and he's right, $40 Trillion is fifty times $800 Billion. It's also, as far as I can tell from a quick wiki search, about four times as much money as there is if you are looking at the United States dollar (in circulation and in the theoretical realms of reserve banking). Or to put it another way it's almost half the Gross World Product, the collective GDPs of everywhere.
But apparently, not only are the Saudi royals so solvent they can throw this kind of cash around, but in order to do so they need the assistance of a talkative, indiscreet, diabetic, arthritic guy who hasn't been able to get his home printer to work ever since his girlfriend used it.
It was hard to keep a straight face, but you know, I wouldn't want to offend a person who has friends who can, as he put it, 'Drop forty T.'