Shit happens when you least expect it. And sometimes you don’t even realise that shit has hit you. Now that’s what I call a good shit.
Ok, nuff of shit-talk.
Being suckered right under your nose is something you really don’t want to go through everyday. Actually, not ever, if that’s possible. I had the liberty of experiencing first-hand, the feeling of being angry, frustrated, baffled then suckered on Sunday. Wasn’t a good feeling I tell you. Not too distant from the kind you feel when you are the practical joke – just a whole lot worse. Not quite planned with Al-Qaeda precision, but it was planned nonetheless.
It all started off from a call from my colleague, who informed me of a potential print design job for a property company. Apparently, it was going to be a rush job and the Singapore-based client was eager to meet up with him to brief him on the project. However, as luck would have it, my colleague was on holiday in Johor and that’s how I had come in contact with the client instead. Sounds good so far right? Property client, needs brochures, collateral for launch, Singapore-based, nada nada.
Some phone communication was exchanged directly with Desmond, the client, the day before, and an agreed meeting at Starbucks, Plaza Berjaya at 3.30pm, Sunday ensued. I was there on the dot, while Desmond appeared some 15 minutes later. I was already finishing up my coffee when he arrived. After a brief intro, I requested for his name card which he didn’t have, citing it was with his wife, a Ms. Ng, who was to join us with a few others. I gave him mine. Well-spoken and decently dressed, Desmond explained that the materials were with the others, and that they had trouble finding Plaza Berjaya, being unfamiliar with KL and more accustomed to the PJ area. Fine. 5 minutes passes. I then get a call from Desmond’s saved number and a Ms Ng greets me. Sounding friendly and bubbly, I was asked to pass my phone (which evidently is the crappiest piece of sh*t ever – Sony Ericsson T68i) to Desmond. Leaving his pouch and a document on the table where I was sitting, Desmond said he had to pop by at KL Plaza, as the others were there. He continued to speak to Ms Ng on the phone as he disappeared amongst the shopping crowd.
So I waited. 15 minute passes. I’ve read all the magazines in Starbucks. Strangely, I get a call from Desmond via Starbucks land line. He told me he would be 5 minutes. And so I waited. And waited.
And waited. 6.00pm. I had a hot chocolate and a bite of bun. My patience grew so incredibly thin, I decided to leave. I took his pouch and document, and left a note to Desmond at Starbucks to call my house phone to arrange for another meeting and obviously to reunite with my phone and he with his belongings.
Rushed off in haste back to PJ where I was to have dinner with my family.
I had no contact numbers with me at that time, but fortunately had my iPod which I store some contacts in. I called my colleague. I also try to call my phone but the line is dead. Both my colleague and I were baffled. All this trouble to steal a phone? Come on! How much is it worth? RM50? RM100? Or is there more to it? Attempting to rationalise, perhaps something happened to Desmond? My colleague attempts to call Desmond, and also his friend who introduced Desmond to my colleague.
The barter items which I really didn't want!
I realised I was truly suckered when I forced opened the pouch, locked with a padlock, the next day. A piece of rock wrapped in newspaper. An empty cigarette box. A diskette with keywords like “Financial statements”, “Board of Directors” and “CEO message”. How very well planned and covered up. How gullible I was.
To this very moment, I am still trying to find the logic behind the planning and effort to steal a phone. This modus operandi is actually known and reported in the news. There has been cases where victims were left with a suitcase full of rocks. The thing was that I did not suspect due to the fact that Desmond, was introduced to me by my colleague’s friend. A friend.
Upon some digging, it was revealed that Desmond actually called my colleague’s friend, part of a multi-national, with interest in purchasing some elevators for a property project. And it was also revealed that my colleague has never met this Desmond dude.
So. Suckered. Victim of a scam, a sham I am.
I am still wondering if there’s more to it than the phone. Perhaps the way they operate is extracting your contacts from your phone. Perhaps they were looking at other belongings but found that I had none on me and therefore just took my phone? Is there a possibility that they would use my data? I still find it horrendous that their plans are merely to steal a phone. And a crappy phone at that. I’m not bothered that they stole my phone. In fact, I was gonna give that piece of shit away anyways. It’s just the rationale and morality behind the act that I am totally pissed about. I’m not even going to mention that he will have his hands chopped off if I ever see him again. I can remember his face vividly.
Becareful peeps. You never know what’s out there these days. These people were professionals and they knew the industry, the terms. They were well-spoken and smooth. Keep your eyes peeled.