Two Thousand and Five

Two Thousand and Five

A Story by shiloh jennings

from contest "Write a story that includes a theft. Heart, object,... feel free to steal just about anything in this contest."


Syra copied and pasted the information dumped in her chat screen over to a notepad file on her desktop. She plugged her headset into the portable phone, cleared her throat twice and dialed the number.

"Hello, you've reached the AT&T Conference Center. Please enter the identification number for your pre-scheduled teleconference now," intoned the overly happy automated message.

Syra keyed in the five-digit code and waited.

"The conference number you have entered is invalid, please try again or press '0' for operator assistance."

The voice grated on Syra, but she had expected this first minor hurdle. Choosing the option to call assistance, Syra immediately heard several clicks on the line while she was being redirected to an operator. She wasn't nervous -- not exactly. Syra was filled with anxiety that pumped her adrenaline to familiar and regularly sought levels.

"AT&T, this is Marlene speaking, how may I assist you?" came the butch-dyke voice across the line. Syra wondered why they all sounded like they hadn't been laid in a decade. Being a teleconference operator was her dream job, and she knew her own voice dripped sex-appeal whenever she spoke.

"Yes, hello Marlene, apparently there has been a miscommunication somewhere. My conference seems to have ended prematurely. I'm hoping you can help me with this inconvenience?" Syra used her most annoyed professional voice. She didn't want the operator to be defensive, but had learned from experience that being too friendly was sometimes suspicious.

"Oh my, that's terrible. Let me see what I can do for you. Can I get your conference number, administrator's PIN and the name it was registered under please?" responded the operator, in exactly the helpful tone Syra hoped for.

Syra rattled off the conference number, along with the user's PIN and two names she picked from thin air.

"I'm sorry Ms. Forde, is there another name under which this might have been registered? Also, you've given me the user PIN, I need the administrator's PIN," replied the operator, still in the same helpful tone as before. This was promising.

"It might have been registered under Kim Chang? I'm not sure which of my secretaries set up the conference. That is the only PIN I have here. Just one second, let me see if I can find another," Syra put a tinge of apprehension in her voice, but maintained her assertiveness as she shuffled around a couple loose papers on her bed-side table. "Look, I'm in my car, on my way to the office. Our PBX system failed this morning and all of our incoming calls are getting a recorded message that redirects them to this teleconference. My secretary just called to inform me it had been ended for some unknown reason. I'm going to assume that whoever set up the account initially failed to request the auto-extend feature."

"I really can't do anything for you without the administrator's PIN, at the very least," replied the operator, doing her job to protect the account.

"I understand that entirely, Marlene, but I'm hoping you can see it from my position as well. I generally work from home, taking calls from there, but without the PBX, I can't do that. Neither can any of my other field staff. There must be some way to get beyond this?" Syra knew the personal touch of remembering the operator's name was a good approach. Allowing the solution to be put forward by the operator would give the woman with the dull life a sense of power in the current circumstance, false though it may be.

"Perhaps you could just give me the phone number used to set up the account?" suggested the now eager to help operator.

Syra again rattled off some random digits that she knew to be in the Illinois area code.

"Uh, might there be another number?" prompted the operator, her helpfulness faltering slightly.

Lounging back on her bed, idly twining the head-set cord around her fingers, Syra knew it was time to regain her position. Careful to keep her voice civil and polite, yet also commanding, she stated, "Look, I have offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto and London. To be completely honest, I don't know if it was my secretary who set up the account or if she farmed it out to one of the interns. If that's the case it could have been picked up on the inter-office messaging system and been carried out from any of our continental offices. Frankly, I'm behind the wheel of my car, stuck in traffic and I need this to be fixed immediately, not whenever I can get in to the office. The longer we are unable to communicate with our clients, the more money we lose."

The operator took the bait and ran with it. Someone in her job position didn't want to think too much and certainly preferred to let others tell her what needed to be done. "What I can do for you, Ms. Forde, is add the auto-extend feature to your conference, as my system shows it ended less than an hour ago. If it had been longer, I would not be able to make any changes and you'd have to set up a new conference. I cannot give you the administrator's PIN, but if someone calls from the number on the account, we can confirm that from this end, and then give you the information you need."

"Thank-you so much, Marlene. All I need is for the conference to continue working. My understanding is that it will auto-extend until the last participant has left the conference?" Syra made sure to hide her feeling of triumph, instead only gushing relief at the stupid cow on the other end of the line.

"Yes, that is correct, Ms. Forde. Is there anything else I can help you with today?" asked the operator, returning to the comfort of her pre-scripted responses.

"No, no. That is all I needed. Thanks ever so much, you've just made my day," answered Syra truthfully.

"Thank-you for choosing AT&T," the operator finished with, before cutting the connection.

Though alone in the room, Syra was unable to keep the ecstatic smile from her face. She immediately dialed the teleconference number and keyed in the user PIN. The conference chimed and then dropped into silence. Perfect. Jumping from her bed and returning to her computer desk, Syra clicked the mouse to reopen her Internet Relay Chat screen.

[Phreakess] that has got to be the stupidest security check I've ever seen
[Phreakess] a child of three could SE their way through!
[Phreakess] mwahaha!
[t00l4evr] you got it?
[t00l4evr] tell me you got it?
[ath0] of course she got it
[ath0] she's the best social engineer u ever heard!
[Phreakess] ath0, you just want in my pants, admit it!
[Phreakess] and yes, I got it!
[Phreakess] everyone can call back in now!
[pinkee] b there as soon as my dumb mom gets off the fone
[t00l4evr] 'hello you've reached the AT&T conference center'
[ath0] and don't you forget it!
[t00l4evr] ~*tzingg*~ oooh yeah, music to my ears! tty there guyz

© 2015 shiloh jennings

Author's Note

shiloh jennings
True story. Identity theft is not cool, kids, remember that!

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Added on January 17, 2015
Last Updated on January 17, 2015


shiloh jennings
shiloh jennings

Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

~//:* I am me, no more, no less. *://~ The film has started. The first scene is of a young woman. She is tall, perhaps 5'10". Her long dark hair falls over her shoulders in a cascade of natural cur.. more..