I looked at the number on the screen and then pulled down the instructions. I was supposed to call the customer and ask for the secret password. Burglars don’t know the password, right?
So I got on the phone and called the customer. A groggy-sounding guy answered.
“Hi,” I said. “This is security. I’m calling to see if you know the password.”
“The password?” the guy asked. “Uh….”
Now, if whoever answered the phone didn’t know the password, I was supposed to hang up and immediately call the cops. But calling the cops was always a hassle. So I asked again.
“Yes, sir,” I said. “This is security. I’m calling to see if you know the password.”
“No-no….” The guy sounded half-asleep. “Nobody told me any password.”
Which meant he wasn’t supposed to be in that house. But still. He sounded confused. That happened. There was a drunk guy in Pennsylvania who was always setting his alarm off accidentally. I had to call the cops on him at least once a week.
“Well,” I said, “I still need the password.”
“But—but…I don’t have a password.”
I was about to hang up when I glanced down at the phone. The readout had the phone number in it. The area code I had dialed was 503. Hmm. I looked at the instructions.
The number I was supposed to have called had a 603 area code.
I said, “Well, okay, sir. We’re just checking. But you need to get yourself a password.”
And I hung up.