I Think I Maybe Want to be a Scammer, I Promise?

by BronyWriter

Grand Tour

"Hey there, how are you doing?"

Hard Head yipped and jumped in his seat when he felt somepony put their hoof on his shoulder. He spun around in his chair and saw a stallion and mare, both in about their early-to-mid twenties smiling back at him. He chuckled uneasily and took a few deep breaths.

"Heh, sorry about that. You startled me, is all."

"Oh don't worry about that," the stallion replied. "Force of habit, I suppose. I mean, it's our job to startle them enough to the point where they can't think straight."

The mare rolled her eyes. "Oh for Celestia's sake, Charming, you're going to give the poor stallion a heart attack. He's not a mark; he's a co-worker."

"Yeah, yeah, Sweet," Charming grumbled. "In any case, we saw that you're new here. Fast Talker must have really liked you if he hired you."

Hard Head nodded. "Yeah, he, uh, was impressed with my work around Ponyville, so we decided to team up."

"Interesting that he has you in a cubicle, then," Charming said with a tilt of his head. "If you had success in Ponyville of all places, I'd think that he'd want to make you a junior partner, or something."

Sweet scoffed and waved her hoof. "And give this guy more money? I don't think so. In any case..." She turned back to Hard Head with a smile. "I'm Sweet Nothings and this is Charming Words. We've been here about a year now."

"Um, charmed." Hard Head extended his hoof for a shake. "I'm Hard Head."

"Nice to meetcha," Charming replied, shaking Hard Head's hoof. "You got some time? We'd love to give you a little tour around the office."

Hard Head glanced back at his desk. So far he'd managed to cross off one name. He shrugged and got up from his chair. "Sure. Why not?"

"Excellent!" Charming replied, clapping Hard Head on the shoulder again. "It's not too much, but it's enough to put food on the table."

Hard Head frowned as he began following his two co-workers. "You don't make a lot of money from this? I mean... isn't that kind of the point?"

"Well we're not on food stamps or anything," Sweet Nothings said. "It's definitely a better job than I had before. We're not millionaires, is all."

"So... what amount of money do we make?"

"About a tenth of what we catch, but that's not including all of the spiffs and bonuses and the like," Charming replied. "In any case..." Charming opened up a door on the opposite side of the entrance to the room. Charming stepped aside and motioned for Hard Head to go through. "I don't need to show you the cubicles. It's just several rows of cubicles. Nothing to get worked up over. In here is the break room. That's where you go to... have your breaks and such. We get one every five hours."

Hard Head walked into the room, followed by his to co-workers. He grimaced at the sight of the tiny room that would barely hold half a dozen ponies. There was a small table on the far side, and a fridge even smaller than the one he had at his house on the left. He cleared his throat and turned back to Charming and Sweet.

"It's... something alright. Looks like a normal break room."

"Yeah, but it's a good place if you want to catch up and get some tips and interesting stories." Charming grinned and threw a hoof around Hard Head's shoulders. "Every day there are interesting stories to tell! Bet you've got some good ones from Ponyville, even."

"I, uh, definitely do," Hard Head replied.

"You'll have to share some," Sweet said. "And speaking of sharing, you're going to want to put your name on anything you put in the fridge." Sweet walked over to it and pulled it open, revealing several stacks of Tupperware containers and paper bags. "Anything without a name..." Sweet grinned and snatched one of the containers out of the fridge. "Is fair game."

"Oh, uh... that sounds kind of not nice," Hard Head said.

Sweet shrugged and popped the lid off. "Those are just the rules. Gotta learn them now if you want to actually fit in here." Sweet's grin widened at the sight of the contents. "And some imbecile should have put their name on this. Looks like a stack of Donut Joe doughnuts!"

"Ooh, nice find," Charming said, walking up to her to take a look in the container. "Mind if I nab one?"

Sweet scoffed and shooed Charming away with a wing. "Back off. If you wanted one, you should have checked the fridge earlier." She plucked one of the doughnuts out of the container and shoved it in her mouth. "Mmm. Mmmmm!" She swallowed and grinned at Hard Head. "Delicious. Freaking amazing. Be the poor pony that brought this in is gonna cry. Oh well, guess he'll learn for next time."

"Guess so," Charming said, walking over to the fridge to check the other containers. After a few moments he grimaced and clicked his tongue. "Eh, nothing really. Oh well."

"Maybe I'll just run out for lunch," Hard Head said, backing away from the fridge."

Charming shrugged while Sweet started on another doughnut. "I guess you could. Gotta be fast, though. We only get half an hour, then it's back to it."

Hard Head frowned and tilted his head. "Only half an hour? You'd think they'd let us walk around for a bit. You know: stretch our legs for a little while after five hours on a chair."

"Eh, I don't think too much about it," Sweet said after finishing another doughnut. "Like I said: you just get used to it."

Before Hard Head could respond, the door opened, and two ponies walked in chatting with each other. When they saw Hard Head and his companions, they stopped and gave them all a wave.

"Hey, how's it going?" the first stallion said.

"Not too bad, not too bad, we're just giving the new guy a tour," Charming replied.

"Oh, so you're the new guy." The second stallion chuckled and lightly punched Hard Head on the shoulder. "Nice. You're the one who went after Ponyville, right?"

"Not an easy market." The first stallion scoffed and shook his head. "No idea how you managed to pull it off."

"A lot of perseverance and just calling the right ponies," Hard Head said. "Nothing too complicated, really."

"I'll bet." The second stallion punched Hard Head again. "But you've got Princess Twilight and the other Elements living there. Did you ever manage to call one of them?"

Hard Head lightly growled to himself and turned his gaze to the floor. "Yes. I called one or two of them. It didn't turn out too well."

"Well, they're national heroes, and stuff," Charming said with a wave of his hoof. "I guess it's okay if you don't get any money from them. That'd be pretty neat, though. Good notch on your belt."

"Oh for sure," Sweet said, tossing the empty Tupperware container into a nearby sink. "But you got money from the town in the end, so it wasn't a total loss."

"Speaking of, I just hit a big score!" The first stallion said, sharing a hoofbump with his co-worker. "I was just telling Sneak about it. I got a nice twenty-five hundred bit score from a pony in Manehattan."

"Nice!" Sweet said as she hoofbumped him. "Good little pickup. How long did that take?"

"About an hour and a half, so it took a little work. Not too much, though," the first stallion said. He snorted and shook his head. "You should have heard it. Old mare. She completely freaked out when I told her that I was from the ERS, and she was under investigation for tax evasion."

"Freaked out" Hard Head glanced over at Charming and Sweet. "So what does that mean? How did she freak out?"

"Oh, you know, begging, crying, insisting that she was innocent, that kind of thing. Could barely understand her sometimes."

"Huh. How often do you get that kind of call?" Hard Head asked.

"Eh, you know, those are the only kind of ponies that actually fall for it. I've gotten more money from freaked out old mares than anything else," Charming replied. "If somepony calls and they sound like they're eighty... heh, cha-ching!"

"You should know that," Sweet said. "I mean, come on: you got a bunch of money fro Ponyville, right?"

"Well yeah, but that was mostly small-town hicks and stuff like that," Hard Head said, rubbing the back of his neck. "I got money from them because they weren't smart enough to know better. Bet some of them had just gotten a phone."

"Makes sense," Sweet replied with a nod. "Maybe we should start calling places like Appleloosa, then."

"I dunno, I don't think they have stores with payment cards or anything like that," Charming said. "Could be something to look into, though."

"I mean, yeah, you gotta check every avenue you can," Hard Head said. "'Cause... you never know what kind of pony you'll call."

"For sure, for sure." Sweet stretched out her wings and jerked her head in the direction of the door. "We should probably get back, then. Gotta see who we'll call!"

"Looking forward to see what you can do," Charming said. "Be sure to let us know if you nab anything today. You know, we can compare notes and stuff like that."

"Oh, definitely," Hard Head said as the three of them walked out of the break room. "I guess I'll get back to it, then. Thanks for the..." Hard Head looked around. "Tour."

"You're welcome," Sweet said. "Alright... good luck."

Hard Head sat back down at his desk and put his headset back on. He poked at his headset and stared at his phone. Everything would be fine. He was fine. Everything would be fine. He was going to make his real money here. He shook his head and pressed a few buttons.

"Oh, you know, begging, crying, insisting that she was innocent, that kind of thing. Could barely understand her sometimes."

He grimaced. He'd get used to it. Pulling down a ton of money would make everything okay. Worth it. Princess Sparkle would never find out, and nopony would really get hurt. Nopony he knew, anyway. He just had a few nerves, that was all.

"You're being dumb," Hard Head muttered to himself. "It's going to go better than in Ponyville."

Hard Head looked down at the list, took another deep breath, and reached to his phone.

"Hey! Who the heck ate my doughnuts?!"

Hard Head rolled his chair back and looked in the direction of the break room where a stallion was holding the empty Tupperware container previously containing the aforementioned doughnuts. He shook his head and went back to his phone.

"Uh, did you put your name on the container?" another pony said.

"I just... I thought I did!"

"Well if you didn't, that's your problem."

Hard Head tried to tune out the laughter as he began pressing the buttons.