Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Phone number from hell

Okay, we get at least three wrong numbers a day. That is because a) our number used to belong to some chiropractor, then to some naturopath, and b) our number is something like one digit away from a medical clinic here. We get many, many mis-dialled calls.

So right now, I have on my answering machine something along the lines of, "Hi, you've reached Natalie and Gordon at blah blah blah. We get three wrong numbers a day so if you're NOT one of them, please leave a message after the beep." Now, does that SOUND like the answering machine message of a business? Do I say, "You've reached Dr. Natalie and Nurse Gordon. Please book your anal probe after the beep"? Do I say "You've reached the Chiropractic Clinic for Thick-headed numbskulls. If you need an appointment, wipe the drool off your mouth and press #1." NO! I do not say these things.

Well, I just got two hang-ups from Mr./Mrs. 604-870-0999, which, according to my call display, is a private number, and as far as I can recall, is no one I know. They didn't leave a message, just some confused breathing sounds. Then they CALLED BACK TWO MORE TIMES! After TWICE hearing my damn message about how many wrong numbers we get. HELLOOOOOO??! How stupid are we? That is four times they've called without leaving a frigging message and without clueing in to the fact that no, we are not a medical clinic, a chiropractor, a naturopath, or their long-lost Aunt Tilly. GOOD GRIEF!

I took the phone off the hook. I refuse to answer and speak to this person, because I will be forced to swear at them. Like the telemarketers aren't bad enough! Otoh, maybe it WAS a telemarketer! Even less of a motivation to answer my phone.

There's a reason I have call display! Gordon has sworn he will never choose a catchy phone number again.


  1. Welcome to my world. My new phone number used to belong to NJ Division of Motor Vehicles, Warren County office. I have a LONG detailed message about my business as the announcement on my answering machine, and my name is repeated, as well as instructions about calling my friend Debra to make an appointment with me ... you'd at least think they'd hang up and leave their message for the DMV on her machine! But nope ... on they go. Usually I ignore them, but one woman left something like 9 messages, begging me (DMV) to call her back, and explain the problem with her registration. She sounded old and confused, so I finally returned her call ... and she YELLED at me for bothering her if I wasn't the DMV! I no longer pick up the phone until after the answering machine has...

  2. The local Sears bike repair department used to give customers my work number. I'm not sure why they picked my number, but I can understand why they didn't give out their own--these people were ticked. And it didn't matter that my message said my name and my university department; people would still leave long irate messages about their bikes. I tried calling Sears several times, but the nitwits there insisted over and over that my number was theirs! I finally had the university change my number.

    I also once had a home number that got a lot of calls for Mike. Apparently his number was the same as mine, only with two of the numbers reverses, and he gave his number to a lot of girls who couldn't quite handle dialling the phone correctly. They used to be so mad when I answered, until I redirected them to Mike. I called Mike myself once, just out of curiosity. Popular guy.

  3. My home (and only) number is a few digits off from two medical clinics, so I occasionally get a call from someone needing an appointent. No biggie - everyone has been unfailingly polite. I don't get any wrong messages, as my machine goes on and on about reptile rescue which is apparently the clue to getting through to people that they've called a wrong number.

    The frustrating wrong-number calls are actually from people calling the RIGHT number.

    One is an 800 number for one of Dun & Bradstreet's offices. The other is a number in Illinois belonging to a claims adjustor working for some company there. No one is really sure what his name is or what the company is because the messages he leaves on those peoples' machines isn't very clear - only his number comes through.

    For some reason, TelCo glitches periodically and shunts those calls to my number.

    Fortunately for D&B callers, the glitch happens once per attempt to get through to them. Unfortunately for both me and the people calling the claims adjustor, the glitch can last for several hours. Fortunately, I'm a nice person and the situation is apparently off-beat enough so that the people who weirdly end up at the other end of my phone have been pretty cool with the situation, albeit increasingly confused about a) why a claims adjustor is calling them, and b) why Telco doesn't do something to stop shunting these calls to me.

    (For the record, I did call D&B and Telco, and both were completely unhelpful and disinterested. Whenever I tried calling the claims adjustor, I just get a busy - probably because I'm calling my own phone. ;)

    Ah, well, all above is better than what happened to my parents after I left home: the number they had gotten for me when I was in junior high (well, actually, they explained, they got it for themselves so that they could actually use the phone at night) was mistakenly printed in the yellow pages as the number for an escort and outcall massage service.

    Fortunately, my dad, from whom I get my whacko genes, just started answering the phone saying things like, "Cockroach Arms, how may I help you?" and "Internal Revenue Service. Your call may be recorded."

  4. Oh my, all of your stories are HILARIOUS!!! And Melissa, your Dad's sense of humour is right up my alley. But I get flack from my father-in-law every time I put a funny message on our message. "I couldn't understand that! Blah blah blah" I do it anyway.

  5. So what is your phone number Knat?

    I used to work in a jail. I said "work" not "live".

    That said, often while working the booking desk, we'd answer the phone with catchy phrases in the middle of the night like, "Pizza Hut" or "Jerry's Deli, how may I help you?" The silence on the other end of the people trying to find out the bail amount of their loved ones was deafening.

    It's easy to entertain yourself when you're working all night.

  6. Anonymous7:14 pm



Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!