Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Sorry, wrong number

So as I was sitting here on the couch, wracking my brain to think of a blog topic for the day, the phone rang.

It wasn't for me. It was for the people who used to have our number. Two and a half years ago.

I can only assume they had it for a long time, because they get more calls, even now, than we do. So many, in fact, that last year I actually spoke to them about it.

What happened was, a lady who sounded quite elderly called looking for them. I repeated my usual "They don't have this number anymore" speech, and she seemed very confused. We talked for a minute and she hung up (after saying goodbye and everything, she didn't just slam the phone down.)

Several minutes later the phone rang again. It was Mrs. Number. She was so sorry we were still getting her calls, they had no idea, etc. etc.

I was nice about it, although I couldn't help thinking that we wouldn't be still getting their calls if they had bothered to tell people what their new number was. Their golf club called once, for example. Their doctor's office. Various friends. The sort of people you would notify when you had a new number, you know?

The best part was, their doctor's office accidentally gave me their new number, which I wrote down. So I can now give their number out. Which, frankly, I do. Not indiscriminately, but...well, okay, kind of indiscrimately, sure. If someone calls for them and I feel like getting up to check the number I do.

It reminded me of a wrong number I am still pissed about now, which is like seven years later. I was watching...I believe I was watching Monk. I know I was watching a mystery, though, and it was the last ten minutes. You know, when you find out the answers? And my phone rang.

It was some guy, looking for some girl whose name I'd never heard. I tried explaining there was nobody there by that name and he didn't believe me. He kept insisting that he'd just spoken to her. He checked the number with me. He got very, very pissy.

Then he hung up on me. Made me miss the end of my show and never apologized. And of course, when I tried *69ing him, the number was untraceable.

I should have just hung up on him myself. Isn't it funny how we try to be polite ("I'm sorry, you must have the wrong number") even when we're the one being inconvenienced?

I have no doubt that guy met some chick in a bar and she gave him the wrong number, but that was no reason for him to be rude to me.

This happened to me several times, actually. Our number in Florida was one, too. The phone company is supposed to hold onto numbers for six months, but we had so many people insisting they'd just spoken to whomever in the weeks before that we believed they'd just reassigned it right out of the box. Lucky us.

Yeah, I know. It's not the most thrilling topic ever. Give me a break. I'm figuring out how to work the next scene in my WIP so I can start rolling toward the end--not far now (I hope!) Be glad I didn't try to make y'all give me a topic.


Sherrill Quinn said...

Dee, when I first got my new cell phone (about 3 years ago) with a new number, I had a guy keep calling and asking for Ferdinand. It finally got to the point where I realized he was just doing it to piss me off. Well, you know, two can play this game. He called (after I had yet AGAIN told him Ferdinand no longer had this number), I recognized the phone number (yes, he'd called me *that* many times) and instead of answering the phone by saying "hello", I grabbed my rape whistle and blew it into the receiver for all I was worth, then hung up. About 30 seconds later he called again (I guess he didn't get the hint the first time), and I repeated my oh-so-very-rude-but-you've-pissed-me-off greeting.

Haven't heard from him since. :)

kirsten saell said...

Growing up, our phone number was one digit off from the local medical clinic--and by one digit, I mean, a single digit in the exchange (first 3), of which there were only two in our town.

We got a LOT of calls for the doctor. Probably 20/day. Sometimes from frantic people in the middle of the night. My parents, stubborn as they were, refused to change the number since they had it first. When I moved out and my phone only rang maybe three times a day, it felt oddly lonely.


Everyone who has ever had my phone number is wanted by collection agencies. One girl keeps giving it as a job reference. (I've had the number for about 8 years. Here's a tip, hon: If you haven't been in contact with someone in over 8 years, they're not a good reference.)

By far more interesting, however, is the spillover from the last tenant at my address. I get cops and REAL LIVE BOUNTY HUNTERS on the doorstep looking for him...

Demon Hunter said...


Someone contiually called my house for someone who no longer had that number, obviously. My friends and family complained that I turn my ringer off at night. They claim, "what if it's an emergency?"

Anyway, this one night, I left the ringer on. I get a call around 1 a.m. and had to get up at 6, which I hate, by the way. The person proceeds to ask for their friend, and I put on my most professional voice and said, "You most certainly can speak with "so-and-so", then I yelled, "When you call her f*cking house!!" And I hung up. Oh, yeah, I did it and it felt gooood. They never called again...heh. LOL. What? I was

Charles Gramlich said...

I had a guy call me late one night on my cell, a wrong number, asking to talk to his girlfriend, and I could hear that he believed I was with his girlfriend and was lying to him. I always wondered what happened when he finally got to talk to his girlfriend for real. I think there's a story in there somewhere.

Anonymous said...

We had a party line when I was in high school -remember those? It could be entertaing for a stoned teen. Not that I was a stoned teen. -V95

laughingwolf said...

after having my number for 10 years, i still get twits calling, assuming it still belongs to the parts company that had it before...

come on! a BUSINESS?

i sympathize with you

i get the same kinds you do, as well, some stud looking for some chick

recently, i've lost my niceness and tell all to look up the damn number they want grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

BernardL said...

I had a guy call me one time, and after I said, 'Hello', he said, 'Your Mother sucks dicks in hell, Tony'.

'I'm not Tony,' I inform him.

'Oh,' he says, 'sorry, have a nice day.' :)

Anonymous said...

I don't pick up the phone. I screen all my calls.

I got sick and tired of the dumbasses, who when I said they had the wrong number told me that I was in the wrong place, and ARGUED with me.

I used to take pity on people leaving messages anyway for the wrong person at the wrong number, but I give out plenty of information in my outgoing message, and if they can't be bothered to LISTEN, I can't be bothered to chase around after them.

Got burned too often trying to be helpful.

Seeley deBorn said...

I really do feel bad for the little old lady who calls here looking for Angie. I'll bet Angie owes her money too. The other person who calls is very obviously from a collection agency.