Life in the Slow Lane

Life in the Slow Lane

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Ring My Bell

I have one of those telephone numbers that results in a great deal of misdials connecting total strangers to my line. And an especially large amount of long distance wrong numbers at that. When I was given my phone number I thought it was going to be soooo great as it was very easy to remember as it consists of a repetition of a very simple series of numbers. Apparently this very same repetition of numbers is exactly what happens when somebody starts dialing and then loses his or her place and starts over again.

I literally get 2-4 wrong numbers every day.

As a result I have become somewhat of an expert on how one should not deal with the unfortunate realization that one has, indeed, dialed the wrong number.

  1. Do not slam the phone down when you hear my greeting. Especially don’t do this if you have dialed me in the wee hours. I have call display and I am not above calling you back at an ungodly hour in the near future to return the favour.
  1. Do not argue with me. I am not fucking with your brain. I have no hidden agenda. I would know that Steve does NOT live here. Trust me. I’d know. I’d probably smell him.
  1. In reference to # 2. Seriously, I don’t care if this is the number Steve gave you and that you wrote it down right. STEVE DOES NOT LIVE HERE!!! Why would I lie? Stop smokin' the herb.
  1. Almost as bad as #1 do not hang up the phone on me after I kindly and sweetly inform you of your misdial. It puts me in a grumpy mood and when I am grumpy EVERYBODY is grumpy. Somehow it will trickle down to you and you will pay.
  1. Do not flirt. I am not going to meet you for coffee. I am not charmed by your spastic fingering that brought you to my world in the first place. Romance only starts this way in movies featuring Meg Ryan. In real life this is how serial killers find new fodder.
  1. And NO! I am not cheating with your boyfriend. I am not answering his phone and then trying to cover my tracks. I live here and live here alone. Maybe you should address those trust issues in a more appropriate forum. Like an insane asylum.
  1. Do not hang up and then immediately hit redial and then act surprised when you hear my slightly peevish voice again. I mean, DUH!
  1. Do not just stay on the line after hearing that you misdialed and mouth breathe in my ear. Think on your own time, Neanderthal Boy.
  1. Do not laugh manically when you discover that you have the wrong number. It is likely you have disturbed my very important TV watching or a much anticipated nap or, God help you, my blogging time. This is in no way funny, fucker.
  1. OK…DUDE!!! No need to get pissed. I understand you are calling long distance but this whole thing is not my fault. I will not reimburse you. I don’t care.

If you have misdialed I highly recommend apologizing to your wrong number victim. Even a charming, “Ooops!” will suffice. Then say goodbye and hang up. So simple yet so rare. I wonder why.


sharkey said...

"Think on your own time, Neanderthal Boy!" Hee.

I hate wrong numbers too--as the recipient or the dialer.

alan said...

I once answered the pay phone in the barracks in Memphis when I was in jet school, and after I told the operator that the guy who's parents were calling wasn't there managed to talk her into meeting me that night...we spent the night together as well...

No, it wasn't Meg Ryan!


whfropera said...

ah, the redial. Especially on my cell phone - I get those on my cell all the damn time, and also long distance.

hemlock said...

A list like this can also be assembled for people on the receiving end of a wrong number.

If someone has called you erroneously, don't be an ass. Right? I've misdialed a few times in my life, and said, "Oh, I'm sorry is this not 123-4567?". If they say no, then I apologize and move on.

No need to be snippy... sometimes wrong numbers just happen!

But seriously, 2-4 wrong numbers per day? Ouch. That sucks. What I hate even more are those automatic callers to see if you're home. You know, the ones where you answer the phone and hear nothing? Ugh!

Madame D said...

My gram's number is one digit off from the Port, so after having the number for 10 years, she still gets at least one call a day asking if it's the port.

My favorite wrong number? I once checked her voice mail, and a man with an accent was telling someone that they owed him for the weed, and he was going to cut him up if he didn't pay for it.

eclectic said...

You crack me up!! That's the funniest list!!

Circe said...

Once again you have inspired me to share my own wrong number dialing stories and this shall be a forthcoming post. I share your pain...


Lazy Lightning said...

LOL. I get combinations of #2 and #3 ALL the time. I think it's because our phone number used to be that of someone who didn't pay his or her bills, and then (surprise surprise) didn't change that number with the debtors when he/she moved!

kalki said...

Rob gets wrong number calls on his cell all the time, always for the same person. And they are always medical-related calls - appt. reminders, test results, etc. The people calling NEVER believe him when he says it's the wrong number, because apparently it's actually the number this person gives! We used to think maybe Rob's # is this person's old cell #, but doctor offices always confirm that sort of thing. It seems this person, even recently, has listed his number as her own. It's become a bit of a mystery to us. Why would someone intentionally give the wrong number? Does she not want to learn her diagnosis? Is she senile? So many questions....

east village idiot said...

Well done! this should be an article!

MrsDoF said...

There was one time when a phone call came in collect from the jail in the next county. I knew someone with that name who might possibly be in that situation, so I accepted charges.
It turned out to not be the same guy (thank goodness), but I told the caller to give me the information since he would not be allowed to make another call.
And who in uniform would believe him if he said it was a wrong number, yet the fee had been accepted?
He told me what happened and gave me the phone number (it was one digit button below my number, which is how he mis-dialed).
I promised him, really and truly that I would call the other woman and persuade her for help.

And I did. I called and talked to her, explaining his problem, how he wanted her help, what hours of time would be involved. She seemed agreeable.
I thought I was done doing my good deed.

Two weeks later, a notice from the jail came in the mail (they really do tape the call and cross-check addresses) saying that I could fill out the enclosed form saying I would no longer accept collect calls from there.
I figured a mistake in dialing should not be punished quite so harshly, and besides, what if somebody I know really did need to use the service?

When the phone bill came, it was for just over a couple dollars. I smiled at how much of an afternoon's entertainment I got for the money.

No other problems ever came up connected with my little conversation. Though I wonder sometimes if the guy ever found himself in jail again, or if the woman stood by her man.

Bucky Four-Eyes said...

I guess I should take this opportunity to apologize for farting in your ear when I misdialed the other night...

Twisteduterus said...

I gotta love it when clients, specifically our mennonite and amish clients, have caller ID and save my phone number so they can call me whenever they have a say 2am when i am not on call

i wold almost rather have a wrong number sometimes

WILLIAM said...

I really think you SHOULD flirt.