Sorry, Wrong Number

After a big ol’ cross country move from the southeast USA to the Pacific Northwest, naturally I had to get a new landline number.  I mean seriously, do you really think the telephone cord is going to stretch 3000 miles?  Of course if you think I still use a phone with a cord, I have some property west of my new digs I’d like to sell you.  (True story.  I actually typed “east” first having been so used to living in FL and using some East Coast landmark city.  Miami Beach, Daytona Beach, St. Augustine as the locale for where my dream locale was located “east of”.)  Notice I said “use” not “own” or “have” because yes, I most certainly do own a corded phone.  But if it was a rotary one, I might be hocking that on eBay as a collector’s item.

Anyhow, with the new phone number comes lots of calls for a previous owner of said number.  So can someone tell me why, why, WHY OH WHY, do I always seem to end up with the number of some irresponsible clown so that I have darn near every credit agency bugging the crap out of me?  It wouldn’t suck so bad if these people would actually respond after my first, “Hello?”  But some of these computer auto-dials now require a third hello before a real person comes on the line.  My first hello is always a normal-sounding one.  You know, just in case my mother is calling from some weird number.  My second hello is always louder and longer with just a pinch of essence of annoyance.  Should a third hello be required (because I hauled my butt from a different floor and if I made all that effort just to get to the irritating ringing noise, dammit, somebody better respond on the line), there is no hint of annoyance.  Oh, no buddy.  You get my full-fledged, three-syllable, why-the-hell-can’t-you-respond-properly-the-first time “Hel-LO-OH!”  At which point they hang up on me and probably scratch my name off their list because I am that scary.  Or they stupidly launch into their ridiculous spiel on how they can save me money, blah, blah, blah.  Or the worst is a stubborn creditor who does not seem to get that the person they are trying to reach does not live here, I do not know them, I do not care to know them, I can not nor will I confirm the mailing address, or my personal identity.  Take THAT you filthy scum scam artists!

I admit, Caller ID is a most wonderful invention.  I’ve had some form of it going back to 1992 when I had a bit of a stalker problem.  (Unfortunately, the cops couldn’t do anything about it because the weirdo called from a pay phone nor had he threatened me.  Fortunately, no harm came to me and I am still here 22 years later.)  But I still recall the sense of power I felt with getting a phone call and not feeling compelled to answer it because I didn’t recognize the number.  Call Tracing was another one of those features I used.  Of course that one is less useful these days since calls seem to be routed through call centers in some other location, but it felt so high-tech back then.

Anyhow, back to my current situation.  I tend to take most of the calls I get right now because despite the above impression I’ve probably given, I like to think I’m a pretty nice person.  A busy person, but nice enough to kindly let those folks who can answer after my first hello that Joshua Gordon no longer has this number.  No, I don’t know how you can reach him because I never knew him and am most definitely not related to him.  Sorry, wrong number.

About Micki Gibson

Young Adult fiction writer
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8 Responses to Sorry, Wrong Number

  1. jeff7salter says:

    We moved several times over a relatively short span of years … and, of course, always got a new number. I often thought that somebody at the phone company had a secret list of the worst numbers (i.e. those bill dodgers you cited… and other felons) and would wait til I moved to their town to re-use that number.


    • Micki Gibson says:

      I think you’re right. It’s like they’ve got a list of “reject” numbers, and from the sound of your Thursday post, you got a doozy of a number. These days, my inner smart-ass might have been tempted to give out ridiculous “base information” if I’d gotten stuck with that number.


  2. I swear, that every land line I’ve ever had belonged to a person that had issues paying their bills! And because the automatic system usually picks up after it hears “Hello”, when it’s a number I don’t recognize, I answer “this is Kate”, and never say ‘hello’ so that the machine doesn’t pick up!


  3. I wish they’d wait a little longer before they re-issued phone numbers for that very reason. I used to hang up right away after I said “Hello?” and heard nothing, bu tit seems that my sons , my sister and my husband all get distracted in the short amount of time it takes for me to answer my phone, (it only rings 4 times before the messaging system kicks in), so I was hanging up on them while they where speaking to someone else or they were intent on something else. I, too, get to the third greeting as “HELL- LOO-OO!” You better answer well or hang up, Bub!


    • Micki Gibson says:

      Unfortunately my phone seems to take a second to truly connect (I hear some small click) so the caller (like my parents) don’t hear my initial hello, but they don’t get the annoyed voice if I recognize the number.


  4. pjharjo says:

    I haven’t had to deal with wrong numbers such as you’ve had, Micki. But I didn’t know if I kept saying hello a REAL person would answer the call! It that true for all recorded calls? HALLELUJAH! I do get recorded calls. I hate talking to machines!


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