Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Worst Phone Number in the World

I have the worst phone number in the world. Here's why.

Once upon a time, Ida and George led a happy life somewhere in New Hampshire. They rented movies, they had the tires on their car fixed, they gave money to worthy charities. They were card-carrying members of the NRA. When Ida ended up contracting cancer, she chose a diligent treatment facility that eagerly updated her on her progress.

Then, Ida and George decided that their home phone service was too expensive. After years with the same home number, they switched carriers and gave up their well known, much used and shared phone number.

And, now, I have that number.

The reason I know all of this information about "Ida" and "George" is because I receive more phone calls for either one or both of them than I do for myself. Contrary to much recent advice, they gave their number out to everyone--companies, neighbors, doctors and hospitals. The only problem is that they neglected to inform these organizations and individuals that their home number was no longer the same.

There are three levels of annoying phone calls I receive for Ida and George:

First, there are the straight, run-of-the-mill telemarketers. There is no chance that Ida and George even considered putting their number on a "no-call" list. However, the only good thing about these calls is my response--I'm not Ida, I'm not George; sorry you have the wrong number, click.

Second, there are what I will call "service" calls. Apparently, Ida and George's tires were ready for their car. And, they had some rented movies out a little too long. Do Ida and George know about this? No, I do.

The worst--and I mean this in all seriousness--were the calls relating to Ida's health. Ida has some form of cancer, and there is no way I should know that. In fact, since I do know that, the doctor's office should take heed to handing out too much information while leaving a voice message on a machine that doesn't reference an Ida in its instructions. I received so many phone messages about this, the tone of the caller increasing in urgency with every unreturned message, that I actually called the office myself and explained that they not only had the wrong number, but that I didn't even know who Ida is.

If this weren't enough, a local man's home phone number must be a digit or two off of my own, as I've spoken to many of his friends lately. Unfortunately for me, this gentleman is a rather early riser, and his buddies tend to give him a ring between 5 and 6 in the morning.

His friends, though, are extremely nice people and have only been apologetic about the disturbance. The video store guy--now that is another story.


Ulrike said...

That would drive me nuts. Would it work for you to get a different phone number, or is that easier said than done?

Ulrike said...

That would send me completely nuts. Is it possible for you to get a different number?

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Have you ever thought of pretending to be Ida and George?

booda baby said...

In philosophical circles, I think they call this a tricky one. See, while I can and do appreciate that the cumulative effect of these calls is one big pain in the ass, it makes for a highly entertaining story. I'm sorry about that, but my need for a good giggle beats your exasperation hands down.

Lana Gramlich said...

This reminds me of years ago when someone must have bought a bunch of new furniture using my phone number. The company kept calling & threatening to come & repo the furniture. I assured them that if they wanted my orange plaid couch & chair set (that was $20--delivered--from the local 2nd hand store,) they were certainly welcome to it. Eventually they left me alone.

Mike said...

Sounds very much like a Seinfeld episode.

gagknee said...

i agree with booda baby. this is why blogs exist. i wish i had your phone number.

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Meg said...

Argh. That's so annoying. I have a recycled number, too. I have two regular callers who can't seem to understand the fact that the number no longer belongs to the people who owe them money. They couldn't even understand it after my husband cussed them out.