Ever since I moved to Los Angeles just a few weeks shy of a year ago, I’ve been cursed with phone numbers, both cell and home, that get some of the strangest calls I’ve heard. Ok they’re not the strangest, but they occasionally entertain, and usually irritate.
My land line, for example, apparently is the same number for people around the country whose friends have yet to master the skill of the Area Code. One Saturday morning I got a call from what sounded like a long distance location. The ensuing conversation was rather unique:
Lucky: “Hello? This is Lucky! I need to speak to Rosa!” (said in unusual, hard to pinpoint accent)
Me: “I’m sorry there’s no one here by that…”
Lucky: “THIS IS LUCKY! LUCKY! I NEED TO SPEAK TO ROSA!”
Me: “Man, you’ve got the wrong number! There is no ROSA!”
Lucky: “Is this XXX-XYZ?”
Me: “Yes, but what area code are you trying to reach”
Me: “My friend, you have called Los Angeles. Sorry”
Lucky: “Aw man…I need to talk to Rosa! I’m in JAIL!”
Now this exchange would be funny in and of itself – a guy named “Lucky” who apparently isn’t as fortunate as his name would suggest. What’s funnier is the call I got two days later:
Lucky: “Hello, this is Lucky! I need to speak to Rosa NOW!”
Me: “We’ve been over this – there is no ROSA here!
Lucky: “Where’s Rosa?”
Me: “Dude, you just called Los Angeles again, I’m sorry, there is no Rosa here.”
Lucky: “Awwwww MAN! This sucks!”
I can only imagine the real-life circumstances of “Lucky.” Perhaps they can give him some remedial phone dialing help in the clink.
While occasional wrong numbers to my land line are humorous, the ones to my cell phone are not as they use up my minutes to tell people they’ve dialed the wrong number. Lately I’ve been getting an avalanche of calls for “Adam” who it seems has a phone number almost identical to mine, save for the last two digits.
Again, what’s amazing is how people will dial a wrong number, ask for “Adam,” and then when I tell them there is no “Adam,” rather than hang up, want to argue with me that in fact “Adam” is there.
It’s as if the concept of them making a mistake does not enter the realm of possibility – instead it must be me making the mistake. Now normally I’d just hang up on these folks, but they’ll often call repeatedly, and every time I tell them they’ve got the same wrong number three or four times (I can tell by Caller ID) – and I end up using up my minutes. If I don’t answer, they leave a voice message! (and thus using MORE minutes!)
If I was as big a jerk as some people say I am, I’d start answering the phone as such:
Caller: “Hello, may I speak to Adam?”
Me: “Oh, I’m sorry, didn’t you hear the news? Adam killed some orphans and is on the run from the law.” (or some other such nonsense)
As tempting as that is, I can’t do it. Why? Because “Adam” isn’t’ the bad guy here – he’s the guy stuck with a pack of doofuses for friends who can’t dial a phone number. Screwing up HIS life isn’t good karma.
However, in the case of one woman who I will name Dumb Caller, called four times in a row, 10 minutes between each call, and no amount of explaining that she got the wrong number, or the unceremonious hang-ups, would stop her.
Undeterred, she left TWO long voice mail messages (again taking up cell minutes), even though the outgoing message was obviously not “Adam.” I pitied poor Adam for having such thick-headed associates.
So, I caught her phone number via Caller ID each time, and dialed her up at an appropriate hour to mete out some telephone-based justice:
Dumb Caller: “Hello?”
Me: “Hello? This is Lucky! I need to speak to Rosa!”
You can guess how the rest went.
I repeated this a couple of times, a la Dumb Caller. I know it’s childish. But what better way to spend a Saturday morning with all those free weekend phone minutes from T-Mobile?
© 2003-2006 Greg Dewar | All Rights Reserved | Originally Published at www.schadelmann.com
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