Magic Jewball

all signs point to no


PSA to party planners

Filed under : Etc.
On June 12, 2007
At 8:55 pm
Comments : 9

If you are handling a reunion of some sort and you are working with a directory that is eons and eons old, it is best not to leave a message on an answering machine that goes approximately like this:

“Hi Bill? This is Janet from _____. You probably don’t remember me but we were _____ at ______ together and a bunch of us wanted to get together, and oh, Bill everyone wants to see you especially. I hope this is you, Bill. My phone list is really, really old but…. is that your wife, Bill? We’d love to meet her too and know what you’re up to. Remember when we _______ and then when Alice and Jennifer joined us for _______. Those were great times and…. I really hope this is you, Bill. If it isn’t, I’m so sorry to intrude on your time but… anyway, so there will be six of us, hopefully and, oh gosh, remember ________? That was just so, so great. We can’t wait to see you and remember _____ together. You can reach me at ______. Can’t wait to hear from you! [pause] Oh, and remember that time when we all went to _____ and _____? Man, that was just wonderful. So, call me soon, Bill! If this is Bill.”

I not only left out all the details but about five more paragraphs of her life story with Bill. Listen, Janet, were you afraid that unless you described every little thing he might not remember you and the gang and all your good times? I suppose you were swept away by the memories but obviously not enough to keep from interjecting every few minutes, “gosh, I hope this is you, Bill.” Indeed.

I swear, I meant to call her back after dinner and try not to completely embarrass her by letting her know that she had just told many detailed and some intimate things to a complete stranger who knows her name, phone number, and employer (yay for Caller ID). Because if I was Bill and experienced all those fun times then I’ve clearly been drinking quite a lot and have total amnesia as to some surgery and whatnot. But you know how it goes. Dinner leads to the premiere of Big Love leads to fixing the TiVo because it crapped out, and yadda yadda yadda. She ended up calling back hours later and even though I knew it was her, I played innocent so it went like this:

Me: Hello?
She: Uh, hi, is Bill there?
Me: Oh, you left the message earlier! I’m sorry, you have the wrong number, there’s no Bill here.
She: No?
Me: Nope
She: {slightly miffed} Oh.
< click >

I can’t decide. Was she just utterly humiliated (good call, no pun intended) or was she pissed at me for not calling her back? I can’t help it that I’m a. not Bill and b. am hungry at 8pm and c. have got a TV thing going on. Perhaps I’ll call her back at ______ & Company and find out.

The Cure – Wrong Number


9 Comments for this post

  1. EmeraldMPH says:

    There has to be some sort of special award out there for people who leave increasingly desperate phone messages when calling a wrong number. At my last place I kept getting calls from Nordstrom insisting that someone had to go pick up a purse. I was tempted to go over there myself.

  2. Alex says:

    That Janet sounds like she might be kind of a fun gal. Can I have her number? And if she’s not available, maybe she can put me in touch with Alice or Jennifer.

  3. Becca says:

    Well, naturally, Emerald. They know who’s at your number better than you do, don’t they?

    Alex, sure, it’s 212-______.

  4. sarpon says:

    No shit! That bitch is still trying to get her hooks in Bill after all these years? We’ve moved 15 times and 1200 miles and it still is not enough.

  5. kb says:

    yeah, I had a wrong number once on my answering machine, it was someone RSVP-ing an invitation.

    I always wonder if there was a place set for that person …

  6. KP says:

    I had a doctor’s office call once to tell someone test results that didn’t sound so good, and I also had one from the ER for someone whose relative was injured. I had to scramble to get in touch with both because I figured if I didn’t, trouble would ensue and karma would bite me on the ass.

    I swear sometimes my life plays out like a CBS drama, albeit a daytime one.

  7. Soxy says:

    Someone called the answering machine at my parent’s house crying to tell whoever they were trying to reach that her father died. I felt really bad, but I couldn’t make out the name and there was no number.

  8. Lisa Tagio says:

    I have gone completely cellular so I don’t get too many wrong number messages. When I do, I always call the person back and tell them I’m not that person.

    I can imagine the person who was supposed to get the message not getting it, and not responding, and maybe the message leaver would get upset, and then maybe say something to the person who was supposed to get the message, and she’ll say she didn’t get it, but crazy message lady might not believe her and before you know it, a life long friendship is over! And I could have prevented it by a simple phone call: “Hey doofus! I’m not Claudia!”

  9. Becca says:

    OK, I admit, I do like telling people they are idiots and that’s why I call back. Although one, a restaurant that kept calling me to confirm reservations, didn’t like my tone and blew up at me. I think my tone was “stop freaking calling me.”

    I’ve had this number five years and I still get a ton of wrong numbers. They are for so many different people that I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not so much due to outdated listings but rather people who can’t seem to dial correctly. I know I exacerbate it because, for reasons too convoluted to go into here, my message involves “You have reached 212-…., rather than “Hi, it’s Becca.” So it’s also a bit my fault.

    And then there are the ones where the person shouts “assass!”, giggles, and hangs up, but that’s just Dahnuh.

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