1-800-MIS-DIAL

wrong number2 There was a WESat writing challenge a while back “A Different Phone Call”. I’m a bit slow on taking up the challenge, but I’ve kept the idea in my inbox since I knew just what call to write about. It was a wrong number of the epic variety, but it started mildly enough….

“Is Michael there?” asked a female voice.

I hear this question a lot when I answer the phone – my husband’s name is, coincidentally, Michael. I say “coincidentally” because as I’ve mentioned, this is a wrong number. Only I didn’t know it at first and neither did the caller. Michael is a common enough name, I’m only surprised this hasn’t happened before.

If it had been any other name, I would have dialed up my standard wrong-number response, but instead I used my typical he’s-not-here-at-the-moment response.

This sent two messages to the caller: 1) she had dialed the correct number – because what are the chances of dialing a wrong number, but getting the right name? and 2) there was a woman she didn’t know answering her Michael’s phone.

Focusing on #2, pleasantries took a nose dive and abuse started flying out of the receiver. Swear words comprised the bulk of the message, “I knew it!” was a common theme and “Bitch”  was bandied about quite a lot.

Of course, I tried to protest, realizing (belatedly) that there had been a terrible mistake. But it was too late. I had already admitted that this was Michael’s phone – and it was a Michael’s phone just not her Michael’s phone.

Somehow the caller chose to assume that I was now lying trying to save Michael (hers) from the Wrath of the Girlfriend.

“I know he’s there!” the caller insisted. “Put him on!”

At this point, I would have gladly done so if I could have done so, but when I’d said “he’s not here” what I really meant was that the “he” in question (AKA my husband) was traveling – in the Ukraine – and when I said “at the moment” what I’d meant was that he’d be back a week next Tuesday.

In the end, I hung up. There was nothing else I could do, there was no talking her down.

phonebox
The phone just couldn’t go on. Suicided hotline.

My new friend must have hit redial because the phone rang again almost immediately. I didn’t want a  re-run of the conversation, so I hid in a corner and let it go to voice mail and she screamed it out. The answering machine wasn’t up to much after that.

Hint – if you’ve dialed the number wrong in the first place, redial isn’t going to help. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.

message2

Somewhere in the tirade, she must have rattled off the number she was intending to call. So, after everything had gone quiet, I tentatively took the phone off of the cradle, fully expecting it to be hot with the abuse, and dialed a number only one digit removed from my own.

“Is Michael there?”

I thought I should warn him.

I’m Jae and this message has been posted to the wrong blog.

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