2003/01/15
 
03:05

Phone Follies

Yes, I know: you're wondering why I didn't name this article "Phone Phollies". Nope. Too cute.

A few days ago I spoke of "intentionality" and referred to the way that some people don't take into account that you don't know what they know. I thought of a perfect example of this the other day: people who leave their phone number on your answering machine and sayitreallyfast. Or they'll blurt out their name and (even though it's unusual) won't spell it out.

If I was to do this to your answering machine, it would sound something like this: "Hi. Thiz Timcamb'l at fowwasigs aysehtoo ayaynitoo. Please callmebackbye." (Try to add some tape hiss to your mental playback of that message.)

While I'm on the topic of phone etiquette, there's something I've never understood. If I call a wrong number, I always apologize and then ask, "What number is this?" If they say precisely the number I thought I dialed, I know not to try it again.

Yet for some reason, about half the people I've ever bothered in this manner (sorry!) say, with theatrical firmness, "Never mind. You've got the wrong number." Well, duh. So I try the number again and (you guessed it) get them again. What, I wonder, are they trying to protect? Is there some rule I'm supposed to know about?

Even more annoying is the "bang-down". That's when somebody calls me by mistake and, when I inform them of this, simply slam down the receiver. Well, excuse me for not being the person you wanted!

This may not be the most insightful blog article I've ever written, but ... they can't all be gems. If you wish to complain, feel free to phone me at fowwasigs aysehtoo ayaynitoo.

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