Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Are You Sure This Isn't Steve's Blog?

Something happened today that never fails to piss me off.

I got a ‘wrong number’ call.

Now before you think I’m an up-myself asshole who thinks my time is far to valuable to waste talking to people who’ve made an honest mistake…that’s not why these calls piss me off.

No, this is why they piss me off:

“I’m sorry, I think you’ve got the wrong number.”

“Isn’t this (phone number)?”


Click – bzzzzzzzzzz

I mean, come on! Is it so hard to say “Oh, Sorry to bother you. Bye!”? Manners cost nothing, buddy!

Ok, I’m aware that there’s a certain amount of embarrassment involved, but are you really so concerned what I think of a bodiless voice at the end of a telephone line that I’m never going to come into contact with ever again? Even if by some miraculous chance I do meet this person, does he think I’ll say: “Hey, I recognize your voice from that random wrong number call I got six months ago! Hey! You’re a retard! LOOK EVERYONE, THIS GUY CAN’T WORK A PHONE! LET’S ALL POINT AND LAUGH AT HIM!”

No, I don’t think so.

However, two other things honestly make me scared for this person. With stupidity at his level, he can’t have a very long life expectancy. He’s probably the type of guy who read the “Shower, rinse and repeat” on the back of the bottle, and stayed in the shower until he ran out of shampoo. One day he’ll probably try to walk and chew gum at the same time and die of his brain overheating.

Point one: He wanted to talk to someone called Steve, someone he apparently knew quite well. Here’s how that part of the conversation went.

“Sorry, I think you’ve got the wrong number.”

“This isn’t Steve?”

“Nope. I’m afraid it isn’t.”

Wait for it…wait for it…

“Are you sure?”

Am I sure? Wha?... Huh?... Buh?... How do y…?


“Oh, wait a minute, let me check my ID. Oh! Stupid me! I am Steve! Boy, is my face red! What did you want again?”

Look, if you think there’s the slightest possibility that someone might not be 100% certain of who they are, or at least their own name…you have no business being near a telephone. You should be clothed entirely in bubble-wrap, live in a foam padded house, not allowed out without a responsible adult supervising you, and should eat all your food with a spork.

‘Are you sure?’ Yes, I am. Believe it or not, I actually know who I am…I can do other tricks. Go on, ask me how old I am!

Ok, here’s the second thing that made me scared for this guy.

If you’ve listened to the podcast I posted a few weeks ago, you’ll know that I have a British accent as thick as a submarine door. This guy apparently knew Steve very well…

Now, if one of my stepsons had answered the phone, I’d understand the confusion. I still have difficulty telling them apart on the phone. They have similar voices in the same pitch range.

However, when you’re expecting to speak to your good friend Steve, a fellow SC resident who you know quite well, and end up speaking to someone who sounds like a cross between Paul McCartney and Daphne Moon from Frasier…wouldn’t that tip you off?

So unless in a million to one chance that Steve is also an immigrant, and has the same linguistic history as I do (My accent is a little hard to place. I grew up with my Liverpudlian parents, lived in St. Helens and went to a school in Wigan…all have distinctly different accents and I got a mix…It’s like someone living with parents from Mississippi, living in New York, and going to a school filled with only people from Queens)

…or Steve has a funny habit of answering the phone in accents from around the world. I’ve never met this Steve, but I’m beginning to like him.

Oh, and one final thing. When the person you’re talking to tells you that you have a wrong number, don’t just plow ahead out of sheer desperation. Let’s take a look an another snippet from this conversation.

“Are you sure?”

“(Stifles a laugh). Uh, yeah, I’m pretty sure.”

“Only I was wondering if you could get Denise to give you a ride over here so you can take a look at the fridge.”

“(Silence)” (I have no idea who this guy is, who Denise is, and I have a very limited knowledge of the refrigerator repair industry. I’ve just told him he has a wrong number…maybe he was hoping that I’d still figure out I was Steve at some point.”

“Hello, are you there?”

“Look, I just told you, you’ve got the wrong number. I’m not Steve and no one who lives here is called Steve.”

And then, of course…


Oh no, retard man. It’s fine. It was my pleasure. I enjoy answering the phone to talk to a complete fuckwit for five minutes and hear about his food preservation problems. Don’t say sorry, or even bye. I enjoy it.

For people like this, here is how a wrong number should be handled:

“Sorry, I think you have the wrong number.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. Sorry to bother you.”

“No problem.”

“Ok, sorry again, bye.”


Then the click-buzz.

The longer I live, the more I’m becoming convinced that the vast majority of the planet’s population shouldn’t be allowed out on their own.

…and on that note:

Click! Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


Miz S said...



on trial said...

lol...i had a similar experience some days back, the difference being that I had called someone and apparently, the number I had jotted down was wrong. I apologized to the guy (I'm resisting the urge to call him freak already) and that was the end of it- or so I thought...seconds later, this dude (who btw has chosen the MOST awful dial tone) succeeds in gettin on my nerves by giving me pathetic 'missed calls' and finally, when I DID manage to pick up, he passes the fone to some kid...hfffffff...

MC Etcher said...

This just reaffirms my "people are assholes" credo. I might need a bumper sticker to that effect.