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Author Topic: S/O "Who is this?" -- phone answering weirdness/funnies  (Read 10241 times)

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S/O "Who is this?" -- phone answering weirdness/funnies
« on: February 25, 2014, 06:07:26 PM »
Original thread is in General Etiquette. It brought to mind some weird/funny experiences I've had calling and being called.

I was an early adopter (for my age group, anyway) of the "cell only, no landline" thing. A few years ago I was at work when I got a call on my cell. When I answered, I was greeted with a flustered giggle fit. The caller didn't realize she wasn't calling my (nonexistent) home phone and was all set to leave a message. It totally threw her for a loop that I actually picked up -- she was expecting the machine. It took me a good two minutes to get her to identify herself, she was giggling so hard.

I used to be half of a two-person news team at a small radio station, working a split shift (mornings on-air, evening meetings). I'd been in court late into the night awaiting a trial verdict, and ended up staying up all night. After getting the verdict, I went to the station, wrote my story, sent it to sister station, did my shift, then went home and crashed. Sometime in the afternoon, my co-worker called with a question, but I didn't fully wake up. I was convinced that she was asking me what to do about this sound bite she'd gotten from a dead guy. And I was fixated on finding out what medium the sound bite was on -- reel-to-reel, cart or cassette (yeah, dating myself here) -- because that's important if we're talking about a sound bite from a dead person! I vaguely remember her saying something like, "Never mind, sorry I asked" and hanging up.

At least twice recently I've called my BFF and launched into conversations only to discover that it was her son, not her, on the other end. Their voices are very similar on the phone. The first time, I called what I thought was her phone, but she'd gotten a new phone and given her old one -- number and all -- to her son. The second, he answered for her because she was driving.

The most embarrassing was probably the time I called the co-worker I was dating (for the record, the dating relationship outlasted the work one) and launched into a personal discussion -- then discovered it was a *different* co-worker who'd picked up his phone. This wasn't Scrabble-related talk or anything, but CW boyfriend and I were trying to keep things on the down-low, so oops!

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rose red

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Re: S/O "Who is this?" -- phone answering weirdness/funnies
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2014, 06:21:59 PM »
I once answered the phone and couldn't understand the caller.  It was a teenage girl who speaks like many teenagers do; very fast drawl with a valley girl accent (but not quite valley girl, if you know what I mean).  I kept asking her to repeat herself and who she is looking for, etc.  Finally she got through to me and it turned out to be a prank call (the good old "is your refrigerator running" joke ::)).  I laughed so hard when I finally understood what was happening.  With all the questions to repeat herself and the laughter, I must have frustrated a prank caller ;D.

ETA: Another time a girl called and she must have had a fight with her friend.  She refused to believe she got the wrong number and thought she was given the cold shoulder or cut direct.  After repeatedly telling her she has the wrong number and that I'm not *friend*, I finally gave up and hung up.  She then sent a text blasting me (of course, she's thinking she's texting her friend).  I ignored the text and never heard back from her.  I still wonder if she realized her mistake and how she felt knowing she unloaded a bunch of personal stuff to a stranger.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 06:30:50 PM by rose red »


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Re: S/O "Who is this?" -- phone answering weirdness/funnies
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2014, 06:44:47 PM »
This may not count because we didn't actually answer it  :P but when we moved into this house back in 2007, we got a new telephone number.  And it turns out the previous people who had our number don't pay their bills.  (I just got another debt collector calling for them today, actually.)  Anyway, tons and tons of calls when we first got the number - enough that I figured out how they spelled their (unusual) names just based on the variety of ways they were mispronounced  :P

The funniest call, though, was after we had been living here for six months.  We got home from being gone for a week over Christmas and found a message on the answering machine (which has a generic message) - the previous owner's mother had called.  "My flight is getting in three hours early - come pick me up at five!  I really hope you get this message!"

I can understand the debt collectors not getting your new number, but your mother?  I do hope she got picked up from the airport, eventually  :P  (That was back before we had caller ID, or I would have called her back and asked where I should be directing all these debt collectors to!)


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Re: S/O "Who is this?" -- phone answering weirdness/funnies
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2014, 07:09:45 PM »
Long long ago, when I didn't have a cell phone or caller ID, I had a semi-stalky ex, "Bill," who had been calling me for months trying to get me to agree to see him. So one day, I got a call that went like "Hi Yvaine, this is Bill, I'm passing through town tomorrow, can I crash on your couch?"

I shouted NO and hung up.

My then-boyfriend came home later and told me he'd gotten a weird email from his brother, also named Bill, saying that I'd flat out refused to let him stay over and he had no idea why.  :-[ :-[ :-[ I mean, I even knew the brother was named Bill, I'd met him a million times, their voices had a bit of similarity to them, but CRUD MONKEYS!.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 07:23:16 PM by Yvaine »

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Re: S/O "Who is this?" -- phone answering weirdness/funnies
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2014, 07:14:16 PM »
I kept getting a message on my answering machine, 'Hi, Karen, it's Bill.  Call me back when you get a chance.'  He never called when I was home to answer the phone; he never left a phone number on the machine.  I finally changed my message, 'You have reached 555-5555.  Please leave a message after the beep.  If this is Bill, calling for Karen, you've got a wrong number.'  And left it on there for about a month.  Gave my friends no end of giggles but I never had another message from Bill.

A couple of years ago, I got a text on my phone:  Dude, my knee is [bad word starting with f]ed.  And a few minutes later:  Wrong number.  My bad.

Made me laugh.
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Re: S/O "Who is this?" -- phone answering weirdness/funnies
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2014, 12:58:55 AM »
I got a surprise call from my uncle the other day.

Me: Hello?
Uncle: Mary? (that's not my name, but it is my mum's name, and we sound identical on the phone apparently).
Me: Uh, no, it's [WolfWay].
Uncle: Oh.. Whoops... I was trying to phone Mary, I seem to have ended up phoning my niece instead. Sorry about that.
Me: No problem.
<quick catchup chat and phone call ends>

Later that day I chatted to my mum.
Me: Did you get a call from Uncle Mike?
Her: Uh no...
Me: That's weird, he accidentally phone me when he was looking for you.
Her: Huh, I'll phone him now and find out what he wanted.

Turned out he wanted an ENTIRELY different Mary. Somehow he must have gone "Must phone OtherMary. She has the same name as my sister. My sister has a daughter, I'll phone her instead".  ;D


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Re: S/O "Who is this?" -- phone answering weirdness/funnies
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2014, 01:31:11 AM »
My mom and I sound identical on the phone. When I was in high school, a friend of mine called and my mom answered. She went into detailed conversation about a dream she had had about a friend of ours. She never knew that she told my mom about it and not me.  ;D


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Re: S/O "Who is this?" -- phone answering weirdness/funnies
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2014, 01:43:20 AM »
former job.

My boss was... interesting. seems she had a hubby who cheated. repeatedly (should add that that is how *they* got together but i digress). by this point they are both in their 60s and married forever and she is very paranoid about the cheating. (not without reason, obviously). anyway, boss was away on a business trip and kept calling him and going off on a tirade about why is he doing this to her and why didn't answer the phone etc etc only instead of dialing her husband's phone, she kept dialing one of our co worker's phones (their nicknames are very very similar, think danny vs. donny) and i guess because she dialed the wrong number once, she kept using the "last called" number or something and kept calling co worker instead of her husband. and no, he never told her.

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Re: S/O "Who is this?" -- phone answering weirdness/funnies
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2014, 10:58:23 AM »
Years ago, I answered a call from a man who sounded older and had a rather heavy accent. It was a wrong number and he was politely told so.  Just as politely, he apologized.

A few minutes later, I received a second call from the same man.  Again, was politely told he had reached the wrong number and, again, he apologized. 

The third call arrived.  When I answered there was a brief silence before he sheepishly said, 'It's me again.'

We both laughed and never heard from him again.   

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Re: S/O "Who is this?" -- phone answering weirdness/funnies
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2014, 01:50:59 PM »
Years ago, I had a customer who needed my help with another company.  I called that company, but accidentally called the customer's phone number and asked the person on the line who I can speak with regarding the situation.  When I realized what happened, I apologized, but he said I didn't need to be sorry because at least he now knows I'm actually attempting to work on the case. 


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Re: S/O "Who is this?" -- phone answering weirdness/funnies
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2014, 02:19:53 PM »
My husband received a text from a (male) friend of his.  It was 3 pages long, a very romantic, flowery and at times graphic proclamation of love for the intended recipient, his girlfriend.  About 2 seconds after he sent the original text he sent a second text, "oops, sorry, pretend you never saw that, dude"  my husband said, some things you can't unsee and said he felt like he needed to bleach his eyes.   ;)
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Re: S/O "Who is this?" -- phone answering weirdness/funnies
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2014, 02:30:39 PM »
Quite a few years ago, my best friend had moved and changed her phone number. Say, from 234-5555 to 867-5555. I'd had the old number memorized.

So, I went to call her, and my memory came up with 867-0123, the old phone number of another girl from our high school.

The conversation went something like "Hello?"
[me, recognizing other girl's mother's voice] "Hi, Ellen, it's Tea Drinker. Is Dawn there?"
"No, she's at law school in Other State."
"Thanks. Can you tell her I called? My number is thus-and-such."

I hung up the phone, blinked a couple of times, and very carefully called the friend I'd meant to call in the first place.
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Re: S/O "Who is this?" -- phone answering weirdness/funnies
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2014, 03:27:43 PM »
I have a few odd ones.

My sister and I went to college in different states, and our freshman year was quite an adjustment (twins and best friends). This was early 90's, so no cheap cell phones, no email, so we relied on actual letters, and weekly phone calls to stay in touch. Unfortunately, I could not seem to remember to dial the area code first. If you worked at Boeing 20 years ago, I am sorry for all the wrong number calls you got!

This story is hard to follow. My college roommate (Amber) was the camus newspaper editor. I was the yearbook editor. Amber was dating my best friend (Sam)'s apartment-mate (Derek), so we both spent a lot of time over there. One day, Amber was at our place, when she got a call for me. She answered that I wasn't there, could she take a message? The caller declined, and said she'd try to reach me another way. Then caller called Derek, asking if he knew how to get ahold of Sam. Once Sam was on the line, she asked if he knew how to get ahold of me. He answered that I was headed home, so try me there. So, I got back to my room, and Amber had just answered the call for me. Caller was so frustrated, because she'd been calling all round trying to get me on the phone. It turns out she wanted Amber's phone number from me (since we shared office space, I would be the one to have that information, I guess  ::)), so she could complain about a piece that appeared in the paper. If caller had just left a message with Amber in the first place, she could have saved herself a whole lot of frustration!

My mom, sister, and I all sound exactly the same on the phone. One day, I called home and left a message for either my husband or daughter, who were in the basement and never heard the phone ring. I got home, and saw there was a message on the machine, which basically said, "Hi, it's me, can you please pick up, I need to talk to you". So, I promptly called my sister to return her call. When she said she didn't call, I apologized, then called my mom. Oops.
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Re: S/O "Who is this?" -- phone answering weirdness/funnies
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2014, 03:50:38 PM »
First of all, a little yay - a s/o on my original thread!

This story is about myself.  I was trying to call a friend of mine, who lives out of state (therefore different area code than mine).  Somehow I managed to take the first 3 digits of her home number and the last four digits of her cell phone (and I was reading it off my phone list, so not from my memory, which in some ways makes this worse in my mind) and call that number.  When a man answers, I was a little surprised because my friend is female and at the time was single and living alone.  I ask for my friend, and the guy says there is no one here by that name.  I apologize, check the number I dialed off the phone's screen and read it back to make sure I dialed correctly and then look at my phone list and realized what I'd done!  I apologized, and explained what I'd managed to do - at which point, he identifies my friend - turns out they were friends and knew that if you combined her 2 numbers, you got his home number.  I was just the first person to ever do so while trying to call my friend.  I felt foolish, but the guy was really nice about it.  And my friend still laughs at me about it.
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Re: S/O "Who is this?" -- phone answering weirdness/funnies
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2014, 04:13:07 PM »
Several years ago my job entailed answering customer service phones. I answered a call and immediately the person on the line asked for our phone number... cue me ??? . I wanted to say, "It's the same number you just dialed," but instead just gave the number. They said, "thank you" and hung up. So they called up a business to ask for the phone number, and then had no question or any other business to discuss.

I have a friend whose husband answers her cell phone, just to tell me she can't talk at the moment. Well then, let it go to voice mail so I can leave her a message. I would never answer another person's cell phone. I'm always thrown off when someone other than who I'm calling answers a cell phone.
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