Author Topic: Baaaaarbaraaaa? (aka weird phone calls)  (Read 18968 times)

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Tsaiko

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Re: Baaaaarbaraaaa? (aka weird phone calls)
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2010, 09:54:03 PM »
I think my old number was close to the number of a florist. How did I know it was a florist? Whenever they used UPS we'd get an automated call that their shipment was in. The shipments consisted of 1200 roses, 1500 irises, 2000 tulips, etc. A month before Valentine's Day we had a message saying a shipment of 4000 heart bears was in. It was kind of interesting.

Yarnspinner

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Re: Baaaaarbaraaaa? (aka weird phone calls)
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2010, 11:44:25 PM »
My old number was, well, we'll use the example up thread, 555-1234.

A local doctor's office had two offices.  The first one's phone number was 555-5555.  The second office's number, directly beneath that, was 666-1234.  They were, of course, next to each other in the phone book. 

Every.  Single.  Day I came home to find half a dozen messages left by patients at both offices who saw the first half of the one and the second half of the other and combined them.  I called back a lot of patients to tell them they had the numbers wrong.  A lot of them were elderly and asking about medication refills.  THEM I understood and didn't mind calling back.

But then there was the logic-challenged pharmacist who would call and leave messages for the doctor telling him he needed his written consent for so-and-so's medication.  I called HIM back and had the following conversation:

Me: Hi, you left a message on my answering machine today for Dr. Annoying.  Unfortunately, I am not Dr. Annoying's receptionist, you combined his numbers and got me instead.

Him:  Well it doesn't say so on your answering machine.

Me:  I would have thought the part where I say that my name is Lily Such and I am not home right now would have been a clue.

Him: You sound like his nurse.  How am I supposed to know you're not his nurse and you just aren't out to lunch.

Me:  Well, I know you work at [name of pharmacy] and I am never coming to your to fill my subscriptions. 

I hung up on him and changed my message to say "This is a private residence. If you are calling for Dr. Annoying, please check the numbers and dial again."

Don't you know the very next day I got two more calls?  I was so happy when he either retired or went out of business or moved. 

 

Martienne

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Re: Baaaaarbaraaaa? (aka weird phone calls)
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2010, 01:32:48 AM »
My last phone number had something special about it. I got the strangest calls.
[snip]
My new phone number is so boring. I've lived here two years and only had one wrong number.

Did your old number have one or more instances of the number 5 in it? Our old number had two 5s in it and this kind of thing happened with similar frequency. You can misdial a 5 for eight other digits, which is not true of any other number, although 8 can be misdialed for six other digits.

The most annoying was the one where a man was calling for Cathy to look at the proofs and approve the ones that she wants printed up. He never left his number (because, obviously, Cathy knew who took her pictures!) and he always called when we were out. We were never able to get his number by dialing *69 because every time he left a message someone else called after him. At the time we had the idea thoroughly entrenched in our heads that if you leave any kind of identifying information in your outgoing message, someone will come rob your house (which I now realize is rather illogical, as anyone who found your number in the phone book would have your address), so we never changed the message from the standard, "Hello, no one is home at the moment, please leave a message." I wish now that I had, because the next time he called at FOUR IN THE MORNING. Apparently Cathy sometimes worked thirds so he figured he could get a hold of someone that way.

Unfortunately when I answered the phone, I was not very clear-headed (having just been awoken after probably 2-3 hours of sleep since I'm a night owl), so when he asked if Cathy was home I only gave a very sarcastic, "No!" When he asked if she was at work, I said, "No, I don't know who Cathy is, I don't know who you are, and you never left your number so I could tell you that you were calling the wrong house!" He was very abashed and could only say, "Oh! I'm sorry!" Hopefully he learned to leave his number in messages after that.

[snip]
Similar to Lucinda7 ... when i was pretty young i got a call from someone saying, "Honey, it's Grandpop. I need you to tell your Daddy to come over here right away. Grandpa fell and needs help." That one still haunts me. He had that extra super fake calm tone of voice you use when you're trying to not upset a kid. I hope he was ok. He sounded like a nice man.

One time at the same number as above, we got a call about 8:00 in the morning by an obviously distressed old woman begging us to send John over as she needed help. She couldn't seem to hear me when I tried to tell her I was not Rachel (who she apparently thought she had called) and asking her where she lived. I forget exactly how we did our detective work on this one (it was ten years ago now). I do know that *69 was blocked on her number, so we called the phone company and explained that we needed to know who had called us last and why. I think possibly they are the ones who figured out who Rachel was and got us her number. We called Rachel and explained that her grandmother had called us for help. Rachel was very grateful.

Since we switched to cell phones only, I don't think either of us has received a single wrong number. My husband did get some misdirected texts when we first got them (we live in an area with two overlapping area codes, and the person had punched in the more common/older one, while our new cell numbers have the new area code on them). Neither of our numbers contains a 5 or 8. I have decided at whatever point in life we should need to sign up for new numbers, if I'm assigned one with a 5 in it I will request a new one. I don't need all that hassle in my life anymore.

Brentwood

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Re: Baaaaarbaraaaa? (aka weird phone calls)
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2010, 02:57:15 AM »
Upon seeing the title of this thread, all I could think of was, "They're coming to get you, Baaaarbara!"

T'Mar of Vulcan

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Re: Baaaaarbaraaaa? (aka weird phone calls)
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2010, 04:42:10 AM »
I once got an obscene phone call that was actually for my mother.  ;D  Someone called at around 7:15 a.m. and the housekeeper answered the phone (we were still quite young and she'd come in to make our school lunch; my mother had health problems). Now, while our housekeeper understood and spoke good English, it was also quite clear English was not her first language. I figure the obscene caller must have said something like, "Put the madam (employer) on the phone" because HK passed the phone to me saying, "He wants your mother."  I took the phone and said, "I'm sorry, my mother is sleeping at the moment. Can I help you?" (I sound like a 5 year-old on the phone, even today.)
Obscene Caller: What are you doing?
Me: Um, if you give me your number my mother will call you back.
OC: What are you wearing?
Me (remember, very young, I'm talking in the late '70s or early '80s): My school uniform.
OC: How are things there?
Me: Please, I'm going to be late for school, just leave a message and...
OC: I heard you give bl** j**s.
Me: (looking at phone incredulously): *Click*

So, to recap: some OC phoned a random number, asked the housekeeper to put her employer on the phone, spoke to said person's young child, and then decided to use rude language. I mean, wouldn't it have been easier to just hang up after the HK answered and try another number? Also, who phones people at 7 a.m. for obscene reasons? Honestly, the guy had no life!

When my mom got a cellphone we kept getting phone calls from some guy who would leave messages in Zulu or one of the other indigenous languages. I only speak a little bit of Zulu, and my mom spoke maybe four words. Even once when he got a live person, he would not believe he had the wrong number and kept switching back to Zulu. Until one day I SMSed him, "You have the wrong number. Stop calling. We only speak English." The calls stopped.

I got a few SMSes from a lady who wrote them in Zulu/other language. I SMSed back, "Wrong number." She then called, and when I answered she said, "What does that mean?" I said, "You sent those SMSes to the wrong number. This is my phone." She said, "Oh, I'm sorry, my darling! God bless you!" in an embarrassed tone. I hope she finally managed to get the person she was looking for. (It's usual for indigenous South Africans to use endearments when speaking to people.)

Our housekeeper's one son used to call our landline collect (in the time before cellphones) to demand his mother buy him things. At first we'd accept the charges, thinking it was an emergency. But then he started calling every few days and his mother used to get very upset. "He knows I can't afford Nike takkies (sneakers)! But he swore at me when I said I couldn't buy them for him!" After that, when the operator would say, "I have a collect call from XLocation, will you accept the charges?" we'd say, "No." They were always incredulous, "No? What do you mean, no?" We'd say, "No, we will not accept the charges." "But there's a child on the line!" "Tell him his mother is not buying him anything!" After refusing the charges a few times, he stopped calling. But seriously, what kind of child phones his mother at work to harrass her?!


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Veronica

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Re: Baaaaarbaraaaa? (aka weird phone calls)
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2010, 08:16:27 AM »
Upon seeing the title of this thread, all I could think of was, "They're coming to get you, Baaaarbara!"

I was just coming to post that!  ;)  OP- that would scare me to death.

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Luci45

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Re: Baaaaarbaraaaa? (aka weird phone calls)
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2010, 08:34:53 AM »
When we had our first bag phone, my husband answered a call and a voice said, "This is Tim. I love you!" then he ended the call. It was so funny it was almost worth the dollar it cost us. (In retrospect, I do kind of feel sad for the caller sometimes.)

whiterose

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Re: Baaaaarbaraaaa? (aka weird phone calls)
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2010, 12:04:50 PM »
I have received wrong numbers in Spanish at both my landline and cell phone. But my current city has a significant Spanish speaking population, so this is not super unusual.

I have received wrong numbers in a language that I cannot even identify- let alone understand.

Though I have long lists of wrong numbers I receive, the absolute funniest one is probably one I received in the 12th grade.

Me: "Hello"
Caller: "Is Camellia there?" (assume Camellia is my mother's name)
Me: "May I ask who's calling?"
Caller: "Edward Windsor" (ie- a name I did not recognize)
Me: "One moment please"
I go get my mother and tell her that "Edward Windsor" is calling. She does not recognize his name either.
Later she comes to tell me that "Edward Windsor" was searching for "Camellia Mystery" (ie- not her maiden name nor my surname) of "Starcorp" (some company she had never heard of) asking if they made school uniforms there!

Another time around 11PM the phone rings. My mom answers "hello" and someone says "Look! You did NOT sign my check!". My mom asks "what number did you dial?". Person says "263-3652, but you did NOT sign my check!". My mom says "sorry wrong number"- ours started with a 7 and was a landline, but this was back in 1995 when cell phones began becoming more popular.

I did get a collect call from jail once- of course, I did not recognize the caller.

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M-theory

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Re: Baaaaarbaraaaa? (aka weird phone calls)
« Reply #23 on: March 06, 2010, 06:18:00 PM »
For a while someone was calling and pushing buttons. I started pushing the same ones back at them and for a few months every once in a while they'd call and we'd have a nice game of Simon. No idea who it was.

ROFL!

kareng57

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Re: Baaaaarbaraaaa? (aka weird phone calls)
« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2010, 09:20:21 PM »
About 25 years ago we suddenly got an avalanche of calls for "Bob and Jean".  We'd been at the residence and had had the same number for several years so it was kind of puzzling.  A few of the callers said "oh, I guess you still have the old number and are discontinuing it, any idea when it will be reassigned to them?"  Nope, we had no intention of moving or changing our number.  Before too long, it became obvious that Bob/Jean had sent out numerous change of address/phone number cards via the post office - all with the wrong new-phone-number on them.

We had no answering machine at the time; they weren't that common, then.  We just had to argue with more than a few people "but this is their new number!"  Fortunately, it didn't last more than two or three months.

Sirius

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Re: Baaaaarbaraaaa? (aka weird phone calls)
« Reply #25 on: March 07, 2010, 10:32:49 PM »
I have received wrong numbers in Spanish at both my landline and cell phone. But my current city has a significant Spanish speaking population, so this is not super unusual.

I have received wrong numbers in a language that I cannot even identify- let alone understand.

Though I have long lists of wrong numbers I receive, the absolute funniest one is probably one I received in the 12th grade.

Me: "Hello"
Caller: "Is Camellia there?" (assume Camellia is my mother's name)
Me: "May I ask who's calling?"
Caller: "Edward Windsor" (ie- a name I did not recognize)
Me: "One moment please"
I go get my mother and tell her that "Edward Windsor" is calling. She does not recognize his name either.
Later she comes to tell me that "Edward Windsor" was searching for "Camellia Mystery" (ie- not her maiden name nor my surname) of "Starcorp" (some company she had never heard of) asking if they made school uniforms there!

Another time around 11PM the phone rings. My mom answers "hello" and someone says "Look! You did NOT sign my check!". My mom asks "what number did you dial?". Person says "263-3652, but you did NOT sign my check!". My mom says "sorry wrong number"- ours started with a 7 and was a landline, but this was back in 1995 when cell phones began becoming more popular.

I did get a collect call from jail once- of course, I did not recognize the caller.



When I was a teenager we'd often get wrong numbers for "Susan."  Now, "Susan" was my mother's name, so if she wasn't home I would say, "This is her daughter.  May I help you?"  Judging from the way the caller talked and the rock music playing in the background, I think the person who was calling was a teenaged guy, and if I (or my sister)said we were Susan's daughter we'd get, "Um, I think I called the wrong number."    One day I came home from work, and my sister told me, "We got a call from Susan's friend today."

Tierrainney

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Re: Baaaaarbaraaaa? (aka weird phone calls)
« Reply #26 on: March 07, 2010, 11:04:20 PM »
When I was little, we used to get occaisional calls for someone with the same first name as my Mother.  Once she was asked the sizes of her children for their Christmas basket.  The last name wasn't even close.

Also, once I took a phone message from someone who wanted to know if my husband was interested in selling his property near El Paso, TX.  When hubby got home, I asked when he was going to tell me about the property he owned  ;D   SOmehow we figured out there was someone with the same first name and last name differing by a single letter who lived in the same state we were in, so he was probably the one with the property.

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pinkunicorn

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Re: Baaaaarbaraaaa? (aka weird phone calls)
« Reply #27 on: March 08, 2010, 11:51:57 AM »
I had one where I was accused of stealing someone’s cell phone. LOL

BG: I received a text from a number I didn’t know about meeting in Big Nearby City. It was something like “Can we meet near X because your uncle is so bad with directions.” I deleted it and didn’t think much of it. /BG

THEN, I get a phone call from the same number.

Me: Hi, this is pinkunicorn.

Lady: How did you get my niece’s cell phone?

Me: (utterly confused, as my phone never leaves my side) Excuse me?

Lady: How did you get this phone?

Me: Well, I went to Verizon and they gave it to me!

Lady: You have my niece’s phone!

Me: I’m pretty sure I do not. My phone is always with me.

So then she hands her phone off to someone I assume is her niece.

Young Lady: Um…you have my phone.

Me: No, I don’t. I have MY phone. I have the phone that Verizon gave me.

Young Lady: How did you get your number?

Me: (chuckling by now) I’ve had this number for three years.

Young Lady: 555-4529?

Me: No, this number is 555-4524…

Young Lady: (you can hear the embarrassment in her voice) O.M.G., she misdialed.

*click*
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Marisol

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Re: Baaaaarbaraaaa? (aka weird phone calls)
« Reply #28 on: March 08, 2010, 12:13:43 PM »
A woman who may or may not have had my number before we got it gets debt collector calls all the time.  We have had the number now five years and they are still calling even though I tell them she is not at this number and have them remove it from their list.  Kicker is, I wonder if she is still giving our number out.

We got a phone call from the children's hospital recently leaving a long and detailed message about her son.  He apparently is at the hospital undergoing a procedure.  They wanted her to call immediately back to make some decisions.  So, seeing how this sounded important I called them up and explained that they have the wrong number.  They asked me if I was sure because she had just given them my number when her son was admitted. 

katiescarlett

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Re: Baaaaarbaraaaa? (aka weird phone calls)
« Reply #29 on: March 08, 2010, 09:28:02 PM »
When I was in high school, I was getting ready for school one morning when the phone rang.  I answered it, and this little old lady kept telling me that she needed help getting off her potty.  She sounded very frail, very scared, and very alone.  It took us about 20 minutes, but we finally managed to figure out that she was a resident at one of the nursing homes in town and was trying to call the nurses station for help.  Let's just say that our number was 555-3613, and their number was 435-3613.