Here’s something that always puzzles me. Tell me something. If you’re looking for Nick Smith, you call what’s supposed to be Nick Smith’s number and you get an answering machine that says, “Hello. Thank you for calling Bob Jones. Leave a message.” What would you do? Would you just continue leaving a big message for Nick about how you’re wondering when he’s planning on returning your pink underwear that you left at his place and whatever happened to Stan? Or would you realize that, oops, I have the wrong number? Unless Nick’s machine routinely says that you’ve reached Bob Jones, I hope you’d do the second.
For some reason, I see a lot of the first. These are the exact words on my machine. “Hi. You’ve reached Carin. I’m not here right now, so leave a message.” I got the following message this morning at 6: “Hello, I’m looking for Casey, wondering if he’s coming to work. It’s the foreman, and it’s 6:15.” And the strange part was he didn’t even say something like, “Hmm, I don’t know if this is Casey’s number. This is the one I have for him. So if he’s here…” He seemed completely unshakable in his belief that Casey was there, and just not picking up the phone, that bastard. When the blue bloody hell did Carin start to sound like Casy? And, he’s looking for a male named Casey. Last time I checked, I didn’t sound overly manly.
The funny part is this isn’t the first time it’s happened. I’ve had people call and say they’d like to tell Becky they made it to town, I’ve had people leave messages for the Holiday Inn or Frederic Travel, and leave everything but their visa number on my machine. Hey, chief. Usually businesses don’t answer to Carin. Or, I’ll pick up the phone, and this older woman will just start talking to me. She’ll say something like, “Hey, Shellie?” Then she’ll ramble on until I manage to stop her and say, “I’m not Shellie!” Judging by her age and the friendliness she has with this Shellie person, I can pretty much guarantee I don’t sound like Shellie.
I can understand confusion on an answering machine where no name is given, or the recording is silly, or it’s just the phone number. But if there’s a name there that doesn’t match the one you’re looking for, wouldn’t that be your first clue that ya might wanna try again?