Call Idiocy

I’ve noticed a weird trend in the way people use their call display. they’ve gone nuts with it!

I really started to notice it when people would phone me back just because my number was on their display. They’d say, “You called. What did you want?” First of all, who are you, and second, I didn’t even mean to call you. I got the wrong number. If I didn’t leave a message, and you don’t have a flaming clue who I am, don’t call me back!

But it’s gotten weirder. There’s one guy who is just loving the call display on his business phone. He loves it so much that he doesn’t know what to do if he doesn’t recognize the number that’s calling. He stammers out an awkward hello and then the business name, all the while stuttering. Yeah, great way to create a first impression on a new customer.

Or, there was one music store I called looking for a CD. The man cheerfully responded with “Yes, I have it, and I’m driving to Paris. I can drop it off there if you would like.” He meant Paris, Ontario, in case anyone’s wondering how in hell our hapless music buff was going to drive across the ocean. Anyway, I asked him why he would drop it off in Paris if I was calling from Guelph. “Oh,” he said, “The last name that came up on the display is the same as someone I’m going to visit, so I assumed you were related to them.”

First off, I don’t even have the last name that’s on the display, and second, that’s a little weird to think that I must be related to the person that he’s going to visit. It is possible to not be related to someone with the same last name, or at least not related in any way you’re aware of. Maybe the person is your fiftieth cousin, but for all intents and purposes, she’s a stranger.

And this is the thing that got me thinking about all things call display. Last night, we ordered subs, and they took forever to come. Once, I phoned back because I was worried that I’d missed the buzzer because the phone went weird for a minute. Then I called back another time wondering what happened to our subs. The final time I called, the man picked up the phone and said, “Subway on Gordon, Ma’am.” So, the poor fellow knew exactly who was phoning and why. Why else would he throw the ma’am in there? I had to laugh, even though I was hungry as hell.

Call Display is a great thing. I just wish people could learn to use it right. It kind of loses all of its power of discretely letting you know who’s phoning you if you pick up the phone and basically announce to the caller that you have their number.

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