Friday, November 12, 2010

Proper Wrong Number Etiquette

When you dial up a friend and someone with a strange voice answers there a few things you should do and a few you should not do.

Yesterday evening my phone rang and it was a number that I didn't recognize, but I answered anyway. I said Hello and heard "Who Dis?"
To which I replied "Excuse me?"
"Where be John?"
"I'm sorry, but I think that you have dialed the wrong number"

Now, I know that it can be embarrassing to call a stranger accidentally, but an apology for disturbing them isn't really too much to ask for in my opinion (there I go with my lofty opinions again...)

At 11:34 last night, I was deeply sleeping when my phone rang. I first smacked the snooze button and them fumbled for the phone. I glanced at the number and noticed that while it was not one I knew, it was local and my heart lept as I thought about who could be calling. It could be about my grandfather or something else horrible and since everyone I know understands that I'm in bed by about 9pm, no one would call this late unless it was a real emergency.

I answered and heard "Hey"
"Yeah, who is this"
Me: "Hello?"

Now I was pissed!!! If I hadn't been half asleep I would have called her back and demanded to know why she had called and why she had hung up without even an apology for waking me or acknowledging that she had dialed a wrong number. I was really tempted to call her up this morning when I got up at 4:15 to see how she liked being awoken from a dead sleep.

So here are a few tips for making phone calls.

1) check the number carefully to make sure that you are dialing correctly.
2) When a voice you don't know answers, ask for the person you are looking for
3) When you are told that you have reached a wrong number, apologize for the inconvenience and ask if you can verify the number that you meant to call versus the number you actually called. This will allow you to know if you simply mis-dialed or if the number you have is incorrect.
4) Thank the person for their time and apologize again for disturbing them.
5) Say good-bye before ending the call

Even if the person you called is dead asleep, they will appreciate your sincerity and will rest easy knowing that you will not call back using the same incorrect number thinking that you simply dialed it in wrong.

I think that some of you readers will find this a bit obvious and silly - common sense should dictate that these rules be followed, but they are not.

One final wrong number story.

One afternoon a few years ago, my husband and I were having dinner at a restaurant when my phone rang. I picked it up and the lady on the other end asked when I would be home.
"excuse me?"
"when will you be home? You were supposed to be home 2 hours ago"
"I'm sorry, you must have dialed the wrong number"
"Don't you sass me girl, I think I know my own granddaughter's phone number, now you need to get your butt home"
"Ma'am I'm not your granddaughter, I'm a 30 year old women and my phone number is XXX-XXXX. You have simply dialed the wrong number"
"I'm not playing these games with you"

Then I gave up and hung up. The phone rang again a few moments later and I asked Smug-Hub to answer.

"Who is this? Put Sara back on the phone"
"Ma'am, this is not Sara's phone, but my wife's phone and I need you to stop calling this number"
"Put Sara back on the phone"
"Ma'am I'm hanging up now, please stop harassing my wife"

Then he hung up. The phone rang again about 30 minutes later and he again took the call.

"Listen, this is not your granddaughter's phone"
"I just called to apologize for bothering you and for not believing you. Sara just got home and told me that I had been calling the wrong number. I had mixed up the last two digits and since she is kind of a problem child I just thought she was messing with me. I am so sorry about bothering you and your wife. Please let her know how sorry  I am"
"No problem, you have a nice day"
"You too. Bye now"

Now, I was totally pissed at her until she had the grace to call back and apologize for her mistake. Now it's just a funny story.

Happy Friday everyone!!!

1 comment:

  1. But what are your rules when you've stolen your boyfriends phone and calling all the females stored in there that you don't know??