24 June 2010

Umm...I Have the Wrong Number

**Updated to change the format of the phone number listed in this post. Evidently, smart phones will honor the telephone link. It need not be honored. :)

Have you ever had a phone call misdirected? You know, you call a number, but someone totally different answers? Well, it happens a couple of times a month in our office. Usually, it's not a big deal. It's often another parent who kindly laughs and thinks I (or my boss) have dialed the wrong number. But the thing is--it's most often the correct number.

I know this because when it happens, I give a laugh to the person on the other end of the line and apologize for the inconvenience. Then I hang up and press redial to see the number on the display; I disconnect before the call can go out (we have a delay on outgoing calls). The findings are conclusive, and I announce to my boss that I, in fact, had dialed the correct number. The second time it's dialed, it's directed to the intended recipient.

One time, my boss called a local restaurant for dinner reservations. Since it was the middle of the afternoon--and non-restaurant hours--she didn't think anything about it when the person who answered simply said, "Hello?" She proceeded to make the reservation, but was cut short when a parent of an alumni recognized her voice. They had a good chuckle. When she ended the call, she insisted that she had not dialed that number. She hadn't spoken with the parent on the phone since their child graduated.

I've never mentioned it to anyone else on campus. Until today. It turns out it's common to most lines on campus.

Which makes me feel a little better. Here goes...

As a college advisor, I'm the testing coordinator for our school, as well as the coordinator for students with disabilities. There are certain forms that should be completed each year for students to be eligible to have accommodations, like extended time on a test for a reading disability. I hadn't received the form at the usual time, so I decided to call the SAT hot line for counselors.

I quickly referred to the number on my desk. It was an easy number. Their customer service reps are always super-helpful and each call is answered by an automated message. Normally, I hear something like, "Hello, welcome to the SAT line for counselors. For testing info, press one." (You get the idea.)

Well, I dialed the number and an automated message started.

"Hello, you've reached 1888FREESEX."

Are you kidding me?! I (inadvertently) called a sex hot line AT WORK. And I work at a private, Christian school.

I quickly hung up and screamed at the same time. My co-worker wondered what on earth had happened. Of course, she had a good laugh at my expense. I have to agree that it WAS humorous.

I looked at the number I tried to call. I spelled out 1888FREESEX on the keypad. The two numbers are NOWHERE NEAR THE SAME. I pressed redial. Sure enough, I dialed the correct number. My call was just misdirected.

I knew that before I left for the day, I had to confess my phone call to others. I'd already played the scenario through my head where the business office receives the list of phone calls made that month. Although none others would be spelled out, I just knew that 1888FREESEX would be listed on calls made from my line.

Luckily, everyone had a good laugh. Including me.


Anonymous said...

This JUST happened to me. I was trying to call my bank at a 1800 number, so how do I end up calling freesex which is a 1888 number??? How do you misdirect that?

Elizabeth said...

Ha - I know this is an ancient post but, I just reached the same telephone service! I discovered your blog when I googled the number.

I was trying to dial Canada Post's customer service line. The numbers aren't at all similar to this FREESEX(?) line.